Sonoma West Medical Center hospital puts off closure talks, plans fundraising campaign

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


Sonoma West Medical Center has put off deliberations over whether to shut down the Sebastopol hospital, opting instead to go forward with aggressive fundraising aimed at paying down part of the facility’s $5 million in debt.

SWMC’s board of directors had planned to meet Friday and discuss whether to begin drawing up plans to close the cash-strapped facility. Barbara Vogelsang, SWMC’s chief nursing officer and COO, said in an email the SWMC board met Friday but “there was no motion made to discuss a closure of the hospital.”

Any such plan would have to go before the Palm Drive Health Care District, which owns the hospital and supports it financially.

Vogelsang said hospital officials and their supporters plan to organize an array of fundraising events, including a possible golf tournament and a charitable fun run. The hospital is also requesting personal donations. Vogelsang said the facility continues to make efforts to decrease costs and improve billing collections to become sustainable.

Officials say it costs about $1.8 million to run the hospital each month, a figure that includes operational costs, payroll and current bills. In May, the hospital collected almost $1.9 million, she said.

But the hospital and its supporters say debt payments cripple the hospital’s ability to break even. Those payments totaled more than $632,000 in May and are expected to drop to $250,000 this month and in July before doubling this fall.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213.

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine