Sonoma Valley Hospital

November Board Chair Report 2023

November 8, 2023

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Dear Sonoma Valley Community, 

At our November 2 Sonoma Valley Hospital Board meeting, collaboration was the resounding theme, reinforcing our shared conviction that united, we can boost the health and vitality of our entire community. 

Our strategic plan is more than a set of goals; it’s a promise to bring healthcare to your doorstep, ensuring it’s equitable, culturally sensitive, and accessible to every community member. Our approach is comprehensive, considering not just the medical needs but also the socioeconomic factors that contribute to well-being. 

Openness and Public Participation  

We value and seek your input, as it is critical to fulfilling our healthcare mission. Maintaining transparency, we strive to make our Board meetings a welcoming space for all, ensuring that safety measures enhance rather than hinder public involvement. We are continually monitoring and modifying our procedures for Zoom participation, seeking a difficult balance.  We need to safeguard against malicious and intrusive disruptions by outsiders, yet ensure that community members have access and do not feel exluded.  We are committed to increasing accessibility and invite ongoing community engagement. 

Spotlight on Community Partnerships  

In our pursuit of collaboration, we were pleased to host Leonardo Lobato, Executive Director of La Luz. Mr. Lobato shared insights into the incredible work that La Luz does to support individuals and families in the Latino communities of the greater Sonoma Valley. Their work focuses on helping these communities attain their dreams and aspirations by providing access to knowledge, skill-building, and resources.  

Mr. Lobato emphasized the importance of collaboration with other service providers in the Valley in facilitating health education, outreach, and prevention programs. When asked what the hospital could do to increase collaboration, Mr. Lobato noted that we are already working together on several projects. Recently, Sonoma Valley Hospital, La Luz and the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center jointly hosted a Diabetic/Hypertension Health Fair, offering essential services like remote patient diabetes monitoring, nutrition consultations, medication reviews with pharmacists, and eligibility assessments for Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, as well as La Luz Center activities. We look forward to our next community health fair at La Luz on Saturday, November 11. 

Update on Capital Projects 

CEO John Hennelly provided updates on our ongoing capital projects. The temporary MRI project is in progress, with site preparation and foundation work underway, aiming for January occupancy. Phase 2 of the CT project and ICU renovations are also ongoing, ensuring compliance with state code requirements and expanding our facilities. The hospital is actively scoping the expansion of Physical Therapy (PT) services at Highway 12, aligning with budget targets. These updates highlight our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities and services. 

Health and Safety 

Dr. Sujatha Sankaran, our Chief Medical Officer, emphasized the reinstated masking requirements due to orders by the Sonoma County Public Health Officer for the fall and winter months. Masking is once again required in patient areas, including the lobby. Your well-being is, and always will be, our top priority. 

Dr. Sankaran also reported on noteworthy achievements over the year, including the on-boarding of our excellent Emergency department physicians’ group, the establishment of a virtual urology clinic, expertly staffed by Dr. Peter Carroll, and the launch of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, an initiative closely connected with the Latino community, and the forthcoming DEI training for our staff.  Age-friendly care is improving, with the hiring of a geriatric nurse practitioner, and we are beginning to explore collaborating in a PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program, perhaps with Napa and/or Rohnert Park.

Additionally, Dr. Sankaran outlined her objectives for the upcoming six months to one year, which include steering MRI volume to our newly acquired 3T scanner, expanding our Orthopedic clinical enterprise, recruiting talent for our GI department, extending our age-friendly health system and initiating ICU teleconsultations in collaboration with UCSF. 

Financial Update 

Chief Financial Officer, Ben Armfield, reported that in September, our financial performance saw a deviation from the positive trend we had maintained, where we consistently surpassed our budget targets in preceding months. Despite these challenging results for the month, it was noted that September and October also marked the two weakest months in the last fiscal year.  

As the busy holiday season approaches, rest assured that Sonoma Valley Hospital is here for you, ready to provide the care and support you need. Thank you for your continued support and collaboration in our mission to ensure a healthier community.

Join us for our next Board meeting on Thursday, December 7, 2023. For details, please check our website

Warm Regards, 


Judith Bjorndal, M.D.  

Board Chair, Sonoma Valley Hospital 

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