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Sonoma Valley Hospital

July Board Chair Report

July 13, 2023

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I hope you all had a safe and healthy 4th of July and are enjoying the summer season here in Sonoma.

I would like to update you on some key highlights from our recent Board Meeting held on July 6, 2023. We focused on three important areas that contribute to our commitment to maintaining a healthy community.

CEO Salary Adjustment Recommendations for FY 2024  

In a closed session, the Board reviewed a performance evaluation, conducted by the Compensation Committee, of our President & CEO, John Hennelly.  The evaluation was based on his successfully meeting or exceeding 5 out of 6 ambitious goals set by the Board, and his many accomplishments through the year. These include exceeding financial viability goals, launching our Electronic Health Record, developing an ambitious Strategic Plan, which included multiple community listening sessions, strengthening the medical core at SVH with the hiring of an excellent Chief Medical Officer and negotiating a new physician group to cover the Emergency Department, and making significant progress on the Outpatient Diagnostic Center.  In addition, the Committee considered the results of a CEO assessment survey completed by Board members, the Chief of the Medical Staff, and members of the CEO’s leadership team, which revealed a strong consensus opinion that he exhibits excellent leadership and provides positive support for staff.

In the open meeting, the Board approved the Compensation Committee’s recommendations which include a 5% salary increase.  Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and construction delays, Mr. Hennelly’s leadership has been exemplary, leading to improved financial outcomes and maintaining high-quality patient care. We express our sincere appreciation for his hard work and dedication to the hospital and our community.

Achieving Financial Stability – Positive Trend in Financials Continues

As outlined in our 2023 Strategic Plan, the Health District is committed to achieving financial stability to meet the growing demands for diverse health care services in our community. Benjamin Armfield, SVH CFO, was pleased to report that our financials have shown a positive trend since the December 2022 implementation of the Epic EHR platform.

May was particularly encouraging, as it exceeded our budget expectations and was one of the better financial months we have had this fiscal year. Our efforts to grow in key areas, especially in outpatient services, have shown progress. Mr. Armfield reported that May also brought in strong revenues, surpassing our budget by 6%. Although operating expenses exceeded the budget by 1%, we are confident in our overall financial performance. Furthermore, we anticipate additional revenue in June related to a reconciliation payment, further contributing to our positive financial trajectory.

CMO Update – Dr. Sankaran
Dr. Sujatha Sankaran provided an update during the meeting, focusing on three key topics. First is clinical enterprise scope and expansion, which includes the ED Transition with Napa Valley Emergency Medicine Group, orthopedic expansion with potential candidates for ortho geriatrics/joint replacement, and cardiology consultation and streamlined transfers for interventions with MarinHealth, among other enhancements.

The second topic is improving standardization of medical care.  Use of the Epic platform has been instrumental in this.  The third topic is engaging the community. As an example, we are initiating efforts to enhance diabetes care through collaboration with La Luz and the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center.

Next Board Meeting
Our next regular District Board meeting will be held on August 3, 2023, 6 pm. We strongly encourage your attendance, either in person at the Sonoma City Council Chamber or via Zoom. The meeting agenda and Zoom link can be found on our hospital website at

Thank you for your unwavering support, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Your well-being and the health of our community remain our top priorities.

Wishing you continued health and well-being,


Judith Bjorndal, M.D.

Chair, Board of Directors

Sonoma Valley Health Care District

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