Sonoma Valley Hospital wins a Healthiest Companies Award

Sonoma Valley Hospital offers a quiet relaxing room, peaceful outdoor gardens and a six-week Wellness University program to its employees.


Sonoma Valley Hospital’s Wellness Program is much more than a collection of activities – it includes an educational infusion of best practices that have become an integral aspect of the culture.

“We define wellness as a dynamic process involving the continuous movement toward physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and harmony,” said Lynn McKissock, MS, SHRM-CP, director of human resources.

“We incorporate this philosophy into our daily work lives through breathing exercises at every meeting, physical stretching breaks, mindfulness in our activities, presence in our communications, and stillness in our quiet moments.”

Campus grounds contain four unique outdoor healing gardens and there is a 24/7 meditation and quiet room in the main building.

SVH offers a six-week Wellness University program to all employees three times a year, which now boasts more than 200 graduates/ambassadors, to keep the hospital’s commitment to health practices alive.

Wellness University is a college-level course for those interested in improving or maintaining good health, serving as a role model for healthy behaviors, and teaching wellness to others. SVH offers the course to the community without cost and offered three sessions in 2017 including two sessions of six, biweekly classes in March and April, and a special intensive one-week “boot-camp” in July.

Officials said, the objective of the program is to identify ways to inspire improved health and make it more contagious.

Topics include assessing your current state of emotional and physical health, finding balance in your life, stress reduction and relaxation techniques, importance of making positive choices, value of exercise and good nutrition, recommended breathing practices, developing healthy habits and practice teaching the 5 Keys to Wellness (self love, breathing, positive choices, balance and trust.

Upon completion, employees receive a framed certificate identifying them as Wellness Ambassadors.

“When employees are healthy, they inspire recovery, healing and provide excellent care and support for peers, patients, their families and the community. Having energy that lasts throughout the day and being more productive can make a positive impact on everyone’s health and their life-long physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness journeys,” McKissock said.