Physical Therapy Expansion Project

I’m always amazed at how our community supports SVH.

The engagement and generosity of our donors is amazing. This kind of support creates sustainability for our hospital so we can serve our community well.

Marek Grzybowski, PT, MPT
SVH Employee 16 years

Summary Overview

To better meet the needs of patients, staff, and our community Sonoma Valley Hospital will expand its outpatient Physical Therapy (PT) department, using more space in its current building located on Highway 12 and hiring additional physical therapists. Implications of this expansion are:

  • Additional outpatient physical therapy services available to our community
  • Significant increase in PT capacity at SVH to serve the latent demand
  • Meeting the needs of our community’s population, especially our seniors
  • Increase in SVH net revenue due to additional physical therapists and increased volumes
  • The total cost of this remodel and expansion will be ~$2M for SVH (Actual cost still TBD)
  • SVHF intends to raise the funds needed for this project

The Need To Expand Our Outpatient Physical Therapy Services

The outpatient Physical Therapy department has served Sonoma Valley from the Hwy. 12 property since 2011. During the pandemic the other local PT clinic closed its doors creating an even greater need for SVH PT services as the only clinic in our community.

Consistently rated the best outpatient department at SVH by patients with scores of 4.9 out of 5.0, SVH’s Physical Therapy services are highly regarded and sought after by our community. The challenge is that the average wait list for PT over the past two years is 7-9 weeks. This unacceptable wait time delays urgent care, and in numerous cases requires patients to leave Sonoma Valley to seek their PT needs elsewhere. The demand for PT will grow as SVH works to expand orthopedics services, as well as the aging population in Sonoma Valley who require more
PT services.

The current PT location consists of 3,700 square feet with 5 exam rooms, a small gym, and office and waiting room space. Renovating the back of the building (currently occupied by the SVH accounting department) will add an additional 3,500 square feet, 5 more exam rooms and more gym and pediatric space. SVH is hiring 7 new Physical Therapists to utilize the updated building and to expand the therapies offered. The new exam rooms will also be larger than the current ones, offering more appropriate spacing for vestibular (inner ear balance) and stroke therapies.

The objective of this project is to expand and enhance our PT department to better serve our community and it is in the best interest of our patients and our hospital to achieve this goal.

Short-Term Need: With waitlists of 7-9 weeks for patients to get the care they require, the need for this expansion of PT services is evident. Patients going out of town for PT as they do now is inconvenient for some, and impossible for others. It is incumbent on SVH to provide the healthcare that our community requires, and this project addresses the Physical Therapy needs for Sonoma.

Quick PT Facts:

  • Current PT department averages almost 13,000 treatments annually
  • PT services have the highest Rate My Hospital scores of all departments for patient satisfaction with average scores of 4.9 out of 5
  • SVH currently has 6.4 FTE physical therapists and with the expanded space will increase to 14 PT’s in 2025
  • There are 13 different PT therapies offered now, and SVH plans to grow vestibular (inner ear balance) and pediatric therapies with this expansion

Patient Care and our UCSF Health Affiliation

One of the most important decisions made in the past 20 years by Sonoma Valley Hospital was to affiliate with UCSF Health, rated one of the best hospitals in the country. Among the many benefits of this affiliation is the ability for patients of both organizations to receive the care they need more easily from the most accessible location for them.

Because of our affiliation with UCSF Health, our PT department is treating many local UCSF patients who are able to more conveniently access their PT care in Sonoma. Having increased access to outpatient PT via this affiliation will deepen the relationship with our hospital and provide the best possible patient experience for everyone in our community.

This Project Supports the Mission of SVH and Generates Revenue

Because of our geographic remoteness, the primary and most important role of Sonoma Valley Hospital is to provide Emergency Services to the community. Secondary services, such as Physical Therapy, are an important part of the overall healthcare that our hospital provides for our valley. As one of our most used services, PT in Sonoma is in increasingly high demand and cost accounting shows that the PT department currently generates $408k annual revenue toward SVH’s direct margin. It is expected that the net revenue will grow by 39% with this expansion by 2025.

Project Cost

Total cost for expanding the Physical Therapy department at the Hwy. 12 location is: ~$2 million** – ~$2M for renovating 3,400 square feet of additional space and additional PT equipment **Final projected expenses are expected by 1.31.24

The Need For Community Philanthropic Support

It is widely accepted that the only communities that will continue to enjoy access to the best health care are those that provide philanthropic support for their local nonprofit hospitals. This project creates timely access to PT services for the entire population of Sonoma Valley.

Sonoma Valley Hospital hopes that at least $2M can be funded by community philanthropic support to fund this important improvement in patient experience and healthcare delivery. Accordingly, the Foundation will conduct a fundraising appeal to raise these needed funds.


The Sonoma Valley Health Care District was created 76 years ago in 1946 to build a new hospital for the Sonoma Valley community. In that year, voters created 78 healthcare districts throughout California to fulfill local healthcare needs – mostly by funding the construction of local hospitals in rural areas. As a result, millions of Californians have been able to access local health care that would otherwise have required travel to other cities to reach.

Sonoma Valley Hospital opened on Andrieux Street near downtown Sonoma in January 1957 with 35 acute care beds. The hospital, which has been expanded and modernized several times since then, currently has 51 beds, including 24 acute care beds and 27 Skilled Nursing (long-term) beds.

The District maintains oversight of the hospital, which is governed by a publicly-elected Board of Directors. The District encompasses the entire Sonoma Valley with the exception of Kenwood, and the hospital serves a population of 42,000.

As part of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District, the hospital is supported primarily by revenues from services, augmented by taxpayer support in the form of a parcel tax and community philanthropic support through the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization that serves as the fundraising arm of Sonoma Valley Hospital.

The hospital is known as a warm, comfortable, familial place of healing with a compassionate, professional staff. SVH services encompass a wide spectrum of health care needs, including primary care and many specialized services.

Recent Expansion and Upgrades

The opening of a new wing in early 2014 completed the first step in efforts to modernize the hospital, which began in 2008 with passage of a $35 million general obligation bond approved by Sonoma voters to enable the hospital to meet California seismic standards and cover the cost of new construction and equipment. It was subsequently determined that the hospital’s Emergency and Surgery departments could not be renovated in place, and a new wing was needed to house new Emergency and Surgery departments. In order to fund new facilities for these two critical services, the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation launched a community-wide fundraising campaign that successfully raised an additional $11.5 million in 2013.

The Emergency Department is three times the size of the previous ED and the number of visits has increased by 20 percent since it opened in 2014. The Surgery Center on the second floor is 20 percent larger than the previous one and has three state-of-the-art operating rooms, each with ample space to accommodate more complex cases and larger surgical teams. Operating rooms have integrated technology and the newest surgical equipment via Foundation support.

The 2020 fundraising campaign for the new Diagnostic Center raised $21 million to replace key imaging equipment including with a 3Tesla MRI, 128 Slice CT Scanner, Portable X-ray, and Cardiology equipment. Using the existing hospital footprint this project centrally located all of the state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic equipment into one patient-friendly and best-practice layout. Phase 1, including the new CT Scan has opened, and it is anticipated that the MRI will be in use by January 2024.