Sonoma Valley Hospital has moved close to finalizing formal affiliation with UCSF Health, the top-ranked medical center in California and one of the top five hospitals in the nation. In its monthly meeting on February 1, the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board reviewed the proposed affiliation agreement and approved the agreement in principle. The agreement now needs to be approved by the UCSF Health Board.
Under the proposed agreement, SVH and UCSF Health will work together over time to provide high-quality health care in Sonoma Valley by creating a comprehensive, sustainable and integrated health care network to serve the needs of Sonoma Valley residents.
“This agreement, with its close ties to a world-class health care system, strengthens our ability to serve our community, including providing access to the latest technology and treatment options,” said Kelly Mather, SVH CEO. “At the same time, we are able to continue operating as an independent district hospital.”
“However, independent community-based hospitals face a challenging future across the health care industry as competition and the continuous need for cost containment have heated up. For those reasons, we have been looking to align with a larger hospital,” Mather said. “We couldn’t have hoped for a better and more prestigious partner than UCSF Health because of their size, reputation and quality of care. They will be an outstanding partner, providing specialized services and resources as needed, enabling us to continue providing high quality care at the community level.”
The affiliation agreement identifies several goals for collaboration between the two hospitals:
- Combining the expertise and resources of UCSF and SVH to share best practices and collectively enhance the quality of services in Sonoma Valley.
- Coordinating services for out-of-area transport of sick patients and facilitating the transfer of patients back to SVH when they require less intensive care.
- Enhancing the availability of physician and administrative services in Sonoma Valley through joint program development.
- Increasing patient, family and community satisfaction with patient care in our community.
As part of the proposed agreement, UCSF Health will provide the hospital with a new Medical Director, replacing Robbie Cohen, MD, who recently retired.
Mather noted that SVH has had an informal working relationship with UCSF Health for a number of years which has provided SVH with access to several specialized services. This was strengthened in 2015 when SVH joined Canopy Health, an accountable care network of independent hospitals and physicians started by UCSF Health, John Muir Health System and three physician networks (Hill Physicians Medical Group, John Muir IPA and Meritage Medical Network) that now spans the greater Bay Area.
The affiliation is part of UCSF Health’s ongoing effort to meet patients’ full spectrum of health needs through a growing network of high-quality partnerships and providers in areas outside the traditional academic medical model of high-end specialty care. In the past few years, UCSF Health has affiliated with a number of Bay Area providers and health systems, ranging from Children’s Hospital Oakland (now UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland) to John Muir Health, Dignity Health Bay Area, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Golden Gate Urgent Care, and Hospice by the Bay.
About UCSF Health
UCSF Health includes UCSF Medical Center, which is the top-ranked medical center in California and ranks among the top five hospitals nationwide according to U. S. News & World Report, as well as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and additional affiliates throughout the Bay Area. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, these hospitals serve as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco, which is world-renowned for its biomedical research, education and patient care. UCSF Health’s nationally preeminent programs include cancer, children’s health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, and women’s health. It operates as a self-supporting enterprise within UCSF.
About Sonoma Valley Hospital
Sonoma Valley Hospital is a 75-bed, full-service acute care district hospital located in Sonoma, California, providing residents of the Sonoma Valley with a broad range of health care services. SVH is known as a warm, comfortable place of healing with a compassionate professional staff dedicated to the needs of the community. In recent years, the hospital has undergone extensive renovation including opening a new wing with a modern Emergency Department and Surgery Center.