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News: 09/01/2018

Sonoma Valley Hospital to transfer skilled home care service to Hospice by the Bay



Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay have announced an agreement for Sonoma Valley Hospital to transfer its skilled home care service, Healing At Home, to Hospice by the Bay, a regional not-for-profit organization with a long-standing presence in Sonoma and Napa counties and over 43 years’ experience in providing healthcare in the home setting.

The agreement, which outlines Hospice by the Bay’s acquisition of Healing at Home, has been agreed to in concept by both organizations and will be finalized on Sept. 6, when it comes before the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board for formal approval.

“We provide nearly 9,000 home care visits each year, so this agreement is a very important one for our community,” said Kelly Mather, Sonoma Valley Hospital CEO. “It preserves this vital service and ensures that Healing At Home patients will continue to receive the same skilled care services at home without interruption. It will be a seamless transition and patients will not see any changes in their care.”

The agreement calls for Hospice by the Bay to acquire Healing at Home and continue operating it under that name. There will be no compensation to the hospital for the Healing at Home business and its assets, which will be transferred to Hospice as part of the agreement, and Hospice will assume applicable liabilities and leases.

“Due to rising costs, many hospitals have closed their home care services,” said Mather. “Healing at Home has experienced the same challenges as other hospital-based agencies across the country, so we felt the best option was to identify a highly-respected organization to operate the agency.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better organization to take over this service,” said Mather. “Healing at Home, when operated by Hospice by the Bay, will be in a much better position to operate the service efficiently within its own home care service line.”

“Hospice by the Bay is a leading nonprofit in the North Bay, with an excellent track record over more than four decades of providing high quality care,” she said. “It has been a highly respected provider in Sonoma County for more than 25 years and has been a trusted partner during that time.”

“We have a great depth of knowledge and expertise in the home care setting, and superb staff,” said Kitty Whitaker, RN, CEO of Hospice by the Bay. “We also have a separate home care division that provides general home care – all part of our strategic vision to provide the full continuum of home health, palliative, and hospice care.

“Preserving this service is critical and we are delighted to play a part. It is the right thing to do for the residents of Sonoma. We are confident in our ability to operate Healing at Home with a continued focus on high quality care and in a fiscally sound manner.”

Committed to smooth transition

“I’m very happy to say that Healing At Home will remain an important community service here in Sonoma Valley,” said Healing At Home Director Lisa O’Hara, RN, BSN, COS-C. “Our patients will continue to receive the same great service we have always provided.” O’Hara, a Sonoma resident and a 20-year member of the hospital staff, will join Hospice by The Bay, assuring continuity for all Healing At Home services and patients.

“We are working together to plan a smooth transition, for patients, families and Healing at Home staff,” said Wendy Ranzau, RN, Chief Operating Officer for Hospice by the Bay and a life-long resident of Sonoma. “There will be no interruption in service.”



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