UCSF Affiliation: A New Beginning

Feb 26, 2018 | From the SVH CEO

There is great excitement and positivity about our affiliation with UCSF Health. This new relationship will definitely take SVH to the next level and, because of this, we are much more optimistic about our future.

Today, most hospitals are part of a collaboration and we are pleased to have been selected by the best. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than UCSF Health because of their size, reputation and quality of care. The agreement we have is ideal, as SVH will remain an independent, public district hospital accountable to the community, but will now have access to a very large system with all the benefits that offers including access to specialized services and resources.

Many have asked me, how did this affiliation come about?  Sonoma Valley Hospital has been considering affiliating with a larger hospital and/or system for many years.  As we all know, it is very difficult to be an independent community hospital in a small town.

In 2012, we first discussed the idea of affiliation with UCSF. At that time, they were just beginning their new vision of creating a Bay Area Network. In 2014, UCSF and John Muir Hospital led the formation of Canopy Health, a Bay Area-wide health care network with 18 hospitals and 3 major physician groups.  SVH is one of those hospitals and we hope Canopy Health will become a strong alternative to Kaiser.

UCSF has had many collaborative relationships with hospitals and health care providers throughout the Bay Area over the years, typically built around specific service lines.  However, in the last few years, UCSF has created more formal “affiliations” with many hospitals and providers including Dignity Health, Marin General Hospital and Hospice by the Bay. Sonoma Valley Hospital is the first small hospital with whom they have affiliated.

I have spoken with many of their partners and all have very positive things to say about partnering with UCSF.  While we will be doing something a bit different together, their track record for success is evident.

How do we make this affiliation work?  There are many great ideas that have already begun to be discussed, starting with collaboration to bring more services to Sonoma Valley.  As we update our Strategic Plan for 2018 – 2020, we are planning a special meeting with the public to gather input on what is most important to our community’s health.

Since SVH has already met and exceeded many of the quality standards required by UCSF, now we just need to work together to find mutually beneficial strategies. The two organizations will meet regularly to determine the priorities.  By this summer, we should be able to share more specific plans. We will certainly listen and consider the ideas from all stakeholders, since this is our hospital.

In good health,


Kelly Mather
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sonoma Valley Hospital