The board was presented with exciting plans for a new Outpatient Diagnostic Services Project and planning efforts to upgrade several other parts of our buildings at last week’s meeting. I’m happy to report that the board approved the initial investment for all of the projects ($1.3 million) unanimously. The new Outpatient Diagnostic Project, the most important part of what we approved, is absolutely critical to the hospital’s future success. The future focus for the hospital reflects the shift from inpatient to outpatient care while further strengthening our core emergency and other services.
The board approved approximately $800,000 to be spent in 2018 that will pay for the design of the new Outpatient Diagnostic Services. The project will modernize and expand medical imaging and create an expanded Cardiology service in the Hospital. Both will help SVH to stay relevant in the current healthcare environment while reducing costs and supporting revenue growth in the years ahead.
The plans for the new Diagnostic Services will transform SVH’s current imaging department into a much more efficient layout that consolidates a number of our diagnostic procedures in one area, in a modern setting with state-of-the-art technology. Planned changes include a new 128-slice CT scanner and upgraded Cardiology services with physicians on site.
The board also approved funding for a new master facilities plan for the entire campus ($139,000). This type of plan needs to be done periodically and will be especially useful to the hospital as the demand for inpatient services continues to decline and the need for other, locally delivered healthcare increases.
Finally, the board also approved a study on decommissioning the Central and East wings of the hospital as a step toward longer-term planning ($379,000). Decommissioning non-inpatient related portions of the hospital will allow for less expensive upgrades to our buildings going forward.
These projects are projected to increase revenue and enhance patient experience by improving outpatient reception and waiting areas, bringing Imaging and Cardiopulmonary services together, and providing direct access from the Emergency Department to the new CT scanner.
All costs for the planning and studies described above are covered by generous donations from the community, which have been raised by the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation.
Hospital Foundation Report
The board also heard from Dave Pier, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, who reviewed their amazing efforts in support of the hospital in recent years.
Dave noted that the Foundation has raised $3.5 million so far this year, most of it coming from generous major donors to support the new Outpatient Diagnostic Project. In the past year couple of years, the Foundation also has raised funds to purchase the state-of-the-art Stryker System currently used in the surgery suites, the 3D Mammography unit that went into operation earlier this year, and many smaller equipment purchases.
Other important contributions include Project Pink, the Foundation’s free mammography program for uninsured and under-insured women, its funding of continuing education for Nurses and SVH staff ($31,000 in 2017), and its support of new programs such as the launch of A Woman’s Place early this year.
We are very fortunate to have such a committed and hard-working Foundation. I want to acknowledge the Foundation’s excellent volunteer board, its advisory council, and Dave and his team for their hard work in support of the hospital and, especially, funding major projects that help our hospital to stay relevant.
Dr. Sabrina Kidd Named CMO
CEO Kelly Mather reported that the hospital has named Sabrina Kidd MD, FACS, FASCRS, as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Kidd, a dual board certified colorectal and general surgeon, has been affiliated with the hospital as a surgeon since mid-2016. She replaces Robert Cohen, MD, who retired early this year.
As CMO, Dr. Kidd will work closely with the hospital’s medical directors and serve on the administration team in overseeing existing services and helping plan new services and programs. She also will serve on the UCSF faculty and act as their Medical Director for SVH, working closely with the CMO of UCSF Health, especially in identifying areas of collaboration between the two hospitals.
Sonoma Valley Family Practice Opens
Mather also noted that Sonoma Family Practice joined the Hospital’s group of Specialty Clinics on July 2. Practice physicians John Schafer, MD, Daisy Manuel-Arguelles, DO and Subhash Mishra, MD remain with the practice and continue to provide care for patients. SVH has added a Nurse Practitioner to the practice to increase access to primary care in Sonoma. The practice has been renamed “Sonoma Valley Specialty Clinic: Family Practice,” and continues to be located at 270 Perkins St.
We should be excited about our hospital and its future. We know that community hospitals across the country face many challenges because of growing financial pressures, but we are reminded that we have an outstanding administration team, led by Kelly Mather, that is working tirelessly and creatively to position SVH for success. This team is supported by a community that continues to show its commitment and generosity.
Our next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, August 2 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