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Hospice By the Bay to assume SVH home-care services

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Sonoma Valley Hospital has reached an agreement to transfer its skilled home care services, Healing at Home, to the Hospice by the Bay.

The hospital board held an informational public meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15, regarding the proposed transfer.

According to hospital spokesperson Celia Kruse De la Rosa, about a handful of community members attended.

On Thursday, the hospital announced that an agreement had been reached for the transfer.

Hospice by the Bay is a not-for-profit organization with a long presence in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Hospice by the Bay’s acquisition of Healing at Home will be finalized on Thursday, Sept. 6, when it comes before the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board for formal approval. The transfer must also be approved by the Hospice by the Bay board.

“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, in a release on Aug, 16. “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.”

Healing at Home will continue operating it under that name.

According to Mather, 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.

Mather noted that due to rising costs, many hospitals have recently closed their home care services, and that she felt that the hospital’s best option was to identify a “highly-respected organization to operate the agency.”

Hospice by the Bay has operated in Sonoma County for more than 25 years.

Kitty Whitaker, CEO of Hospice by the Bay, noted in the announcement that the nonprofit has a separate home care division that specializes in general home care.

“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,” she said in the release.

Healing At Home Director Lisa O’Hara said that the transition should be smooth for local Healing at Home patients. O’Hara, a Sonoma resident and a 20-year member of the hospital staff, will join Hospice by The Bay.

Sonoma Valley Hospital has offered skilled home health care service since 1989. In 2014, the hospital renamed it Healing At Home.

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