Reaching Out to All in Our CommunityOctober 12, 2022
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October SVHCD Board Chair Report
At our October 2022 board meeting, we heard from Celia Kruse de la Rosa, Sonoma Valley Hospital’s Director over Community Outreach and Marketing about the marketing and community outreach accomplished during the last year. Here are some of the highlights:
- Educational Events. Navigating through the ups and downs of Covid, the Hospital was able to provide relevant health and wellness information through four educational events in formats such as “Conversation With A Doctor” and “HealthTalks” with topics ranging from Nutrition and Aging to Shoulder Health and the Joy of Walking.
- Brown Bag Medication Reviews. Through a collaboration with Vintage House, the Hospital restarted its no-cost Brown Bag Medication Reviews conducted by its Pharmacy Department; holding its first in two years. This year, SVH looks to offer these reviews at Vintage House more frequently and, with support from La Luz Center, offer these at their campus in English and Spanish. (In these reviews, the hospital pharmacist goes over patients’ medications to make sure there are no potential problems related to drug interactions, dosing, compliance, expiration, and side effects.)
- Covid-19 Vaccination Support. SVH supported Sonoma Valley Community Health Center at various Covid Pediatric Vaccine clinics held at SVUSD elementary school sites including El Verano, Dunbar, and Sassarini this past fall and spring. Dawn Kuwahara, RN, and Chief Ancillary Officer organized SVH volunteers to assist at the clinics for first and second doses. During the Pediatric Covid Vaccine Clinics, vaccines were given to 1,386 children (ages 5 – 17). Additionally, the Hospital provided logistical support for the Covid-19 Vaccine and Testing Clinics (primary doses and boosters) held at the Springs Community Hall directed by Sonoma Overnight Support (S.O.S.) and County’s Human Services Department. About 290 community members benefited from these clinics, the majority of whom are living with limited resources and shelter.
- Project Pink. In early 2022, Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation generously expanded its funding for Project Pink to become a year-round no-cost program for women 40 years and older who do not have insurance or are underinsured to obtain their screening mammogram. Thirty-nine women benefited last year.
- Career Development. This past year the Hospital participated in five career development presentations given to Sonoma Valley High School students and at the after-school program sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club at Altimira Middle School. Celia explained that the objective of the outreach was to expose students to clinical and non-clinical career paths in healthcare and to grow healthcare’s future professionals. In addition to career development panels, SVH is working with SVHS to develop internships which will further expose students to the many opportunities at SVH (such as Marketing, Finance, Customer Service, Information Technology, and of course medical technicians and clinicians).
- Nurse Training. Finally, Jessica Winkler, Chief Nursing Officer added that the Hospital worked with 23 Nursing students, from local Bay Area nursing programs, who trained alongside our nursing staff as they gain valuable hospital experience and prepared for their exams, serving as a feeder program for future SVH staff. In fact, Jessica noted that we have hired some of these students into our Emergency Department and Inpatient Care Department (aka MedSurg/ICU).
- Digital Outreach. The marketing team also makes information on health and wellness, events, and the hospital available to our community through emailed reports such as this Board Chair report, and the monthly e-newsletter which has been well received and of course, our website, which will be undergoing a renovation soon. Please sign-up at our website, www.sonomavalleyhospital.org, to receive the notifications and information.
Kudos to our marketing team for their efforts.
MRI Services Get a New Location
As you may know, the first portion of the ODC project has been operational since August with CT scans. Completing the second portion with the MRI has involved creativity and some patience because of delays due to Covid as well as construction issues. At the Board Meeting we were presented with an innovative solution for placement of the MRI within the hospital and at close to the original cost. The new improved location will provide easy access to patients within the ODC and be easier to build and house the newly purchased MRI Tesla 3T machine. SVH is working on all this now and will provide more details once the permits are approved.
MyChart and EPIC Coming in December
EPIC, the new electronic health record system, is still on track for launch December 3. This includes MyChart (patient facing electronic medical record) which will allow patients the ability to access their own records, set appointments, order medications, and allow their doctors to send information directly to the hospital. Training of the team is now ongoing at the hospital, so everyone is ready come December.
Five Months of Increased Volume
August represents the fifth month in which our performance has exceeded our budget in both expense and income according to SVH CFO Ben Armfield. He reported that although we are not as yet back to our pre-Covid levels (2019), we’re getting closer. Obviously, the healthier our financials are the better for everyone in our goal to provide local services to our population here in the Valley. At the meeting, the board approved SVH entering into a Supply Chain Management arrangement which identifies contracts that can be renegotiated for greater savings.
CEO John Hennelly apprised us about the downturn in Covid cases and updated us on the bivalent vaccine which has been developed to combat the next wave of Covid. John noted that Sonoma County parallels the rest of the nation in its “fatigue and lack of urgency” about the topic. Nonetheless, SVH is ready.
The Strategic Plan for the next five years is the topic of discussion at two board retreat meetings in October and November. We’ll be discussing how to best service our community and build volumes for the facilities. We will be joined by two highly qualified board candidates, both who ran unopposed and are expected to be sworn-in at the December board meeting. We’re so thankful that our two newest board members come with experience, knowledge and talents that will benefit our community and our hospital. We’re excited to welcome aboard Wendy Lee Myatt and Denise Kalos.
November Board Meeting
The next Board Meeting will be Thursday, November 3 at 6 p.m. It will be held virtually. You can access information at sonomavalleyhospital.org under the Health Care District tab, Meeting Calendar and Agenda Packages. All are welcome.
Chair, SVHCD Board of Directors