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Sonoma West Medical Center offering Tours of Renovated Facility


Sonoma West Medical Center offering Tours of Renovated Facility

Sonoma West Medical Center, formerly Palm Drive Hospital, will be offering tours of the newly refurbished and renovated hospital beginning on March 14.

These tours will allow the public to visit areas of the hospital normally off limits and also to see a typical private patient room.

 “The only time the public can view some areas of the hospital is while the hospital is closed. We think it is very educational for people to see what we are doing,” said Raymond Hino, CEO of Sonoma West Medical Center.

Sonoma West Medical Center is moving quickly with the remodeling of Palm Drive and continues to plan an opening  April 27.  It is the first major remodeling of the hospital since 1976. When completed the 25 bed hospital will offer the full range of services, with specialized medical services through physician institutes, an intensive care unit, and an emergency room. 

West County residents have expressed particular interest in emergency services, and remodeling of the Emergency Room is nearly complete.  The Emergency Department will have a new approach after the hospital’s anticipated April opening, and will offer a “No Wait” Emergency Room.

The goal will be to have every emergency room patient seen by a physician within five minutes of coming in the door. Patients coming to the Emergency Room at Sonoma West Medical Center will receive immediate and doctor directed attention.

Dr. Rodney Look, who pioneered the “no wait” concept at St. Helena Adventist Hospital, will direct the Sonoma West Medical Center emergency room.

Sonoma West Medical Center RenovationLook, a Harvard trained emergency room specialist and Sebastopol resident said, “I am very pleased with the work that’s being done and our ability to serve the community in a modernized setting. We plan to make this emergency room the best in the area.”

The Sonoma West Medical Foundation, formerly the Palm Drive Health Care Foundation, has led the drive to reopen the Sebastopol hospital, which closed its doors a year ago and entered bankruptcy.

 “Our Foundation Board members are impressed with the speed and the quality of the work being done,” said Foundation President Gail Thomas.  “Opening the hospital in April has been our goal, and the Foundation authorized $500,000 toward these improvements.  We are pleased that the work is coming along so well and our community will have a hospital. ”

Donor and family practice physician Harry Simms expressed his pleasure at seeing the improvements.  “While I now am in general practice, I have been an ER doc and appreciate all the work going into creating this as a very special Emergency Department. “

Other improvements for the Palm Drive facility include upgrades in patient rooms, the Laboratory, the Imaging Department, and finally correcting the non-structural earthquake work required that should have been done years ago,” Hino said 

‘We are also upgrading some other spaces like the kitchen, pharmacy, and respiratory therapy as well as the business office where we are re-carpeting, painting and putting in new furnishings in preparation for our patient education center,” Hino said.

Sonoma West Medical Center, Inc., located at 501 Petaluma Avenue in Sebastopol, is a California public benefit corporation formed to reopen Palm Drive Hospital under the Sonoma West Medical Center name. Raymond Hino, MPA, FACHE is the Chief Executive Officer and has over 30 years of hospital administration experience including 6 years as the CEO of Mendocino Coast Hospital in Fort Bragg. The 15 member board of directors of SWMC includes prominent business and health care professionals and community leaders from the area, including Dr. James Gude, the well-known telemedicine pioneer,  John Balletto, owner of Balletto winery and Merry Edwards, owner of Merry Edwards winery..  

Photos of the work underway, taken by Joan Marler, are attached. For a private tour of the facility, contact