Senior Wellness Program at SVH serves more people
On behalf of Sonoma Valley Hospital (SVH), I would like to respond to Dr. Richard Caselli’s Jan 3, Valley Forum article (“Two large losses at Sonoma Valley Hospital”) regarding the hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) program, which was terminated at the end of 2012.
We can certainly sympathize with his concern that we no longer have a specially-trained RN available to supervise this program. It was a very difficult decision to make.
However, facing higher costs and lower reimbursements, we no longer have the resources to maintain the previous cardiac rehab program, which lost money every year (meaning that other hospital programs were effectively subsidizing this one).
With the retirement of the RN coordinating the program, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to focus the available resources on meeting the needs of a broader segment of the Sonoma community through a Senior Wellness Program. As a community hospital, our mission is to focus on the health needs of as many community members as possible. Our new program does just that. Safe, supervised by a highly trained licensed physical therapy team, and open to all seniors in the district, it promotes health and prevention, empowering members to improve their lives through fitness, wellness, guidance and care.
In the near future, we plan to expand the program to include personal assessments by a licensed physical therapist who will identify members’ needs and limitations and devise individualized programs to meet their goals. We will also offer wellness classes specifically addressing prevention/fitness needs of seniors, such as balance and strength training.
It’s important to note that, typically, we treated only two to three patients annually who required cardiac rhythm monitoring and supervision by a registered nurse.
These patients will still be able to participate in many aspects of our new program, but they will need to seek cardiac rehab elsewhere. We regret this inconvenience, but feel our new program is the best choice for our community.
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Kelly Mather is CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital.