Somers Point

Two more doctors from Shore

to join Haiti relief effort

Two more doctors from Shore Memorial Hospital will fly to Haiti this week to treat victims of the earthquake and its aftermath.

What is most needed, the hospital said, is expertise in treating cuts, punctures and other wounds.

Dr. Yatish Merchant and Dr. Mahesh Ghayal, both from Linwood, specialize in cardiology or heart medicine, but they will be administering general care with some of the $6,000 in medicine and supplies donated by Shore Memorial that will accompany them, said Fred Banner, the hospital's chief information officer.

Eight doctors from Cooper University Hospital in Camden went to Haiti on Jan. 18.

Merchant and Ghayal follow Shore Memorial's Dr. Keith Lafferty and respiratory therapist Jean Dorce, who also responded to the natural disaster.

Shore Memorial formed a focus group for Haiti relief to look at ways to help the devastated country in the longer term.

Hospital employees can cash in unused vacation time to donate to relief efforts. The hospital is also coordinating its efforts with local churches that have existing connections to Haitian communities.

"We're looking at the most appropriate and timely ways to provide financial support," Banner said.

To submit news and information on Somers Point, e-mail Steve Lemongello at


Dorset Avenue Bridge

closing next week for repairs

The Dorset Avenue Bridge in Ventnor is finally shutting down for repairs next week, but will remain open to walkers, bikers and emergency traffic.

Ventnor Mayor Theresa Kelly said Wednesday the bridge will close Feb. 4. The bridge is expected to reopen by mid-April, as part of a $3.2 million project to make structural, mechanical and electrical repairs.

Work actually began Jan. 4, but a release from Atlantic County said contractors A.P. Construction of Blackwood were able to initially work from barges on the bay beneath the bridge, leaving it open to traffic.

The work will disrupt NJ Transit 505 bus, which crosses the bridge to get to the Ventnor shopping plaza as it travels back and forth from Atlantic City to Longport.

Kelly said Atlantic County will provide some bus service between the bridge and the plaza, which houses the Pathmark supermarket. Atlantic County Administrator Gerald DelRosso said a schedule has not been finalized.

The 504 bus will continue to run from Atlantic City to the shopping plaza. A release from NJ Transit said 505 customers going to the shopping plaza can travel into Atlantic City, then transfer to the 504 at Boston Avenue in the Chelsea section.

Another month of work is planned for next year, but the bridge will remained closed to all traffic then.

To submit news and information on Ventnor,

e-mail Derek Harper at