Sonoma Valley Hospital may be excluded from the Anthem Blue Cross network beginning March 1, 2024 - Click here to learn more
Sonoma Valley Hospital quedará excluido de la red de Anthem Blue Cross a partir del 1 de Marzo de 2024. - Haga clic aquí para aprender más.
Sonoma Valley Hospital

March 2023 Board Chair Report

March 16, 2023

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SVH Listens and Creates a Strategic Plan 

CEO John Hennelly led five community “listening” sessions early in 2023. One of the most exciting results from these sessions and other outreach to the community is the development of the Strategic Plan for the Sonoma Valley Health Care District and Sonoma Valley Hospital. At the March Board meeting, Mr. Hennelly presented an early draft of the plan which outlined four categories of concentration. 

  • Financial Stabilization. To establish and/or strengthen service lines to meet the growing demand for medical services in the community as well as provide financial stability to the organization.  
  • Seismic Compliance. Establish a plan to continue to meet evolving seismic legislation and remain compliant with Senate Bill 1953 (SB 1953).
  • Evolution of Main Campus. Redevelop the hospital campus to better align hospital resources with needs of aging population and partnership with UCSF.
  • Service Expansion. To ensure equitable access to health care for all community members by making care easier to access and affordable, while ensuring comprehensive culturally sensitive and responsive quality care for all. 

The completed plan will include implementation steps and timelines and will be revealed at the April Board meeting.

Mr. Hennelly also met with numerous local community groups and published an online survey which captured input from almost 200 people who took the time to answer questions and provide their suggestions. All these sources fed into the development of the strategic plan. It was clear people want an efficient hospital that meets community needs with emergency services and a strong collaboration with USCF, providing excellent health care to the entire diverse community of Sonoma Valley. Many had high expectations from the affiliation with UCSF health in delivering access to the “very best specialty care.” 

What’s New with our UCSF Affiliation 

Shelby DeCosta, President of UCSF Health Affiliates Network presented an overview of what has been achieved to date and what is to come with our affiliation with UCSF. 

UCSF’s affiliation goals are to provide quality care no more than 20 miles from home in the North Bay and further expand primary and specialty care capabilities. SVH’s goals are to increase convenient local access to UCSF quality care while building a network of providers in the North Bay, utilize SVH’s hospital facilities, and enhance revenue streams.

In the past year, we’ve seen expansion of Telemedicine and Clinical Health services, and an integration of IT through the addition of EPIC which provides MyChart, the patient portal to medical information. UCSF has also recruited for SVH leadership resulting in our CEO, CFO, and most recently Chief Medical Officer Sujatha Sankaran, MD. This coming year, we’ll see growth in UCSF’s surgical presence at SVH and further expansion of specialist services such as orthopedics. UCSF is especially proud of helping sponsor the Women’s Health Symposium which is held each May. 

The Affiliate Oversight Committee and the Joint Operating Committee with members of both organizations drive the results for the affiliation. Our affiliation with UCSF continues to grow and produce benefits for the Sonoma Valley community.

Brief Updates 

PACE Update. First Vice Chair Susan Kornblatt Idell presented her exploratory research regarding the concept of starting a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in the Sonoma Valley. PACE was brought to the attention of SVH through a board presentation by Peter Fitzgerald from the National PACE Association last fall. The board was intrigued with this community-based care model for older adults. PACE programs are currently in operation in both Napa and Rohnert Park. Establishing a PACE program involves both a long licensing cycle and substantial start-up costs. Our current approach with PACE is to be open to further data and possible fiscal partners who might want to spearhead such a project in the future.

SVH Budget. The Sonoma Valley Hospital Operating Budget process for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is now underway with the accumulation of data from this year and projections for next as the starting point. We’ll hear more about this as it moves to completion and comes before us for approval.

Finance Committee. Finance Committee had three volunteer openings that were filled this month. Outreach generated interest from six highly qualified community members, making the selection difficult. Board member and treasurer Bill Boerum who serves as the Finance Committee chair recommended Bob Crane, Ed Case, and Graham Smith, and their appointments were approved by the board.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at 6 pm. The public is encouraged to participate by attending the meeting either in person or via Zoom. The in-person meeting will be held at Sonoma City Council Chamber (on the Plaza). The Zoom link and meeting agenda are both available on the hospital website at 


Judith Bjorndal, M.D.
Chair, Board of Directors

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