Patients, health center to meet
Officials from the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center will meet face-to-face with dissatisfied patients on Wednesday to discuss concerns about treatment that came to light publically during a Feb. 6 meeting hosted by the Todd Trust and the Community Foundation Sonoma County.
During that meeting, more than a dozen former patients gathered to share their largely negative experiences at the health center, which were relayed through a translator because all of the patients in attendance were Spanish speaking. Most of the complaints stemmed from perceived misdiagnosis, such as a woman who said her mother repeatedly went to the clinic and was told she was fine, only to seek treatment at another health center where doctors immediately sent her into surgery to remove her thyroid. The Community Foundation organized the meeting to help patient voices be heard, to empower patients to address their issues with the health center and to provide support in orchestrating these conversations.
During the Feb. 6 meeting, health center CEO Cheryl Johnson said she was just there to listen, and would address specific issues when the two sides meet face to face on Feb. 20. “We recognize we need to improve what we’re doing,” Johnson said.
On Monday (after presstime), patients planned to gather at Altimira Middle School to make a specific list of demands for the health center, while also suggesting solutions.
“Here, we’re looking for steps we can take together,” said Davin Cardenas, an organizer with the Community Foundation who is moderating the meetings. Wednesday’s meeting is not open to the public.
The Todd Trust will be donating $8.5 million from the estate of Roland and Hazel Todd to organizations in Boyes Hot Springs.
It uncovered the discontent when it sought patient reaction to the health center while vetting potential recipients for the grant funds. The volunteer officials were alarmed to hear a wide swath of negative experiences at the clinic. With the help of the Community Foundation, the Todd Trust is hoping to improve health care among low-income Valley residents by bringing patients and administrators together this week.