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Sonoma Valley Hospital picks Hennelly as CEO

John Hennelly has been named president and CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital, effective mid-April, according to an announcement today by Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board and UCSF Health.

He will replace Kelly Mather, who in July announced her resignation, effective Jan. 1. Mather joined BayHealth as president and CEO.

Hennelly most recently served as CEO of St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, where he led a financial and operational turnaround, overseeing the 93-bed hospital’s 2019 sale to Santa Clara County, according to the announcement. His prior experience includes executive positions at hospitals in Chicago, including at Presence Health, an 11-hospital system; and Saint Anthony Hospital.

Hennelly will receive an annual salary of $385,000, along with an incentive package that includes a bonus for meeting specified performance goals, according to the news release. The salary is at the midpoint of the position compared to similar-sized hospitals, according to industry data, said Joshua Rymer, hospital district board chairman and chairman of the search committee.

Under the hospital’s new management services agreement with UCSF Health, the CEO, chief financial officer and chief medical officer will be employed by UCSF Health, with the hospital reimbursing UCSF on a pass-through basis. The hospital CEO reports directly to the district board of directors partly to the president of the UCSF Health Affiliates Network, of which the hospital is a member, according to the district.

Sonoma Valley Hospital, which has 75 beds, affiliated with UCSF Health in 2018.

“John is an excellent choice to lead Sonoma Valley’s growing relationship with UCSF Health,” said Shelby Decosta, chief strategy officer of UCSF Health and president of UCSF Health Affiliates Network. “This is an important partnership for the residents of Sonoma County, offering the high standards of care in their community hospital, backed by the specialty-care expertise of a major academic medical center. Having worked in both types of organizations, John’s experience will enable him to integrate the advantages of each in the care SVH provides to patients.”

Rymer said the search process was extensive and that the board considered hundreds of candidates.

“(Hennelly) is an excellent communicator who brings strong hospital operations experience and an understanding of how to work closely with physicians, partners, stakeholders and donors in a small community like ours,” Rymer said. “We are confident John will maintain and enhance the high standards of care we embrace while bringing considerable experience dealing with the fiscal constraints inherent in operating a community hospital today.”

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