Sonoma Valley Hospital said it will open its new $46 million wing and newly built emergency and surgery departments on Nov. 16, capping five years of construction and fundraising that brings the hospital in line with state seismic standards.
The new emergency department, expected to be fully operational by mid-December, is formally named the Marcia and Gary Nelson Family Emergency Care Center in honor of its lead donor. It occupies the first floor of the new 12,243-square-foot wing, with the new surgery center occupying the second floor.
[caption id="attachment_37569" align="alignright" width="389"] A rendering of the remodeled Sonoma Valley Hospital.[/caption]
The opening of the new wing completes the first stage in modernizing the 83-bed hospital, which began in 2008 with the passage of a $35 million general obligation bond approved by Sonoma voters to allow the hospital to meet seismic standards and cover the cost of new construction and equipment. The hospital is overseen by the Sonoma Valley Health Care District.
Hospital officials subsequently determined that the emergency and surgery departments could not be upgraded, and a new wing was needed. An additional $11 million needed to be raised in order achieve the new wing. To date, the hospital said it has secured $8.9 million to fund the project.
Other elements of the project that have been completed include a new central utility plant, infrastructure upgrades to the east and west wings, seismic upgrades to the west wing, infrastructure for electronic health records, expanded parking and electrical upgrades, according to the hospital.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I think everyone who sees it will feel it’s an investment that will give back to our community for years to come," Kelly Mather, chief executive officer of the hospital, said of the project while thanking Sonoma Valley for supporting the hospital.
The new emergency wing will "transform emergency care in Sonoma," said Robert Cohen, the hospital's chief medical officer. “It’s bigger and better than our previous ER in almost every way,” Dr. Cohen said. “We will have shorter waiting times to see a physician, greater patient comfort while waiting, increased patient privacy, and access to the latest technology. The design also allows for closer monitoring of admitted patients so even small changes in a patient’s condition can be quickly observed.”
The new emergency department is three times larger than the previous facility, at more than 6,500 square feet compared to 2,100 square feet. It has seven private patient areas along with an area with two beds for high-acuity patients. Sonoma Valley Hospital’s emergency department has 10,000 patient visits each year and receives 77 percent of the emergency room visits in the Sonoma Valley.
The new surgery center is 5,657 square feet, about 20 percent larger than the previous center.***
Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol recently obtained a 3D digital mammography, making it only the second hospital in Sonoma County to offer the new system that it says offers greater patient experience.
The 37-bed hospital unveiled the new Hologic’s Selenia Dimensions 3D system at a special open house ceremony recently in the hospital’s Healing Garden Courtyard.
“This is going to make an huge difference in our ability to spot potential tumors normally hidden in dense tissue, and that can make a huge difference to a woman’s quality of life and, sometimes, even to her life itself,” said Karen Cauthen, director of patient care services. “If tumors are detected when they are small and confined to the breast, and before they are palpable, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.”