Heroes Work Here: Dr. Meika Neblett, Chief Medical Officer

With hundreds of patients turning to Community Medical Center for care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Meika Neblett, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer, found herself witnessing a friend’s mother become a patient. She discusses her thoughts as she watched her friend experience a difficult moment.

Members of the Community Medical Center team in Toms River have been tirelessly caring for patients, and one another, as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout it all, they have responded with strength, skill, and compassion, and shown who they truly are – heroes.


Overall, I’m not a very emotional person. I’ve been doing this quite a while, I’m an ER doctor. A lot of things don’t faze me very much, and I think that’s part of my make up, it also helps me be a good ER doctor, so I can fortunately keep going, and going, and going no matter what the scenario is.

So, one thing that did faze me was really early on. I had gone to dinner with someone and that person’s mother had just been admitted to the hospital. And I updated them every now and then about how their mother was doing, etcetera, etcetera, and she was one of the first people to die, and I had watched her have an iPad video conversation with her mother before she was intubated, again, early on. And that was the first time – this was early on – so this was not a common thing at that time and it was the first time that I had seen that, and my father died two years ago in a nursing home, and I wasn’t there when he died, and my mom wasn’t there when he died. So, I kept thinking how would that have felt. That was hard for me, so as an ER physician, and the emotions, I was saying, ‘what hurts me more is the living.’ That’s what always gets to me is how are the living going to walk tomorrow and think about this moment? Is this moment going to be okay for them?