June 15, 2017
Hospital transition underway

Petaluma Valley Hospital is a vital community-owned asset. The Petaluma Health Care District wants to assure this community that we continue to work diligently through the multi-faceted and increasingly complex process of transitioning our hospital’s operations from St. Joseph’s Health (SJH) to Paladin Healthcare.


Throughout our District’s 70year history we have harnessed the community’s vision and provided oversight to ensure southern Sonoma County’s health care needs are met.


As your public agency, local access to a thriving hospital is a primary objective — this means ensuring a facility that meets the community’s current and long-term needs via a lease that protects core hospital services and provides ongoing investment in infrastructure, state-of-the art medical equipment and technology, and people.

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June 12, 2017
Business Briefs

Arrow Benefits Group has allocated $100,000 in order to place AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machines with employers throughout the local community over the course of the next five years. According to the company, the program builds on its Arrow Wellness Initiative, which was established two years ago to offer free CPR and first-aid classes to its clients and the community.


“The Arrow Wellness Initiative has been utilized by businesses since its inception, and it was always our goal to build on this program,” said Arrow Benefits Group Principal Andrew McNeil. “Our clients see value in implementing employee benefits that go beyond the norm and that improve health and cost outcomes, as well as performance in the workplace. We are dedicated to helping our clients take proactive actions to keep their employees healthy and safe.”


Arrow’s funds will be donated to clients who wish to purchase AED machines for their business location. To help implement its CPR and first-aid training, as well as AED installation, maintenance and registration, Arrow has partnered with the Petaluma Health Care District’s HeartSafe Community initiative and Healthquest training center.

To read more visit this link >>  

June 8, 2017
Petaluma company gives $100K for North Bay businesses’ AEDs

The latest effort to reduce Sonoma County deaths from cardiac arrest comes from a Petaluma company that recently pledged $100,000 to purchase automated external defibrillators for North Bay businesses.


Stacy Gibbons, executive director of American Heart Association North Bay, called the move by Arrow Benefits Group “unprecedented.”


Arrow Benefits Group’s first foray into reducing cardiac arrest deaths was in late 2014, when the company asked the Petaluma Health Care District to teach its employees hands-only CPR.

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May 25, 2017
NEWS BRIEFS: Health awards announced

Petaluma Health Care District announced the recipients of its second annual Community Health Awards, recognizing outstanding service benefiting the health and wellness needs of southern Sonoma County residents.


The award recipients include Randy Clay, lead outreach specialist for COTS, for playing a critical role in the success of Petaluma Sober Circle; Redwood Empire Food Bank, for its diabetes wellness program; Buckelew Programs, for improving behavioral health and for providing affordable housing; and Conservation Corps of the North Bay – John Muir Charter School, for becoming a HeartSafe school and for becoming an American Heart Association training site.

To read more visit this link >>  

May 23, 2017
Petaluma Health Care District Honors Community Leader and Three Nonprofits with Second Annual Community Health Awards

Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is pleased to announce the recipients of its second annual Community Health Awards, recognizing outstanding service benefitting the health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents. The awards are comprised of three categories – Health Hero, Nonprofit Equity and Golden Heart – and were established by PHCD as a new recognition program in celebration of Health Care District Month in May. For the third straight year, the Petaluma City Council and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors issued its Health Care District Month declarations, recognizing the essential role PHCD plays in Southern Sonoma County and the importance of creating and promoting health and wellness programs, services and initiatives that contribute to the health and vitality of the community.


PHCD will host the upcoming Community Partnership Appreciation Breakfast on May 25 at the Petaluma Women’s Club in gratitude of its local partners, including nonprofits, health and social service providers, community volunteers, businesses, and public agencies. The event will draw more than 100 attendees, including California State Senator Bill Dodd and representatives from the office of Assemblymember Marc Levine.

To read more visit this link >>  

May 4, 2017
Funding cuts threaten Petaluma homeless services

A funding cut outlined in Petaluma’s proposed budget could send the city’s largest homeless service provider into a “death spiral,” a top Committee on the Shelterless official said Tuesday.


The city’s $181.98 million draft spending plan proposes a $70,000 reduction in funds allocated to COTS, a line item that’s drawn a stark critique from the community. An online petition opposing the 47 percent reduction garnered more than 1,000 signatures, along with a chorus of protest at Monday’s Petaluma City Council meeting.

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May 4, 2017
Petaluma Hospital Foundation at a juncture

As philanthropists attend the Petaluma Valley Hospital Foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser this weekend, the charitable arm of the city’s main health care facility faces an uncertain future with the imminent departure of its creator, St. Joseph Health.


This year’s Benedetti Leadership Celebration, May 6 at the White Barn Project at Beaumont Farms, comes at a crossroads for the foundation that has raised $6.4 million in 13 years to purchase pricey medical equipment for Petaluma Valley Hospital. As St. Joseph prepares to cease operating the hospital, health care officials are considering the future of fundraising for the facility.


Ramona Faith, CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District, which owns the hospital, said in an email that the district plans to create its own nonprofit arm to take the place of the foundation once the new operator, Paladin Healthcare, takes over the hospital.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 25, 2017
Spike in suspected heroin overdose deaths in Santa Rosa spur public warning

Alarmed Sonoma County Coroner’s Office officials Tuesday released a warning to the public about a spike in suspected heroin-related overdoses, five deaths in the last 10 days.


“One commonality is they’re all dying and appear to have recently injected heroin,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum.


The deaths have occurred in the Santa Rosa area and have involved three men, ages 28, 29 and 52, and two women, ages 27 and 66. While Crum declined to release further details about the victims, he said two men and one woman were homeless.

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April 20, 2017
EDITORIAL - Resolve hospice dispute

As Petaluma Health Care District officials continue working to secure a long-term contract with a new operator of the publicly-owned Petaluma Valley Hospital, a number of questions remain unanswered in what has become a hugely complex deal with numerous long-term ramifications impacting the healthcare for many thousands of people in the Petaluma area. Unfortunately, such questions are not likely to be fully answered until the late summer or early fall when district voters are expected to be asked to formally ratify the agreement during an election.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 20, 2017
Hospice operator up for debate

Petaluma health officials are bracing for a confrontation over which organization will manage hospice services once St. Joseph Health ends its contract to operate Petaluma Valley Hospital.


Management of Petaluma hospice has emerged as one of several complicated issues as the Petaluma Health Care District tries to detangle from St. Joseph, which has operated the publicly-owned hospital for 20 years.


Hospice, which provides end of life services, was started locally by the health care district, according to Ramona Faith, CEO of the district.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 13, 2017
North Bay hospitals score high in safety

The Leapfrog Group has come out with its bi-annual Hospital Safety Grade, and several North Bay hospitals have received the highest mark.


Those with rating of “A” include Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Santa Rosa, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, and Petaluma Valley Hospital, Marin General Hospital, Novato Community Hospital, and Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Rafael. Ukiah Valley Medical Center also received an “A” rating, as did Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Vacaville.

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April 13, 2017
Petaluma Health Care District in focus

Petaluma’s most important public healthcare decision in a generation is being deliberated by elected officials that make up what is likely the city’s lowest profile and least understood body.


The future of Petaluma Valley Hospital, the city’s lone acute care facility, is squarely in the hands of the five elected members of the Petaluma Health Care District board, an organization whose meetings are typically sparsely attended and often held behind closed doors.


The district, which implements initiatives aimed at increasing public health outcomes in Petaluma, is also the custodian of the publicly-owned 80-bed hospital. For the past 20 years, the district has leased the hospital to St. Joseph Health, the Catholic healthcare provider that also operates Santa Rosa’s Memorial Hospital.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 12, 2017
How two brokerages are spreading wellness beyond their clients

As brokerages continue to look for ways to stand out from the competition, two agencies are giving back to their communities and helping those areas become healthier in the process.


Andrew McNeil, principal of Arrow Benefits Group in Petaluma, Calif., created the Arrow Community Wellness Initiative, collaborating with Whole Foods, integrated healthcare system St. Joseph Health and other local health industry leaders to provide a series of ongoing free wellness classes to the community.


The initiative each month offers CPR and automated defibrillator (AED) training and certification with first -aid, instructed by the Petaluma Health Care District, free to the community.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 6, 2017
Educating the entire child for a strong and healthy community

When your mission in the community is to improve the health and well-being of Southern Sonoma County, you understand the value and impact of a quality education. For the Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD), partnering with the Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) is a natural fit.


"We are uniquely positioned to understand the health prioties of our community, and one of our most important priorities is ensuring youth have access to quality education. Partnering with PEF - which works closely with our schools and understand the needs of students and staff - is an excellent opporunity to greatly impact our students, our schools and our health," shares Ramona Faith, MSN RN, PHCD's CEO.


April 6, 2017
Petaluma Teen Saves a Life with CPR

Thirteen-year-old Lucy Decker was at a rowing event in Oakland last month when a spectator suddenly collapsed, apparently having a heart attack. A concerned crowd of onlookers gathered around, while one man stepped forward and started performing CPR.


The problem, though, was the bystander was doing it all wrong. He was performing the CPR compressions into the ailing man’s shoulder blade, clearly not doing any good. That’s when Decker, an 8th grader at Petaluma Junior High School, stepped forward and corrected the man.


Relying on the training she had learned in P.E. class, she demonstrated the proper technique of chest compressions, helping to sustain the man until paramedics arrived.

To read more visit this link >>  

March 29, 2017
Sonoma County ranks among top 5 healthiest in California

For years, local politicians, county health officials and health care professionals have been talking about making Sonoma County the healthiest county in the state by 2020, a goal that is at the heart of numerous local health, education and socio-economic initiatives.


In 2011, Sonoma County ranked 12th among 56 California counties surveyed in the first County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It took three years for the county to break into the top 10, reaching eighth.


Last year, it reached sixth and this year, the county made it to No. 5. The rapid climb, from 12th to fifth in just six years, has some local officials confident the county can hit the No. 1 spot in three years.

To read more visit this link >>  

March 28, 2017
24 leaders in North Bay health care

Ramona Faith, R.N., M.S.N. CEO, Petaluma Health Care District


Faith has dedicated her 40-year career to advancement in health care. Since 2011, Faith has been CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District, an organization that utilizes its position as a community owned and operated public agency to serve the changing health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents. In the last year, Faith oversaw PHCD’s distribution of $280,000 in charitable funds, sponsorships and in-kind support to local nonprofit programs and services, and Faith and PHCD received a number of awards, including the 2016 Jefferson Award for Public Service from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

To read more visit this link >>  

March 28, 2017
Petaluma Health Care District wins Community Philanthropy Award

Petaluma Health Care District, a public agency and a California special district, funds evidence-based health programs and invests in local nonprofits that provide critical social services and address the root causes of poor health.


During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, PHCD provided $280,000 in charitable funds, sponsorships and in-kind technical support to 33 Southern Sonoma County nonprofits, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Mentor Me, North Bay Children’s Center, Petaluma Educational Foundation, United Way of the Wine Country Schools of Hope, COTS, PEP House and Mother’s Care.


PHCD brings together area leaders, residents and organizations to tackle Southern Sonoma County’s greatest health needs through the Community Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area. CHIPA is an 80-member community collaborative. PHCD has hired staff to support and grow CHIPA and continues to fund efforts to improve resident health.

To read more visit this link >>  

March 15, 2017
Press Democrat Letter to the Editor: Hospital changes

I am the medical director of emergency services at Petaluma Valley Hospital and the owner of Petaluma Emergency Physicians Medical Corporation, which has provided emergency care at this hospital for more than 24 years. I also served as Chief of the Medical Staff at Petaluma Valley Hospital from 2005-2007. 


I want to praise the Petaluma Health Care District and CEO Ramona Faith for selecting Paladin Healthcare as the recommended operator of our hospital. The PCHD Board has performed extensive due diligence during the bidding process – going to great lengths to ensure both the hospital community and the community at large are well served today and for years to come. I am very satisfied with the board’s decision.


Paladin Healthcare has expressed to the medical staff that they are: 1) committed to Petaluma Valley Hospital; 2) planning to maintain the services currently offered to this community; and 3) committed to enhancing and even supplementing the services we provide so we can decrease the number of patients that are transferred to other facilities for lack of staffing (nursing and physicians). Paladin is also committed to supporting this emergency group, providing enhancements to our physician staffing and expanding service lines to meet the needs of our community. Broadly, Paladin is committed to keeping emergency and hospital services excellent, strong and vibrant for Petaluma’s future.


I also want to thank St. Joseph Health for helping our hospital and community with: 1) a Stroke-Ready Designation (first in the state); 2) a Baby-Friendly Designation (first in the North Bay); and 3) a Leapfrog “A” rating (a national measure of patient safety).


This operator selection process has been long and challenging, with many twists and turns and accompanying rumors and speculation. Change is always filled with anxiety and angst. However, with this proposed transition to Paladin Healthcare, I can confidently assure our community that we will not compromise the quality of emergency, hospital or trauma care. I hope you will support this decision.


Dr. Loren Fong


To read more visit this link >>  

March 15, 2017
Paladin, St. Joseph work through Petaluma hospital transfer agreement

The Petaluma Health Care District board last week decided to postpone submitting a ballot measure for the new Petaluma Valley Hospital lease to provide more time for the current and future operators to work out a complex transfer of operations agreement.


The district earlier signaled an intent to set a public vote on June 6 to ratify the operating agreement with Paladin Healthcare, the district’s preferred choice to take over the hospital from St. Joseph Health. March 10 was the deadline to submit a measure for the June ballot.


The transfer of operations agreement needs to be in place before Paladin can finalize its lease for the publicly-owned hospital, said Ramona Faith, CEO of the health care district. She said she hoped the agreements would be finalized by June, in order to put the contract to a vote in August.

To read more visit this link >>