Sonoma Valley Hospital
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SVH Proposes To Transfer Home Care To Hospice By the Bay

August 16, 2018

Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay have announced an agreement for Sonoma Valley Hospital to transfer its highly regarded skilled home care service, Healing At Home, to Hospice by the Bay, a regional not-for-profit organization with a long-standing presence in Sonoma and Napa Counties and over 43 years’ experience in providing healthcare in the home setting.

The agreement, which outlines Hospice by the Bay’s acquisition of Healing at Home, has been agreed to in concept by both organizations and will be finalized on September 6, 2018 when it comes before the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board for formal approval.

“We provide nearly 9,000 home care visits each year, so this agreement is a very important one for our community,” said Kelly Mather, Sonoma Valley Hospital CEO. “It preserves this vital service and ensures that Healing At Home patients will continue to receive the same skilled care services at home without interruption. It will be a seamless transition and patients will not see any changes in their care.”

The agreement calls for Hospice by the Bay to acquire Healing at Home and continue operating it under that name. There will be no compensation to the hospital for the Healing at Home business and its assets, which will be transferred to Hospice as part of the agreement, and Hospice will assume applicable liabilities and leases.

Hospice by the Bay Is Ideal Choice

“Due to rising costs, many hospitals have closed their home care services,” said Mather. “Healing at Home has experienced the same challenges as other hospital-based agencies across the country, so we felt the best option was to identify a highly-respected organization to operate the agency.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better organization to take over this service,” said Mather.  “Healing at Home, when operated by Hospice by the Bay, will be in a much better position to operate the service efficiently within its own home care service line.”

“Hospice by the Bay is a leading nonprofit in the North Bay, with an excellent track record over more than four decades of providing high quality care,” she said. “It has been a highly respected provider in Sonoma County for more than 25 years and has been a trusted partner during that time.”

Kitty Whitaker, RN, CEO of Hospice by the Bay, underscored that the organization has been providing caring, high quality home care to Sonoma and Napa hospice patients for many years. “We have a great depth of knowledge and expertise in the home care setting, and superb staff,” she explained.  “We also have a separate home care division that provides general home care – all part of our strategic vision to provide the full continuum of home health, palliative, and hospice care.”

“Preserving this service is critical and we are delighted to play a part,” concluded Whitaker. “It is the right thing to do for the residents of Sonoma. We are confident in our ability to operate Healing at Home with a continued focus on high quality care and in a fiscally sound manner.”

Committed to Smooth Transition                     

“I’m very happy to say that Healing At Home will remain an important community service here in Sonoma Valley,” said Healing At Home Director Lisa O’Hara, RN, BSN, COS-C.  “Our patients will continue to receive the same great service we have always provided.” O’Hara, a Sonoma resident and a 20-year member of the hospital staff, will join Hospice by The Bay, assuring continuity for all Healing At Home services and patients.

“We are working together to plan a smooth transition, for patients, families and Healing at Home staff,” reports Wendy Ranzau, RN, Chief Operating Officer for Hospice by the Bay and a life-long resident of Sonoma. “There will be no interruption in service and the same wonderful care will be provided.”

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About Healing At Home

Sonoma Valley Hospital created the skilled home health care service in 1989 to provide skilled, medically necessary and individualized care to homebound patients under physician orders. A nationally recognized program that is State-licensed and Medicare-certified, it is currently ranked among the top 25 percent of Home Care Agencies in the nation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2014, the hospital renamed it Healing At Home.

About Hospice by the Bay 

The non-profit Hospice by the Bay is the second oldest hospice in the nation and the first in California. An affiliate of UCSF Health, it provides home health services, palliative care, and compassionate end-of-life care to patients and families in Sonoma County, the City of Napa, Marin County, San Francisco, N. San Mateo County, and the city of American Canyon. www.hospicebythebay.org

About Sonoma Valley Hospital

Sonoma Valley Hospital is a 75-bed, full-service acute care district hospital located in Sonoma, California, providing residents of the Sonoma Valley with a broad range of health care services. It is known as a warm, comfortable place of healing with a compassionate professional staff dedicated to the needs of the community. In recent years, the hospital has undergone extensive renovation, including opening a new wing with a modern Emergency Department and Surgery Center. svh.com

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