The board heard a report from SVH partner Hospice By The Bay at the June meeting. CEO Kitty Whitaker, RN, MS, provided an overview of the organization and the special relationship our hospital has with this impressive non-profit organization including jointly maintaining a Hospice Care room in our hospital.
The organization, founded in 1975 in Marin County, has grown to serve most of the Bay Area, according to Whitaker. It provides home-based end-of-life care in the counties of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Sonoma, and the cities of American Canyon, Napa, and Vallejo, and does so without regard to a patient’s ability to pay.
Whitaker reports the organization is moving toward a larger vision of providing a continuum of care in the home and is expanding services beyond end-of-life care to include home health and palliative care, including the recent acquisition of a home care agency in San Francisco. Like SVH, Hospice is affiliated with UCSF Health. More information on Hospice By The Bay is available here.
The board also heard a report by Bob Kenney, who oversees the hospital’s marketing and communications efforts. Bob reinforced for the Board how important it is to regularly communicate what we offering to the community. SVH leadership team has been actively recruiting new physician specialists to serve our community and our ability to let community members know about these convenient and high-quality doctors is crucial to their success and the continued utilization of the hospital. In the last year, our hospital marketing team has stepped up its efforts, contributing to the $1.6 million increase in new revenues projected for this fiscal year by attracting new patients to our hospital. Here are some examples of the new offerings and the marketing that’s supported their launches.
Women’s Health – In February, the hospital launched A Woman’s Place, a new women’s health service located on the 3rd floor of the hospital. A Women’s Place has seven physician specialists providing women with access to obstetricians, gynecologists, a breast surgeon and a pelvic reconstructive surgeon. Our hospital marketing team supported the launch of the service with outreach to the community in both English and Spanish. Most of the physicians involved have reported an increase in appointments by new patients.
Bariatrics – The hospital expanded its bariatric (weight loss) program recently with a new affiliated physician practice. Our hospital marketing team has supported this expansion with regular informational events for the community and online-targeted advertising which has resulted in increased interest and inquiries from those interested in weight loss. In addition, Drs. Perryman and Lee have begun offering Orbera, a non-surgical, less invasive weight loss procedure. Based on the hospital’s marketing efforts, this exciting option is seeing strong interest with patient inquiries coming from as far away as San Francisco and Lake County.
Surgery – SVH introduced ConforMIS knee, a new form of knee replacement that allows customization of the implant through computer design. It is offered by two orthopedic specialists at SVH – Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Noah Weiss. Our marketing team also helped introduce Dr. Sabrina Kidd, the hospital’s new general surgeon and colorectal surgery specialist, to physicians around the North Bay. Dr. Kidd has seen physician referrals increase by as much as 66 percent per month since the initiative began early this year.
Conversation With A Doctor – Begun last Fall, we are proud to continue to expand this valuable program that allows new physicians to meet informally with small groups of community members and discuss the physician’s practice area. Attendance by community members has been enthusiastic and a number of attendees have followed up by making appointments with a featured physician.
The marketing and community outreach presentation is included in the June board agenda packet, which is available online here.
Why Does This Matter?
Community hospitals across the nation are facing a number of critical challenges. The financial pressure on hospitals is dramatic. Our leadership and staff work every day to make our hospital the best place for healing in the North Bay. We want it to be the place you choose when you have a choice. That is key to our success and survival. We have a large number of terrific physicians in our community. If you are looking for a physician specialist or primary care doctor, check out the Find A Doctor section on our website. If you have a choice, choose Sonoma Valley Hospital.
Our next Sonoma Valley District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 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