June 23, 2016 - News Brief
Regulators OK merger of St. Joseph Health, Providence

St. Joseph Health and Providence Health and Services have received regulatory approval for a merger that will create the nation’s third-largest nonprofit health system, officials said Wednesday.

The California Attorney General’s office signed off on the deal between the two nonprofit Catholic hospital chains. The new entity, Providence St. Joseph Health, will include 16 St. Joseph hospitals, including Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Providence is based in Renton, Wash. The companies sought a partnership in order to expand services and improve clinical outcomes through shared expertise.

To read more visit this link >>  

June 6, 2016 - News Brief
Petaluma Health Care District creating foundation

With approximately 80 members representing a wide swath of Petaluma service providers, public agencies, business groups and other interests, the Community Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area, or CHIPA, seemed the natural funnel for grants looking to fund collaborative efforts around complex health issues like poverty, homelessness and education.

Yet when it came time to compete for those limited funds, there was just one problem — CHIPA, which operates under the umbrella of the Petaluma Health Care District, was not able to leverage a corresponding nonprofit.

Three years after launching CHIPA as a group focused on discussing ways to jointly address the issues impacting public health in Petaluma, the Petaluma Health Care District is working to catapult those efforts and others through the formation of an affiliated foundation.

To read more visit this link >>  

June 6, 2016 - News Brief
25 North Bay leaders named for Journal’s 16th annual Women in Business awards

Bankers, educators, health providers, marketers, executives and business owners — the occupations of winners in the Business Journal’s 16th annual Women in Business Awards are as diverse as the places where they work and contribute, like Benicia, Napa, Novato, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa.

This year, 52 women, each with distinguished professional and community accomplishments, were nominated for the honor. The 25 winners were selected based on many factors, including leadership roles in the organization, business-related innovations, vision and community involvement.

To read more visit this link >>  

June 2016 - News Brief
Area Health Care District Presents First Annual Awards

Recipients of the Petaluma Health Care District's (PHCD) First Annual Community Health Awards include a Petaluma police officer and two nonprofits recognized for outstanding service to southern Sonoma County residents.

The Health Care Hero Award, honoring an individual, and the Nonprofit Equity Award, honoring a nonproft - were established by PHCD as a new recognition program in celebration of Health Care District Month in May.

To read more visit this link >>  

May 26, 2016 - News Brief
Close to Home: Why we need to expand access to early childhood education

Many people don’t know that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of five. The early childhood years are critical for laying the foundation for the rest of a child’s life. Early interaction with parents, child-care providers and siblings all shape the nature and development of a child’s brain. But knowing something and doing something about it are two very different things.

We need to ensure that every child in Sonoma County has access to quality preschool to give them a strong start on the path to future success. High quality preschool is a necessity for our kids and should not be a luxury only available to relatively few families.

To read more visit this link >>  

May 16, 2016 - News Brief
Petaluma schools implementing new approach to work with struggling students

On a recent day in Petaluma, 57 students were on a waitlist to see a city schools therapist. The number of students seeking help is growing, but the school district lacks the funding to hire more counselors.

Not only school administrators are concered. An event Thursday night at Boulevard Cinemas focusing on childhood trauma and its impacts drew more than 200 people.

Administrators and the Petaluma Health Care District hosted a screening of the 2015 documentary "Paper Tigers" accompanied by a speakers panel discussing "trauma-informed care," how to care for struggling students who've experienced trauma.

To read more visit this link >>  

May 11, 2016 - Press Release
Petaluma Health Care District Honors Community Leader and Two Nonprofits with First Annual Community Health Awards

PHCD is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural Community Health Awards, recognizing outstanding service benefitting the health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents.

The two awards – the Health Care Hero Award, honoring an individual, and the Nonprofit Equity Award, honoring a nonprofit – were established by PHCD as a new recognition program in celebration of Health Care District Month in May. The Petaluma City Council and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors issued its Health Care District Month declarations on May 2 and May 4 respectively, 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.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 28, 2016 - News Brief
St. Joseph top bid for Petaluma Valley Hospital

After nearly 20 years of operating the publicly owned Petaluma Valley Hospital, St. Joseph Health has emerged as the current front-runner in a bid to retain the helm under a new lease in January 2017.

The Petaluma Health Care District, the public entity that owns the hospital, has suspended closed-door talks with its second finalist, Prime Healthcare Services, to focus its energy on narrowing down the offer from St. Joseph, said Ramona Faith, district CEO.

To read more visit this link >>  

April 26, 2016 - Event Announcement
Paper Tigers Film Screening and Panel Discussion

PHCD, the Community Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area (CHIPA), and our many community health partners invite you to the Petaluma premiere of the documentary film Paper Tigers on May 12, 2016 at Boulevard 14 Cinemas.

Paper Tigers explores the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and toxic stress on the lives of students in an alternative high school. After radically changing its approach to disciplining students, the school has become a promising model for providing healing, support and academic achievement for students, families and communities across our nation.

Following the film screening, Brian Farragher, Executive Director of the Hanna Boys Center will lead an insightful and inspiring panel discussion with Dave Rose, Director of Student Services, Petaluma City Schools District, Deborah Dalton, Executive Director, Mentor Me, and Allison Murphy, Director and Clinician, Mothers Care on the use and impact of trauma-informed care in our Petaluma community.

This event is free, but seating is limited!
Please RSVP to

For more information, contact Erin Hawkins at (707) 285-2143.

April 4, 2016 - News Brief
Heart-saving tech now in all Petaluma schools

A years-long effort to install life-saving cardiac arrest treatment devices on the grounds of every Petaluma school wrapped up on Wednesday, a major milestone as various groups work to support the proliferation of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, throughout the city.

Health Care District CEO Ramona Faith lauded the milestone, noting that children, like adults, are at risk of cardiac arrest from causes that include undiagnosed birth defects.

“Cardiac emergencies can happen anywhere, at any age,” she said.

To read more visit this link >>  

Jeff Schach of the Petaluma Fire Department holds up a demo AED during a training at Kenilworth Junior High School (Beth Schlanker/Press Democrat)

March 31, 2016 - News Brief
Petaluma students learn how to save a life in a countywide CPR push

Lessons Tuesday for seventh-graders at Petaluma’s Kenilworth Junior High School included how to try to save a life through hands-only CPR training.

The training this week for all of the school’s seventh-graders is part of a countywide plan by the nonprofit group Save Lives Sonoma to annually teach the skill to all seventh-graders as well as any residents willing to learn.

So far this year, about 900 Petaluma teens have received the training, including seventh graders at Kenilworth, Petaluma Junior High, St. Vincent’s and San Antonio High School.

To read more visit this link >>  

Kenilworth Junior High School students in Petaluma learn CPR (Beth Schlanker/Press Democrat)

March 30, 2016 - News Brief
Sonoma County ranks fifth in California for women’s well-being

Women fare better in Sonoma County than in almost any other county in California, according to a new report that examines the lives of women through a prism of 30 different statistical measurements on everything from child care costs to crime.

Sonoma County was ranked the fifth-best place in California for women’s well-being, according to an index developed by the California Budget & Policy Center, a Sacramento nonprofit focused on improving the economic and social well-being of low- and middle- income Californians.

To read more visit this link >>  

A Sonoma County preschool teachers works with her students (Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat)

March 30, 2016 - News Brief
North Coast families can benefit from free tax preparation

Maria Reyes said she was raised to believe if something is offered for free, it’s probably too good to be true.

But Reyes said she’s changed her tune now after receiving free tax preparation service, including filing, as part of the “Earn It, Keep It, Save It” United Way-led program for low- and middle-income families in Northern California.

The tax preparation service Reyes went to last year charged her $150. Reyes, a mother of two girls and a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, had to wait an hour before seeing the preparer, who didn’t explain any of the deductions or credits she received during the process.

This year, Reyes said, she easily made an appointment by calling 211. She had a preparer who explained to her all of her tax credits. In fact, the preparer found mistakes in past returns in which she was listed as single as opposed to head of household, entitling her to an even bigger refund.

To read more visit this link >>  

A United Way volunteer helps a client file her taxes (Alvin Jordana/The Press Democrat)

March 28, 2016 - News Brief
PHCD receives North Bay Business Journal Community Philanthropy Award

For nearly 70 years, the Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) has leveraged its position as a community owned and operated public agency to serve the changing health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents.

“We do this by ensuring local access to quality acute care and emergency services through Petaluma Valley Hospital,” according to CEO Ramona Faith. “PHCD also funds evidence-based and community-based health promotion and illness prevention programs, invests in local nonprofits providing critical social services, and by supporting schools working to positively impact the health of students.”

To read more visit this link >>  

March 14, 2016 - News Brief
Exchange Bank is HeartSafe Business

Exchange Bank is the first financial institution in Sonoma County to roll out PHCD's HeartSafe program 

Exchange Bank has long been know for being a financially safe company.

Now, it's a "HeartSafe" business, too, thanks to a life-saving program training employees in "hands-only CPR" and installing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in several Exchange Bank locations.

The Bank collaborated with Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) to implement its HeartSafe program. Exchange Bank's AEDs will be available to the Bank's employees, customers and the nearby community.

To read more visit this link >>  

Exchange Bank employees practice CPR during a training from PHCD

March 14, 2016 - Press Release
Petaluma Health Care District and Community Partners Launch Collaborative Program for Petaluma’s Most At-Risk Homeless

PHCD, in collaboration with the Petaluma Police Department, the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS), the Petaluma Fire Department, the Drug Abuse Alternatives Center, the Petaluma Health Center, Sonoma County Behavioral Health, St. Joseph Health, and the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, announces the implementation of Petaluma Sober Circle (PSC).

Designed to build upon efforts to address the needs of the city’s homeless population through sheltering, treatment and other necessary services, PSC takes a critical step further by dedicating resources to direct outreach to this vulnerable population. On Feb. 25, PSC received a grant to round out the program’s funding and ensure implementation of a two-year pilot project.

To read more visit this link >>  

February 8, 2016 - News Brief
Petaluma's homeless efforts paying off

t was not long ago that living on the streets of Petaluma was akin to a death sentence. From 2010 to 2014, there were 21 homeless people who died in the city, often in harsh conditions, sometimes due to drug abuse. In 2014 alone, eight bodies of homeless people were discovered.

In the past year, however, that trend has reversed. There were just two homeless deaths, and the entire homeless population declined in Petaluma in 2015. The turnaround is in part due to increased homeless outreach from the police department, but also because of the efforts of Petaluma nonprofits that provide service to the most vulnerable in the community. It’s a positive trend that we hope continues into this year.

To read more visit this link >>  

Shelter Manager Robin Phoenix walks through a dorm room while Ron Pickering, right, and Harold Barrios read at COTS' Mary Issak Center (SCOTT MANCHESTER/ARGUS-COURIER STAFF)

January 27, 2016 - News Brief
PHCD Boasts of Community Health, Wellness Achievements and Giving

Petaluma Health Care District Annual Report for 2015 shows $300,000 Worth of Support Donated to Local Organizations and a Record Number of Recognitions and Awards for the District 

The Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is proud to report that over the 2014-2015 fiscal year, it contributed $300,000 in charitable funds, sponsorships and in-kind support to Southern Sonoma County nonprofit programs and services. More than $110,000 in direct funds were dispersed to improve local health services and aid prevention and wellness, youth programs, health education and housing. This total represented an additional $43,000 in direct giving from the previous year. A full report on PHCD’s fiscal year accomplishments and philanthropic support can be found here.

To read more visit this link >>  

January 19, 2016 - Press Release
Petaluma Health Care District Set to Review Two Lease Options for Petaluma Valley Hospital

Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is pleased to announce that two hospital operators completed the bid process to lease and operate Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH) when its 20-year agreement with St. Joseph Health expires in January 2017. St. Joseph Health and Prime Healthcare Services have submitted refined proposals for lease options, which PHCD will review over the next 60 to 90 days before making its recommendation to the community on a continued or new operator. Both proposals state that the bidders intend to continue operating PVH as a not-for-profit.

To read more visit this link >>  

Petaluma Valley Hospital

January 15, 2016 - News Brief
Homeless Numbers on Decline in Petaluma

A coalition of Petaluma organizations are redoubling their efforts after making significant progress in addressing the city’s homeless population, setting their sights on those most at-risk while celebrating positive trends for the population as a whole.

On the eve of launching the new program known as Petaluma Sober Circle, groups focused on health care, shelter services, mental health and law enforcement have already achieved a major increase in the percentage of people who have been sheltered in Petaluma, along with a decline in the number of people living without permanent housing.

“The ultimate goal is to increase the chance of recovery while increasing quality of life,” said Ramona Faith, CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District, which has helped organize providers around the issue of homelessness in Petaluma and to develop the Sober Circle program

To read more visit this link >>