Hospital Resuming Normal Services
The hospital has begun resuming normal operations, including offering elective procedures and scheduling outpatient surgeries, Chief Medical Officer Sabrina Kidd, MD, reported to the board at the monthly meeting last week.
While the hospital continues to offer a COVID-19 hotline and screening, the success of efforts in our region to hold virus infections at a low level seems to be working and has allowed SVH to begin reopening most services.
Dr. Kidd noted that patient safety remains a top priority and the hospital has implemented necessary measures to protect patients and staff, including enhanced cleaning throughout the hospital, wearing of masks by patients and staff, and maintaining social distancing in waiting rooms and public areas. Patients can be confident that they will receive services that meet the highest standards of safety and quality.
I would remind you that the hospital has created a COVID-19 information resource for the community on the SVH website which continues to be updated. It can be accessed here.
Strategic Plan Updated
CEO Kelly Mather reported that the hospital has completed an update of its rolling strategic plan which identifies the strategic initiatives that, over the next five years, will strengthen the hospital financially, improve it competitively, and enable it to better serve the community. To accomplish this, the hospital will move from a traditional small community hospital model toward a more sustainable role as a regional center for healthcare. The growing relationship with UCSF Health, and their support of SVH’s new Outpatient Diagnostic Center currently under construction, is integral to this new vision.
She said the hospital has moved from a three-year rolling plan to a five-year plan to align SVH with UCSF Health’s five-year strategic plan. A copy of the new plan can be found on the hospital website.
Kelly also reported that the hospital is beginning the celebration of its 75th anniversary this spring. The anniversary was launched with the placement of banners throughout the Sonoma Plaza last week.
Critical Access Hospital Designation
The board received an update from Crozer Conner, Senior Legislative Assistant for Representative Mike Thompson, who reviewed plans to introduce a bill in Congress to enable small hospitals like ours to be designated as a Critical Access Hospital. Currently, SVH meets some, but not all, of the criteria for becoming a Critical Access Hospital. The bill is something the hospital helped initiate, with community assistance, and strongly supports.
This designation would increase the amount of Medicare reimbursements to the hospital. This potentially represents a significant amount of money for SVH because 57 percent of the hospital’s total revenue last year came from Medicare patients. Conner cautioned that this process may take as much as several years to complete.
Next Board Meeting
The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, June 4, at 6 pm. Due to state regulations on sheltering in place and physical distancing, the May board meeting was changed to video conferencing. The June 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.
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors