3 questions for Ramona Faith, CEO of Petaluma Health Care District
Ramona Faith, M.S.N., R.N., is CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District, a public agency that serves the changing health and wellness needs of southern Sonoma County community members.
What specific accomplishment of your organization in the past year or so do you wish to highlight?
In 2019, we were able to distribute the largest amount of grant funding in the district’s history. Totaling $94,000, our annual Community Health Grants were allocated to 11 local partner organizations that are doing exceptional work to improve the health and well-being of our residents.
Describe a single specific challenge your organization faced last year and why it posed such a challenge. What measures have you taken of overcome the challenge?
Securing an operator for Petaluma Valley Hospital under a long-term lease arrangement continues to be the primary focus of the Petaluma Health Care District Board. In October, California’s Attorney General rejected the application of a proposed new joint operating company between Providence St. Joseph Health and Adventist Health with which we had a letter of intent to negotiate a new lease.
We are now assessing and exploring our options, including further discussions with Providence St. Joseph. It continues to operate our hospital.
There are roughly 85,000 residents within the district’s jurisdiction who need access to local acute and emergency services. Although this process has been complex and impacted by many external factors, we remain committed to securing a long-term arrangement and ensuring continued access to a high-quality community hospital.
Mental health services have become a focus of health care providers in the North Bay since the series of wildfires. What strategies have you implemented to address this issue?
We have been focused on access to mental health services for years – long before the fires. We are expanding our work to include building a community of resilience and launching a multi-faceted community education effort around trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed care practices.
We are a founding member of the Sonoma Community Resilience Collaborative steering committee whose mission is to develop local capacity for healing from the North Bay wildfires. This includes building a hub of trained facilitators offering workshops for community members, businesses and organizations on a regular basis on strategies for stress management and self-awareness in the pursuit of building inner resilience.
We are also a member of the Sonoma Intersections Coalition. Through this collaborative, PHCD is working with local housing and health agencies to build expertise on the unique traumas experienced by individuals facing homelessness and expand internal capacity among those working on the ground with the men, women and children struggling to find safe and stable homes.
Finally, we are hosting targeted screenings of the film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” and will be expanding our reach to Petaluma schools to support student social and emotional wellness.