Sonoma Valley Hospital plans to partner with UCSF Health to form an integrated health care network to serve Sonoma Valley residents.
“This agreement, with its close ties to a world-class health care system, strengthens our ability to serve our community, including providing access to the latest technology and treatment options,” said Kelly Mather, SVH CEO. “At the same time, we are able to continue operating as an independent district hospital.”
UCSF Health is the top-ranked medical center in California and one of the top five hospitals in the nation.
As part of the proposed agreement, UCSF Health will provide the hospital with a new Medical Director, replacing Robbie Cohen, MD, who recently retired.
The affiliation agreement has approved in principle by the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board. It awaits approval by the UCSF Health Board.
“Independent community-based hospitals face a challenging future across the health care industry as competition and the continuous need for cost containment have heated up,” Mather said. “For those reasons, we have been looking to align with a larger hospital.”
The affiliation agreement would include offering services for out-of-area transport of sick patients, and the transfer of patients back to SVH when they require less intensive care. It also would enhance the availability of physician and administrative services in Sonoma Valley, Mather said.
“We couldn’t have hoped for a better and more prestigious partner than UCSF Health because of their size, reputation and quality of care,” she said.
Mather noted that SVH has had an informal working relationship with UCSF Health for a number of years, which has provided SVH with access to several specialized services.
In the past few years, UCSF Health has affiliated with a number of Bay Area providers and health systems, ranging from Children’s Hospital Oakland (now UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland) to John Muir Health, Dignity Health Bay Area, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Golden Gate Urgent Care, and Hospice by the Bay.