Shame on SVH, board
What on earth were the Sonoma Valley Hospital CEO and board members thinking when they crippled the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, an independent group, by discouraging Carolyn Stone and her board from continuing their longstanding, successful, fundraising programs?
As a result of their efforts, these volunteers have contributed $7 million over the past years and are responsible for the purchase of 50 new, much-needed beds, state-of-the-art mammogram equipment and an X-ray machine.
Through the years, Mrs. Stone and the foundation have earned the recognition, respect and trust of community members and generated loyal and generous supporters. The fundraising events that the foundation sponsored have evidenced creativity and marketing skill. They have been crafted with a keen awareness of what our community values. Community members look forward to these events, communicate about them and generate interest and monetary investments as a result.
Those of us who have contributed to foundation-sponsored events feel that we are all in this together to serve our community hospital. We are motivated to contribute, despite these harsh economic times, because we can see the results of our donations. It gave community members great pride, for example, to tour the newly decorated hospital rooms with updated equipment.
Our family deeply cares about Sonoma Valley Hospital and has a long-standing tradition of contributing to its development. My father, Sam Shainsky, was finance chairman when the hospital was built.
We need a first-rate, functional hospital that serves its community with best practices. It is important that the vision of Sonoma Valley Hospital is a community vision – not the singular vision of an individual who has spent little time in our community. People are moved to action when they perceive that they are valued partners in realizing a shared vision. They refrain from contributing to causes when their contributions are swept into obscure operating expenses and they cannot see the results of their investments.
I am troubled and resentful because management has needlessly abandoned a valuable and much-needed source of income and successful volunteer workers. Top-down management does not work in a sophisticated community like Sonoma.
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Muriel Robbins is a Sonoma Valley resident.