This month I’m stepping in for Joshua Rymer to report on the September meeting. At the meeting, the board gave final approval for the hospital to transfer our skilled home care service, Healing At Home, to Hospice by the Bay, effective October 1, 2018. We are pleased to be able to transfer this important service to such a high-quality organization, and one with deep roots in our community. It ensures that Healing At Home patients will continue to receive skilled care at home without interruption.
As noted previously, the agreement calls for Hospice by the Bay to acquire Healing at Home and continue operating it under that name for at least the foreseeable future. There is no compensation to the hospital for the Healing at Home business and its assets, which will be transferred to Hospice as part of the agreement, and Hospice assumes applicable liabilities and leases.
Vintage House Partnership
We were pleased to have Priscilla Essert, the new executive director of Vintage House, speak at the meeting and update us on the organization and new programs planned for our community. Vintage House, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, is a valued local institution that has played a vital role in the lives of so many in our community.
Essert reviewed Vintage House’s transportation program, which provides 3,000 rides for seniors each year within the Valley, and discussed plans for the Impact 100 grant it received and how it plans to use it to better serve the needs of seniors in our community with new programming and services.
She also cited the strong partnership between Vintage House and Sonoma Valley Hospital. We have worked closely with their staff over the years to plan many health educational programs and events for seniors, including our annual Active Aging Series each Fall which brings both nationally-recognized experts on aging and health, and hospital experts to speak.
Skilled Nursing Task Force
The board has moved ahead with the task force to help us evaluate options for the future of our Skilled Nursing Facility. The board has charged the task force with identifying ways either to improve the SNF’s financial performance to make it sustainable or recommend closure within a reasonable amount of time. The task force was formed in August and includes board, administration, physician and community representatives. A consultant with expertise in SNF financial and operational management was also brought in to help with the assessment.
We are planning a public meeting within the next few weeks to invite comments from the community and will shortly announce the date and location of this meeting. We encourage community members to attend and share their views on our SNF. An interim report by the task force is planned for the October 4 board meeting.
Our new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sabrina Kidd, discussed her recent meetings with UCSF to develop ways to work together to further improve quality at the Hospital. SVH is currently ranked by Medicare among the top 25 percent of hospitals nationally for quality and safety. She also reported that our Emergency Department recently added telemedicine services for neurology, which will assist in assessing complex stroke decisions, along with a telemedicine service for psychiatry. This real time access to specialists allows patients to be treated here without the need to transfer to another facility.
Our next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, October 4, at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room, 177 1st St. West in Sonoma. The public is welcome to attend and public comment is always encouraged.
First Vice Chair, SVHCD Board of Directors