Sonoma Valley Hospital

Skilled Nursing Facility

roomSonoma Valley Hospital’s award-winning Skilled Nursing Facility is designed to provide the highest level of care for patients who no longer require acute care services but are not quite ready to return to independent living. As they continue their recovery, patients in our Skilled Nursing Unit rehabilitation programs have access to the entire range of hospital services to help with their healing. 

Our 27-bed Skilled Nursing Facility, one of the few in the North Bay to receive a top 5-star rating from Medicare, offers round-the-clock professional medical care, including excellent nursing (RN’s only, no LVNs) and 24-hour access to two on-site physicians. Considering that the regular nursing home requirement is for physicians to see patients once a month, this kind of coverage makes our facility special. We also provide on-site access to:

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Disease Management
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Educational and Support Groups
  • Wound Care Nurse
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Palliative Care Nurse
  • Hospice Program
  • Psychologist
  • Medical Imaging, MRI, CT
  • IV Antibiotics and Transfusions
  • Medical Surgical Services
  • Intensive Care Unit, Emergency

Our Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) was also recognized in 2014 as a recipient of the Silver – Commitment to Quality award for its dedication to improving the lives of seniors and individuals with disabilities through improved quality care. The SNF was one of 77 to be named nationally by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

Our facility generates great loyalty from patients and the recent renovation was accomplished through patient donations.

Helen Fernandez and the Skilled Nursing
Makeover Story 

fernandezIn 2008, Helen Fernandez, a fit, energetic 80-some year old, became a patient in the Skilled Nursing Unit of Sonoma Valley Hospital after a fall. “I wasn’t sick,” she says emphatically, “I was broken.” She spent her 31 days confined to Room 109, in which, she is quick to say, she received “wonderful care,” thinking about the drab surroundings, the old furnishings, the antiquated TV you had to manually step through channel by channel, deciding the place needed help. Her friends agreed. “We all thought together that it would be really nice if we could do something to spruce up these rooms, to make it just a little bit more comfortable,” she says. “Not just for the patients, but for their families, and for the staff here too.” As she recovered, she nurtured the idea, shared it, and it grew.

In the fall of 2009, with her health returned, Fernandez talked with Skilled Nursing Facility Director Melissa Evans and with boardmembers Peter Hohorst and Madolyn Agrimonti, and they talked to others, and a committee formed around the question: What could we do to spruce up the whole area?

They came up with a “wish list” and a projected cost to completely make over each room – new furnishings, new paint, new flooring, and new televisions. That the cost was $10,000 for each room did not bother Fernandez. After all, she says, there are only 17 rooms and surely the money could be found. Sonoma is, after all, a generous community. For her, no gift is too big – or too small.

As a distinct entity within Sonoma Valley Hospital, the 27-bed Skilled Nursing Facility offers excellent nursing and 24-hour physician availability. Considering that the regular nursing home requirement is for physicians to see patients once a month, this kind of coverage makes SNF special. At SNF, in-house patients can get a CAT scan, an MRI, lab work, an EKG, an Echocardiogram, and receive specialized care such as IV antibiotics, IV and enteral feedings and blood transfusions.

SNF Director Melissa Evans RN, voted Nurse of the Year for 2010 by the physicians, credits the success of the SNF to teamwork. “It’s not like, nurses might say,‘I’m going to stick with my assigned patients;’ any of them will jump in and help. And that’s what’s expected here. We all are a very close team.” That spirit drove the little makeover committee, too.

As the committee sent out personal appeals for the funds, checks, from grateful former SNF patients primarily, began to roll in and donors of each $10,000 got a room named in their honor. The Foundation donated 17 new beds which, together with the 10 beds they had donated the previous year, meant the SNF now has brand new beds throughout, much to the relief of staff and patients alike. As of January, 2011, the facility makeover was over halfway done, and the committee has raised, including the $131,802 from the Foundation in the form of the new beds, a total of $229,357.

For Fernandez, the makeover project, as with every other aspect of life, is reason to celebrate.  “We’re celebrating the fact that we, working together in a group, can make things happen. No one can do it individually.  This is not an individual project. It’s taken all of us with our many ideas and thoughts and reasons, to do this.”

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