News Item

For Immediate Release
Nov 30, 2018
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Southern Ocean Medical Center Welcomes Herbert Kunkle, Jr., M.D. and Douglas Wright, M.D. to Orthopedic Surgery

- Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center is pleased to welcome Herbert L. Kunkle, Jr., M.D. and Douglas G. Wright, M.D. to its medical staff. These highly-skilled and qualified surgeons bring expanded expertise to the dedicated team of orthopedic surgeons that includes: Samuel Epstein, D.O., Nicholas Jarmon, M.D., David Dickerson, M.D., and Laura Malfitano, D.O.

“I am pleased that Drs. Kunkle and Wright are on board with our team of specialists at Southern Ocean Medical Center,” says Regina M. Foley, Ph.D, MBA, RN, chief operating officer. “They are experienced in all aspects of orthopedic surgery and treat a myriad of primary conditions such as joint pain, carpal tunnel, arthritis, gout, fractures, and more. Their expertise, along with the combined commitment of our orthopedic surgeons, will provide the best possible orthopedic care for our community.”

Dr. Kunkle is board certified in orthopedic surgery and is committed to providing advanced care and utilizing the latest non-invasive and invasive techniques. He received his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College and completed his residency and internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Loma Linda University. His areas of special interest include fractures, diseases of the knee and shoulder, adult reconstruction, and knee replacement. Prior to joining Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Kunkle was a professor at Penn State University College of Medicine and is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Fellowship trained in trauma, foot and ankle, Dr. Wright is board certified in orthopedic surgery and dedicated to helping patients of all ages receive the treatment they need so they can enjoy a positive and fulfilling lifestyle. He received his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed his residency at Yale University School of Medicine. His areas of interest include fractures and musculoskeletal injuries and all foot and ankle disorders including total ankle replacement and ankle arthroscopy. Dr. Wright has been published in many peer-reviewed journals and is an editorial board member for prestigious journals such as the Foot & Ankle International. He is also an annual moderator at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Both Drs. Kunkle and Wright make it a priority to maintain open communications with patients and evaluate all treatment options before performing surgery. They are now accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call 609-250-4104.


Located in the heart of southern Ocean County, Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center has been caring for the community for over 40 years. With more than 400 physicians and over 1,000 dedicated health care professionals, the medical center provides comprehensive high-quality, advanced inpatient and outpatient services. Numerous investments have been made to facilities and services to bring advanced treatments, breakthrough technologies and skilled expertise to patients, including: advanced imaging services for expert screening, diagnostics and treatment, laboratory services, pain management, telemedicine for stroke patients, maternity, sleep medicine, bariatric surgery, cardiovascular services and rehabilitation, convenient outpatient locations and two urgent care centers. The Emergency Department sees more than 40,000 patients of southern Ocean County each year in a setting that reinforces comfort, privacy and compassion. The completion of the state-of-the-art Cancer Care Center provides a single destination for multidisciplinary cancer treatment and advanced radiation therapies. A committed focus to expanding physician expertise has increased the scope of advanced specialty care available close to home. The nurses and allied health providers are consistently recognized as providing high-quality, personalized care to patients and their families. Southern Ocean Medical recently received a four star rating from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services for overall hospital quality. The nursing team achieved Magnet® status, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence for nursing practice, quality and safety in patient care. Southern Ocean Medical Center is a designated primary stroke center and is designated by the ACS-MBSA QIP as the most comprehensive quality bariatric surgery program in the region.

ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, 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; nine 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; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 450 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, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. 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 by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” The network was also named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018” list.

Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University to launch the first private medical school in New Jersey – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University - in more than 50 years to address a growing shortage of physicians and dramatic changes in health care delivery. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s oldest and most respected behavioral health provider, signed a definitive agreement to merge.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

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