Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jun 28, 2018
Contact : Anne Green, Hackensack Meridian Health  

Ocean Medical Center’s Inaugural 2018 Resident White Coat Ceremony Marks Start of Residency Training

New residency programs will train physicians of future and address New Jersey’s Projected shortages of primary care and psychiatry physicians  

Brick, NJ - Eighteen medical doctors from New Jersey and across the country received long white coats at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center’s Inaugural 2018 Resident White Coat Ceremony last evening, formally marking the start of their new role as clinicians.

“With the launch of our new residency programs, Ocean Medical Center is officially a premier community teaching hospital, delivering on our promise to transform medical education and train physicians of the future,” said Dean Q. Lin, MHA, MBA, FACE, FCPP, regional president of Hackensack Meridian Health and president of Ocean Medical Center. “Through our patient-centered approach, these newly minted doctors will learn to see the person in each patient, embracing our culture of compassion and collaboration.”

Eight family medicine residents and six psychiatry residents matched at Ocean Medical Center’s residency programs, along with four psychiatry residents matched at Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center residency program, were honored at last night’s ceremony.

Thomas Brandeisky, D.O., the designated institutional official and chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), was joined by program directors, Kelly Ussery-Kronhaus, M.D., program director for family medicine residency and medical director of Graduate Medical Education, Ramon Solhkhah, M.D., program director for psychiatry residency and psychiatry training director; and Stacy Doumas, M.D., program director for psychiatry residency at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, presenting the residents and cloaking them in their new long lab coats.

“This is an exciting moment as we welcome our inaugural class, who will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the lives of patients and families across our community,” Lin said.

The Resident White Coat Ceremony marks a significant milestone for each student, as they officially become doctors, continuing their journey to advance their clinical knowledge and professional growth. The coat not only symbolizes the profession, but the trust patients place in physicians, and the responsibility to act professionally while serving patients and the public.

“Ocean Medical Center’s residency programs have attracted the best and the brightest physicians from across New Jersey and the country to come to Ocean and Monmouth counties, enhancing our mission to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care to our communities,” said Vincent Vivona, D.O., J.D., FACP, FCLM, CHCQM, chief medical officer.

Ocean Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) program received approximately 2,800 applications for only 14 spots. Orientation began on June 25th and the residency programs officially begin on July 2nd. Approval for an additional residency program in Internal Medicine is expected this spring, which would begin in the summer of 2019.

Ocean Medical Center is an independent community teaching hospital that has been involved with medical education for several years. It is affiliated with Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine from which medical students complete their third-year core curriculum through a variety of clinical clerkships at Ocean Medical Center.

Members of Ocean Medical Center’s faculty and leadership have dual appointments at the new Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, New Jersey’s first private medical school in decades. Dr. Solhkhah is professor and founding chair of psychiatry, Dr. Ussery-Kronhaus serves as the vice chair of family medicine, Dr. Doumas is associate chair of psychiatry, and Dr. Vivona is assistant professor. The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is forging a new path in medical education that addresses profound changes in health care which have resulted in more community-based care and an unprecedented focus on wellness. School of Medicine students will train at Ocean Medical Center.

“Our new psychiatry and family residency programs will improve clinical care and ultimately encourage future health care leaders to build practices in the Jersey Shore area, addressing the critical need for primary care and psychiatry providers across our state,” explained Dr. Vivona.

Research shows that physicians often practice where they train which would help the state ease a shortage of an estimated 3,000 doctors by 2020. New Jersey and the nation faces critical physician shortages in the areas of psychiatry and family medicine.

Additionally, Ocean Medical Center received a $1 million commitment from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation which was announced in March to support the medical center’s new Graduate Medical Education program.

“Our goal is to maximize health in all of the communities we serve. Our community-based approach to healthcare, along with an increased focus on wellness and population health, will forge a bold new pathway for medical education, as we train physicians to better meet the health care needs of the future,” Lin added.

Ocean Medical Center received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for residency programs in family medicine and psychiatry in 2017.


Ocean Medical Center, serving southern Monmouth and Ocean counties, is ranked #8 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report for two consecutive years. The medical center also features a satellite Emergency Care Center in Point Pleasant, the Ocean Care Center, and hospital-based programs at Jackson Health Village.

In addition to its high ranking in U.S News and World Report, Ocean Medical Center has achieved a host of certifications and awards: advanced levels of certification with The Joint Commission for joint replacement, palliative care and stroke (Primary Stroke Center that offers a state-of-the art brain lab and neurological surgery); a designated center of excellence by the American College of Radiology; Magnet award winning nurses; 2018 Get with the Guidelines continuous quality improvement awards including: Heart Failure Gold Plus Award, Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Awards; and 2018 Action Registry Platinum Award; and has achieved the highest percentages of team member engagement in Great Places to Work survey.

Ocean Medical Center officially became a premier community teaching hospital with the launch of its first class of family medicine and psychiatry residents in June 2018. Approval for an additional residency program in Internal Medicine is expected this spring, which would begin in the summer of 2019.

The medical center has made significant investments in programs and services.  In 2014, Ocean Medical Center opened a state-of-the-art Emergency Department that provides the highest level of care and comfort in a tranquil setting.  In 2016, a new comprehensive Cancer Center that provides the latest radiation therapy technologies was revealed. In 2017, the final phase of the $82 million expansion project concluded with the opening of an innovative medical surgical floor with 36 private patient beds that was uniquely designed to bring humanity back to health care.

Other key services include:  DaT Scan and advanced imaging technology; DaVinci robotic surgery; general, thoracic, and vascular surgery; one of the region’s most advanced cardiac catheterization laboratories and cardiac services; maternity, acute care of the elderly and critical care services. 


ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 16 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune; 11 community hospitals - Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 160 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network's notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey, including Hackensack University Medical Center which is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors inc