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A vote for Sonoma Valley Hospital

Posted on October 2, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Towards the end of a 30 year career as a management consultant and CEO, I joined the board of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board with an eye to helping improve the hospital’s financial structure and while implementing best business practices to enhance the quality of care offered to our community.  In my almost 7 years on the board, I am very proud of the measures we have taken to reduce costs, increase efficiency and build an organization of which all in this Valley can be proud.  We are in a better place financially than we have been in many years.
 
I am also very bullish on the hospital’s future.  We have an exceptional new CEO and an affiliation with UCSF that opens new doors for physician relationships and available procedures.  And with our new emergency department and soon-to-open diagnostic center we believe Sonoma Valley Hospital is can continue to serve the health care needs of the Sonoma Valley for decades to come.
 
However, all these positive developments cannot erase the fundamental financial challenge of operating in a small and diverse community like ours.  The fact is our revenue is almost entirely reliant on third party payers like Medicare whose reimbursement rates do not cover the costs of delivering patient services.  Fortunately, this community decided two decades ago that a full-service hospital and emergency room were critical elements for our health and quality of life.  We are grateful for the support provided through the parcel tax which covers a portion of the hospital’s operating deficit, a portion which simply cannot be fully fixed under the present reimbursement structure.  Measure F, on the November 2nd ballot will extend that support for another ten years with no increase in the rate.  I urge you to cast your ballot in favor of Measure F and allow us to continue to serve this wonderful community.
 
— Joshua Rymer, Board Chair, Sonoma Valley Health Care District


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