SVH Close To Affiliation With UCSF Health

Feb 5, 2018 | SVHCD Board Chair Report

SVH has considered affiliating with a larger hospital for some time, but we needed to find the right partner. With the board meeting last Thursday, I am pleased to say this tantalizing possibility came much closer to reality.

The board enthusiastically approved an agreement in principle to affiliate with UCSF Health, the top-ranked medical center in California and one of the top five hospitals in the nation. All of us on the board and in hospital administration agree we could not have selected a better partner. UCSF’s reputation and quality of care are excellent, and this relationship will enable us to continue providing high quality care in Sonoma Valley, supported by the specialized services and resources of a world-class hospital.

There are a number of potential benefits for SVH in this affiliation, all enabling us to better serve the Sonoma Valley community. For example, increasing our ability to introduce critical specialties that, because of our small size, we wouldn’t be able to provide on our own. Providing highly acute patients with specialized care at UCSF Health facilities. And the potential for increasing inpatient stays which would help make the hospital more financially stable.

We’re also pleased that UCSF Health recognizes the strengths we bring to the affiliation. UCSF is creating a network of affiliates throughout the Bay Area comprised of independent hospitals that meet their standards and demonstrate an excellent track record serving local communities. It’s a case or matching world-class services with local expertise. We see it as a great fit.

Under the proposed agreement, SVH will continue to operate as an independent district hospital. The agreement involves no financial investment by UCSF in our hospital. UCSF will, however, provide the hospital with a new Medical Director, replacing Dr. Robbie Cohen who recently retired.

The goal is for us to work together over time to create a comprehensive, sustainable and integrated health care network serving the needs of Sonoma Valley residents. What forms this will take will be worked out as we move ahead, but it offers exciting possibilities for the hospital and our community. The agreement now goes to the UCSF Health board for approval.

Board Work Plan

In other board matters, I’m pleased to say the board has developed a robust work plan for the coming year which should make for some informative and interesting board meetings. We’re inviting guest speakers from community organizations to brief us on their programs and identify ways we can work together better. In March, Sonoma Community Health Center CEO Cheryl Johnson will speak to the board, with City of Sonoma Manager Cathy Capriola scheduled for the April meeting.

South Lot Update

CEO Kelly Mather reports progress in moving ahead with the South Lot agreement. DeNova Builders, which was awarded the contract late last year, has moved ahead to meet with the City staff, the Planning Commission and neighbors to receive feedback on the planned development, and is preparing a formal application for the City.

Our next Sonoma Valley District Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room, 177 1st St. West in Sonoma. The public is always welcome to attend and public comment is encouraged.



Joshua Rymer
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors