About us

For almost 75 years, the Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) has utilized its unique position as a community owned and operated public agency to serve the changing health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents. PHCD staff and locally-elected board members are actively engaging and partnering with the community to use our resources for the greatest positive impact on the health of our residents.

PHCD is proud to be designated as a certified Health Care District in the state of California. 

Hill Crest Hospital
district office
Our Mission & Vision

The mission of PHCD is to improve the health and well-being of all residents in Southern Sonoma County through leadership, advocacy, support, partnerships and education.

Our vision is to foster a healthy community and equitable access to health and wellness services for all. 

Our Core Values

We embrace and hold ourselves accountable to these core values.

We believe our strength comes from partnerships and collaborative community efforts. We recognize the ability to meet the health care needs of our community and fulfill our mission and vision is a shared responsibility.

We engage in respectful communication in all interactions, striving to understand and incorporate diverse people and viewpoints.

We demonstrate high standards of performance and seek excellence through continuous quality improvement. We create an atmosphere of trust and growth by providing feedback, coaching and recognition of achievement of others.

We inspire a culture of innovation informed by data, best and promising practices, and thoughtful evaluation.

We adhere to the highest ethical standards in all our professional and personal responsibilities. We demonstrate this through open and honest communication, addressing difficult issues and standing up for difficult decisions.

Social Justice
We commit to the health and well-being of all members of our community and advocate for those who are most vulnerable or in need.

Our Strategic Priorities

In 2021, PHCD amended its five-year strategic plan for 2019-2024 to reflect the following strategic priorities:

Community Health
Our goal is to serve as a leader in fostering and expanding community partnerships to address social determinants of health to create improved, equitable health outcomes. 

Collaboration and Partnerships
Our goal is to strengthen and improve the health care services and programs available in the area served by PHCD and the surrounding region.

Financial Sustainability
Our goal is to build a firm financial foundation with long-term revenue streams to promote community health and to protect the presence of necessary health facilities in the community.

To review PHCD's full strategic plan for 2019-2024, click here.

District Boundary Map

PHCD’s boundaries were created in 1946, and include Petaluma, Penngrove, and small areas of Cotati and Rohnert Park.

See Map Below.

PHCD Over the years


The Affordable Care Act was passed on March 23, 2010.

PHCD continues to expand its prevention efforts while simultaneously beginning a due diligence  process to decide the future of the hospital when the SJH lease ends in 2017.

PHCD aligns its prevention efforts with Health Action, establishing the Community Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area (CHIPA), a Health Action chapter and Advisory Committee of the District Board.

PHCD establishes the HeartSafe Community initiative.  With cardiovascular disease the number one cause of preventable death in Sonoma County, PHCD is working to ensure our community can respond to a sudden cardiac emergency.

PHCD continues to provide significant funds to support programs and agencies that improve the health of Southern Sonoma County residents Visit our Grants and Sponsorships pages to see more. In 2018, the District provided nearly $250,000 in financial support to community health work throughout Southern Sonoma County. 

In 2017, PHCD initiated a process for a future operator of Petaluma Valley Hospital. 


In 2002, PHCD provides significant support to the Petaluma Health Center in obtaining status as a federally-qualified health center, allowing for increased services to low income and uninsured patients. Click here to view the Petaluma Health Center website.

In 2008, the Women’s Health Center opens with significant financial and administrative support from PHCD. Its recruitment of two obstetrics-gynecologists ensures Southern Sonoma County women have access to care, including the ability to receive perinatal care and deliver babies at PVH.

In 2009, PHCD commissions a study on the state of mental health services in Petaluma. The resulting Mental Health Report is the impetus for the formation of the South County Mental Health Collaborative.


In 1994, the District acquires Redwood Family Practice as a base for Petaluma’s first Community Health Center (CHC). Building on the work of Dr. Eric Holmber, Dr. Michael Witte, Lynne Lipsher, FNP, and Alanna Brogran, Director of Nursing at PVH, PHCD begins offering reduced-cost quality care to uninsured or underinsured residents. Prior to this, residents who cannot afford a private physician have no local access to health services other than the PVH Emergency Room.

In 1995, the Petaluma Hospital District votes to rename itself the Petaluma Health Care District, reflecting the community’s desire for PHCD to take a more active role in preventative health care foster partnerships with other local organizations

In 1997, to support the operations of PVH, PHCD enters into a 20-year operations lease with St. Joseph Health. This effort helps secure the financial future of the hospital and ensure continued access to a high quality 24-hour Emergency Department and acute care services.

In 1997, PHCD, the Petaluma City Council, and the Petaluma City Schools Districts establish the Healthy Community Consortium (HC2). St. Joseph Health and Kaiser Permanente soon become funding partners.


In 1980, PHCD opens Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH), an 80-bed acute care facility.

PHCD begins offering Healthquest CPR/AED/First Aid training to health care providers and residents. Review our Healthquest page.

In 1985, the District and Hospice of Petaluma partner to build a new and larger hospice facility at 415 A Street.

In 1989, the District begins offering Lifeline services in Sonoma County, eventually expanding to six counties throughout Northern California and becoming Lifeline of the North Bay.


Petaluma development soars, tripling residential development permits from 300 in 1969 to 900 in 1971.

In 1975, growing community support for local access to quality emergency and acute care services leads to the establishment of the Petaluma Valley Hospital Foundation.


In order to address decreased access to basic hospital and health care services following World War II, particularly in rural communities, the California legislature enacts the Local Hospital District Law in 1945. This historic legislation allows communities, with voter approval, to form a Special District and impose property taxes to support the construction and operation of local hospitals.

The Petaluma Hospital District is established on October 14, 1946, operating Petaluma General Hospital.

1950's - 1960's

In 1957, the District replaces the aging Petaluma General Hospital with the new 50-bed acute care Hillcrest Hospital.

Southern Sonoma County’s need for high quality health care services grows as Petaluma’s agricultural economy, and its dairy industry in particular, continue to boom.