January Board Chair Report – 2022
Our hospital and staff have maintained a focus on quality and safety over the years that has consistently earned high marks from Medicare. I’m pleased to report that Sonoma Valley Hospital was recently recognized by Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC), a nonprofit private healthcare organization, as one of just three hospitals in Northern California to achieve a perfect score of 100 percent in their Hospital Quality Improvement Program. This recognition also brings the hospital financial incentives in the compensation it receives for services to Partnership patients.
As CEO John Hennelly noted, the recognition acknowledges the hospital team’s extraordinary efforts to maintain high standards in serving our community, especially during the pandemic. PHC is a nonprofit community-based healthcare organization that contracts with the state to administer Medi-Cal benefits to more than 600,000 Medi-Cal members in 14 Northern California counties, including Sonoma.
To be acknowledged in this way is exceptional at any time. For PHC to recognize our extraordinary care during this period of extreme stress is remarkable. My thanks to all of our amazing doctors, nurses and staff members for caring so much about the community and the great work that they continue to do.
Covid case numbers have increased sharply since the end of December as the Omicron variant has become dominant, driving up infection rates throughout the region. Not surprisingly, the hospital is seeing more covid patients according to an update by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sabrina Kidd at last week’s board meeting.
Because of this, Dr. Kidd reported the hospital has reinstated the more stringent guidelines for visitors that were in place during the covid surge early last year to protect patients and staff.
- Patients and essential visitors may enter only through the main hospital entrance or Emergency Department entrance;
- All visitors will be screened upon entry;
- Everyone will need to wear, at a minimum, an N95/KN95 or a surgical-type mask inside the hospital (surgical masks will be provided as needed). Cloth masks are not acceptable except as a second layer over a surgical-type mask; and,
- Visitors will be limited to essential caregivers accompanying the patient (when a patient is unable to seek care independently due to physical or mental disabilities), and parents of children under age 18. Inpatient visitors are not allowed except in end-of-life circumstances, and then only with prior approval of the attending physician or SVH care team.
These guidelines will be regularly reviewed and adjusted as the situation evolves.
Covid Testing Availability
The lack of available testing for COVID has been frustrating for many of us in the community, particularly as Omicron has touched more and more of our friends and families. Hennelly reported at the meeting that Valley residents do have access to two regularly held local Covid testing sites – at Fiesta Plaza and Boyes Hot Springs Park ‘n Ride – managed by Sonoma County’s Covid Testing contractor, Curative. There is no charge for the test, although they do ask for insurance information where possible. Appointments must be scheduled in advance – no walk-ins are allowed – and the slots tend to fill-up quickly. Once the next day’s available appointments are filled, no further advance scheduling is offered. Only next-day appointments are offered and are made available only on the afternoon preceding the next available day, so he cautions persistence may be needed. To schedule: visit https://curative.com/. Or call: (888) 702-9042.
There also is a pop-up testing and vaccine clinic held every 21 days at the Springs Community Hall (formerly The Grange Hall). Next clinic is set for Thursday, January 20. This clinic is hosted by S.O.S. and Fox Home Health, and supported by Sonoma Valley Hospital. Information on this clinic can be found on the hospital website here. Sonoma County also provides a list of testing clinics throughout the county.
For general Covid-related information, you can visit the Covid Resources Section on the hospital website which provides information in both English and Spanish.
Next Board Meeting
The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at 6 pm. For safety reasons, board meetings will continue to be held via 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