There’s an exciting sense of momentum as we start the new year.
Our affiliation with UCSF continues to grow. Last year we laid the foundation for this collaborative relationship and we’ve identified some opportunities that will enable us to provide greater services to our community.
Thanks to our generous donors, we’ve raised over $15 million and are now moving ahead with the first phase of the new 20,000 square foot Outpatient Diagnostic Center. This will mean enhanced, state-of-the-art-technology for Emergency patients who usually need diagnostics. The hospital currently performs 30,000 diagnostic imaging procedures each year and we expect to increase those volumes with the new equipment which will increase hospital revenues.
Diagnostic technology changes quickly, and much of our existing technology is five to 10 years old and housed in a building that was built in 1972, long before imaging became the critical medical tool it is today. Modernizing our diagnostic services is essential to bringing hospital capabilities into the twenty-first century and to strengthening our relationship with UCSF. When complete, SVH’s new center will not only serve our community by providing access to UCSF-supported care here at home, we also envision this will serve as the North Bay diagnostic hub for UCSF Health, allowing UCSF patients to come here for diagnostic imaging rather than travel into the city.
Again, this could not be accomplished without strong community support. All planning and construction costs, and equipment purchases, are being funded by generous donors through the capital campaign being led by the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and an excellent capital campaign committee.
Here’s how plans for this new diagnostic center will unfold over the next two years.
- The first phase, which will be completed by the end of 2019, brings a new CT suite housing a state-of-the-art 128 slice scanner, allowing physicians to have a more reliable, detailed view of the body. This is especially critical in cardiac evaluation and emergency care.
- In 2020, when the second phase is complete, we’ll have a new MRI suite located within the hospital, bringing the service inside from the trailer where it is currently housed. We are purchasing a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla MRI, which will operate at twice the strength of our current MRI with greatly improved results.
- As part of this plan, we’re repurposing our former surgery space within the hospital, now vacant, to bring together all diagnostic services so patients can access services within steps of each other. This will greatly improve patient experience from before when diagnostic imaging was spread among several locations.
- In the new space we’re planning an enlarged diagnostics reception and waiting area, and upgrades in adjacent public areas. The redesign will also provide an efficient connection from the ER to the new diagnostic equipment
- Our new diagnostic center already includes the state-of-the-art 3D mammography system installed last year and funded by the SVH Foundation, which increases cancer detection by 40 percent. This service has seen increased use since it was installed.
This center is the critical next step in the master plan to keep our hospital current and serving the health needs of our community. The opening in 2014 of the new ER and Surgery center was a big step in meeting this goal, and the new diagnostic center continues that plan.
In good health,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sonoma Valley Hospital