Construction To Begin On Phase One Of Outpatient Diagnostic Center
At last week’s board meeting, the board approved funding to allow construction to begin on the Outpatient Diagnostic Center. This first phase is to replace vital equipment that is approaching ‘end of life’ and without which our Emergency Department cannot function.
This phase includes building a new Computed Tomography (CT) scanner suite in the section of the hospital that housed the old Surgery Department. Plans also include an enlarged waiting room along with upgrades to nearby corridors and public areas. Construction is scheduled to begin next month and is expected to be completed by summer 2020.
The board also approved additional funding to move toward construction on the second phase. This phase is focused on the purchase of a state-of-the-art 3T MRI unit and bringing it into the hospital. Construction on this phase is expected to start in summer 2020 with completion by Spring 2021. There also are plans to upgrade the Cardiology Department.
The CT suite and other phases of the planned Outpatient Diagnostic Center are being entirely funded by a capital campaign run by the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, which has already raised $18.3 million of the $21 million needed to complete all phases of the project.
It is vital to the future of the hospital to upgrade imaging equipment, given how crucial diagnostic services are to hospital services, and how dated much of the hospital’s current technology is. The new CT suite is essential to the hospital’s future because regulations require that an Emergency Department have access to a CT scanner.
When all phases are complete, SVH will have a state-of-the-art Outpatient Diagnostic Center that will serve patients throughout the North Bay Area, including UCSF patients in our region.
Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation
Dave Pier, Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation executive director, provided an update on Foundation activity and accomplishments at the meeting. It is difficult to over-emphasize the critical role the Foundation plays in maintaining our hospital. Almost all of the capital expenses required by the hospital in recent years were paid for by philanthropy and donations raised by the Foundation.
In addition to the $18.3 million the Foundation has raised to-date for the Outpatient Diagnostic Center, the Foundation also has provided the hospital with $3.4 million over the past five years. This funding has gone to support the hospital in the form of purchasing the 3D mammography unit and building out space for it (and maintaining a program to provide free mammograms to uninsured women in our community), upgrades to patient rooms, purchasing small equipment needed throughout the hospital, and providing funds for continuing education for nurses and staff, among other contributions.
While much credit goes to Dave and his staff, the hospital also owes a big debt of gratitude to the Foundation board members and capital campaign members who generously donate their time to make our hospital a vital resource for our community. I also want to acknowledge Kelly Mather for her sizeable role in making the Foundation’s efforts so successful. For more information on how you can support the Foundation, please visit their website at svhfoundation.com.
Response To Power Outages
In her monthly report, CEO Kelly Mather discussed the hospital’s response to the recent power outages in our area. The hospital was able to remain open and provide emergency services during both recent outages without incident. During the first outage, the hospital used its back-up generator for about 36 hours to ensure patient safety and access to the Emergency Department. In anticipation of further power outages, Kelly had worked with PG&E to put in place an outage plan that did not impact our hospital, which meant that we were fully operational throughout.
She reported that a great deal of credit goes to hospital staff and physicians who ensured the hospital remained open and serving our community, even during the short time that the hospital was running on backup generator power.
She also said that since the fires a year ago, the hospital has strengthened its emergency plans and put in place new steps to continue operations. During an emergency, the hospital’s Emergency Management Team opens an Incident Command Center within the hospital which is staffed 24 hours a day for the duration to monitor the situation and respond appropriately, while coordinating with emergency services at the city and county levels.
Next Board Meeting
Our next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, December 5, 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.
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors