Hospital Resumes Services, Enhances Safety Protocols

Jun 9, 2020 | SVHCD Board Chair Report

Sonoma Valley Hospital Chief Medical Officer Sabrina Kidd, MD, reported to the board at the June 4 meeting that all hospital services are now open and available with some modifications, and encourages those who have delayed getting medical care because of the coronavirus to now consider doing so.

She understands that patients may be hesitant to visit the hospital, but would like to reassure all that the hospital has adopted many strict protocols to ensure safety, including meeting all visitors with a quick health screening and temperature check, requiring masks for all staff and visitors (and providing them if you do not have one), and maintaining social distancing in waiting areas, as well as following sanitizing protocols throughout the hospital.

In providing an update on the pandemic in the county, Dr. Kidd reported that Sonoma County continues to report a low incidence of COVID-19 cases, with 593 cases as of June 3, of which most have recovered and 285 remain active. The county has had four deaths so far. She noted the Valley’s reported number of cases is among the lowest in the county. She said the main reason for COVID-19 spread, according to health officials, is close contact with others, especially for those not wearing a mask.

Dr. Kidd also reported that the hospital’s partnership with the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center for COVID-19 testing is going well and the Health Center is testing more than 100 residents daily. She said the hospital remains prepared in the event of a future surge in cases, and has ample supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) on hand.

SVH Employees Are Engaged

Lynn McKissock, the hospital’s Chief Human Resources Officer, provided the HR Department’s annual report, highlighting the results of a recent employee survey which emphasizes staff welfare, engagement, and growth and retention. She noted that employee engagement is high, which is important because engagement positively impacts quality of care and patient satisfaction, in addition to employee satisfaction.

In the annual survey, in which 75 percent of staff participated, she reported that employees gave the hospital high marks overall – an overall score of 4.05 on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0.

Notably, McKissock said, there was not a big difference between the highest and the lowest scoring questions. For the highest scoring questions, most employees agreed that their team strives to exceed patient expectations, they feel respected by the person they report to and they, in turn, respect that person. The lowest scoring questions dealt with employee satisfaction with compensation and benefits provided, and support from hospital systems and processes.

McKissock also pointed out that the employee turnover rate dropped to 15.5 percent after a spike last year to 19 percent, indicating employees are adjusting to the changes in services made in 2019.

UCSF Relationship Progresses

CEO Kelly Mather reported that the hospital’s relationship with UCSF Health continues to grow and she expects to announce expanded UCSF services at SVH in the near future. As a result of increased use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis, UCSF is accelerating its telemedicine program and will provide more access to specialists in Sonoma, Mather said. UCSF has committed to use the hospital’s new Outpatient Diagnostic Center as a regional diagnostic service for its patients when it opens.

Mather reported that Robert Gleser, MD, has joined the MarinHealth Primary Care Medical Group in Sonoma and is now accepting patients here. She also said that the hospital has further expanded local primary care with the addition of two new mid-level providers at hospital clinics.

She said that the hospital continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary this month. The anniversary celebration was launched with the placement of banners throughout the Sonoma Plaza last month.

Next Board Meeting

The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 2, at 6 pm. Due to state regulations on sheltering in place and physical distancing, the June board meeting was changed to video conferencing and the July meeting will be held by video conference if it again becomes necessary. Otherwise, it will be held as usual in the City Council Chamber Meeting Room, 177 1st St. West in Sonoma. The public is welcome to attend and public comment is always encouraged. 



Jane Hirsch
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors