A Spotlight On The Hospital’s Future

Mar 8th, 2022

Board Chair Report, March 2022

The future of the hospital came into sharper focus in two reports made to the board at last week’s meeting, and I have to say the future is exciting.

We first had an update on the UCSF affiliation from Shelby Decosta, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at UCSF Health as well as president of the UCSF Health affiliates network. Decosta reminded all of us of the many benefits we have already experienced from our relationship with UCSF, and of the opportunities to bring even more to our community. Then, CEO John Hennelly identified new opportunities to expand care for our community and bring greater financial sustainability to our hospital.

USCF Affiliation

Decosta noted our affiliation has come a long way from the collaboration agreement that began our relationship in 2018. She highlighted several notable accomplishments during this time, such as:

  • COVID: Our clinical team benefited immensely from UCSF’s support in responding to the pandemic.  They shared best practices, protocols and supplies, allowing our teams to be more effective in managing the crisis.
  • Telehealth:  New programs brought UCSF clinical capabilities in Infectious Diseases and Neurology to our community, providing patients with direct access to UCSF specialists so they didn’t have to leave the Valley to get care. UCSF also helped us obtain Acute Stroke Ready certification in our Emergency Department. These telehealth programs have created revenue for our hospital, generating several hundred opportunities for us to provide services for the community that might have had to be provided elsewhere.
  • Recruitment:  UCSF has provided invaluable support to our hospital in recruiting a new team of leaders, including our new CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Financial Officer. They have been generous in providing us with access to their HR teams and candidates have responded positively to our affiliation.
  • IT Support:  When faced with a crushing cyberattack last year, UCSF generously stepped in with needed expert resources to help us respond quickly and minimize the impact on services provided the community. UCSF has also helped recruit a new IT leader for our hospital to continue the process to upgrade systems and enhance system security.

While our growing relationship with UCSF Health has already brought significant benefits to SVH, both operationally and financially, we are continuing to create opportunities to bring the best clinical care to our community, a theme CEO John Hennelly expanded on in his presentation.

SVH Growth Planning

Hennelly broadly outlined some ideas for ways to expand hospital services, particularly in areas where community need is clear. He identified several areas of opportunity, including:

  • Streamline UCSF Referrals. These include plans to improve referrals of SVH patients to UCSF specialists and bring Valley residents who need care at UCSF into our hospital in advance for diagnostic services, as well as repatriating Valley residents from UCSF to receive care at SVH. Longer-term, Hennelly said there are opportunities to enhance services by integrating current SVH service lines with UCSF specialty departments, citing Neurology, Cardiology, Oncology and Urology as examples.
  • Expand Orthopedics. There are plans to recruit new specialists to meet market demand for non-emergency orthopedics surgery, such as joint repair and replacement. This effort is already underway.
  • Strengthen Cardiology. The hospital has a strong cardiology service line which it plans to expand by adding new services and increasing service hours.
  • Expand Rehabilitation Services. Rehabilitation services is an area where community need remains high and the hospital is exploring ways to expand services currently offered, especially physical therapy.

Hennelly will update the board on developments with these and other opportunities in the months ahead.

With Appreciation To Dr. Kidd

All of us on the board and at the hospital want to offer our appreciation and best wishes to Dr. Sabrina Kidd, who is leaving us to assume another position. She has served as Chief Medical Officer for the hospital during an especially difficult period, and has done so with considerable leadership, skill and grace.

When Dr. Kidd assumed the role in 2018, little did she know she would soon be thrust into a central role in our Valley in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Her leadership in the hospital and community has been notable, from working with community partners to create testing and vaccination clinics, to making sure we had patient rooms available in the event of a surge, all while working tirelessly during a difficult time to ensure the hospital continues to provide a high level of care and meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

We thank her for her dedication to the health of our Valley and wish her well in the years ahead.

Covid Numbers Drop

January’s high Covid numbers have receded and the hospital has experienced dramatic declines in test positivity rates in February, Dr. Kidd reported. As a result, she noted the hospital has relaxed its visitation policy although some restrictions remain in place. Details on visitor guidelines can be found here (website link). The hospital continues to update Covid-related information on the hospital website (website link) in English and Spanish.

Next Board Meeting

The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 6 pm. For safety reasons, board meetings will continue to be held via video conferencing. The public is encouraged to participate, and video conferencing details are available on the Hospital website. Public comment is always welcome.

Sincerely,

Joshua

Joshua Rymer
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors

Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation