It was precisely 7 a.m. on Tuesday when a beaming Kelly Mather, CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital, unveiled a sign pointing to the brand-new emergency room.
At that moment, Sonoma’s old ER – described by hospital staff as run-down and shabby – closed, and a modern one opened in its place.
The inevitable chaos ensued as doctors, nurses and everyone else made the transition from old to new. Supplies and equipment filled the rooms, staff sorted things out, and 15 minutes in, the first patient arrived.
It was a hectic morning, but by noon the place was decidedly calmer – “a lot better than it was four hours ago,” said Mark Kobe, director of nursing. Most nurses were still getting to know their new environment, and the talkative buzz gave the place a first-day-of-school air.
Kobe reflected the happiness everyone there seemed to feel at occupying a modern healthcare facility. For example, “We didn’t have a dedicated triage room in the old ER, and now we do,” he said.