May Board Chair Report
Remembering Dick Fogg
Sonoma lost another community leader last month when Dick Fogg passed. Dick was an invaluable resource for our hospital and an advisor to many of us on the board. In addition to his many community roles, he served as the chair of the hospital’s Finance Committee for eight years, and as chair of the hospital’s Strategic Planning Committee in 2008. Dick’s many contributions to our hospital and community were enhanced by his warmth and generous spirit. He is deeply missed by all of us who knew him.
Parcel Tax Survey
As we approach the time to ask our community to renew the parcel tax, we are bolstered by knowing the community strongly supports its hospital. As I mentioned in last month’s board report, a recent community survey found that most people in our community hold the hospital in high regard and greatly value having its services close by. Positive response is strongest among those who have used the hospital in the past few years.
At the May meeting we received a new report based on a survey conducted by EMC Research early this year among likely Sonoma Valley voters asking about parcel tax support. This survey affirmed the strong community support for the hospital and noted that the majority of respondents understand the parcel tax is needed to ensure we are able to have continued access to emergency services 24/7, as well as allowing the hospital to continue providing a critical safety net for our community.
We cannot stress how important continuation of the parcel tax is to the operation of the hospital. Our community will be hearing more about the need to renew the parcel tax in the months ahead.
Wendy Lee Joins Committee
I’m pleased to report that the board approved the appointment of Wendy Lee to the Finance Committee. Wendy, a long-time Sonoma resident, recently retired after many years at Kaiser Permanente where she held a number of senior-level positions in information technology and digital health transformation. Her work involved budget and capital proposals for projects in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Prior to that, she was at Bechtel Corporation for 21 years in a number of management positions. She and her husband have lived in Sonoma for 17 years. We on the board are delighted to have someone with Wendy’s experience and expertise joint the Finance Committee.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sabrina Kidd delivered the welcome news that the hospital continues to move away from Covid-19 concerns and the hospital has seen no new Covid patients in April for the second consecutive month. She also noted that patients increasingly are returning to the hospital for routine care, including elective surgery.
New hospital president and CEO, John Hennelly, who joined us just several weeks ago, made his first official appearance at a board meeting and reported that he has been meeting with many community leaders in recent weeks to better understand how the hospital can increase its services to Valley residents. John spoke of his belief that the hospital must have a strong connection to the community it serves and become a “hospital without walls” as it addresses community health needs. I’m sure we will be hearing more from John about his plans for greater community engagement as he settles into his new role.
Next Board Meeting
The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, June 3, at 6 pm. Complying with state regulations on physical distancing due to the coronavirus, Board meetings are being conducted by video conferencing. The public is encouraged to participate, and video conferencing details are available on the Hospital website. Public comment is always welcome.
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors