Press Release - A "Home Away From Home" for terminally-ill patients

June 23, 2013 | Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay have begun an innovative pilot program at the hospital to provide care and comfort to patients facing the end of life, opening the North Bay’s first in-patient room dedicated solely to hospice patient care.

Located in the hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility, the single-bed Hospice Care Room provides patients in the final days of life with a “home away from home” – a comfortable and safe haven where they can be attended by hospice and hospital staff, and spend time with family members and friends.

The Hospice Care Room is an alternative for terminally ill patients who are distressed by the thought of dying at home, or who require more intensive care than they can receive at home or other facilities. Professional hospice and medical care is available 24 hours a day to attend to patient needs. Having patients stay in the Hospice Care Room also offers family members acting as caregivers short-term respite from those responsibilities.

The home-like space is designed to bring the patient and visiting family comfort and ease during a difficult time. It’s decorated with calming colors, comfortable furnishings and homey features, such as a hummingbird feeder outside the window.

“While eighty percent of Californians say they would prefer to die at home, it’s not always the best option for care during their final days,” says Hospice by the Bay CEO Sandra Lew. “Our work with patients and their families showed there was a need for a dedicated Hospice Care Room. Sonoma Valley Hospital was enthusiastic about a joint program to make this compassionate care alternative available to those in need.”

According to Dr. Robert Cohen, Sonoma Valley’s Chief Medical Officer, the hospital sees the new relationship with hospice as part of its commitment to the community. “We see the Hospice Care Room as an important service we can provide our patients and their families,” said Dr. Cohen. “We value the work Hospice by the Bay does in Sonoma and joining with them to create this special room in the hospital is a natural extension of our commitment to the wellbeing of our community.”

Non-profit health care providers Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay are sharing this cost of this one-year pilot program. Hospice by the Bay raised charitable donations to support the dedicated hospice room from its annual community fundraising gala, individual community members and the local community foundation, Impact 100 Sonoma.

Families seeking information about the new program should contact Hospice by the Bay, 190 W. Napa St., Sonoma, at (707) 935-7504.

About Sonoma Valley Hospital
Sonoma Valley Hospital is an 83-bed acute care district hospital located in the town of Sonoma, California. We provide Emergency, Surgery, Diagnostics, Occupational Health, Rehabilitation, Home Care and Skilled Nursing services. Our mission is to restore, maintain and improve the health of our community, and we are proud that our patient satisfaction and clinical quality evaluations exceed national hospital benchmarks. For more information about Sonoma Valley Hospital, visit

About Hospice by the Bay
Hospice by the Bayis a non-profit provider of hospice and palliative care, and grief counseling and support, serving Marin, San Francisco, N. San Mateo and Sonoma counties.Founded in 1975, it is the second oldest hospice in the United States. Its dedicated staff serves patients of all ages with terminal, chronic and life-limiting illnesses, while supporting their families and the community. Licensed by the State of California, Hospice by the Bay is certified by Medicare and Medi-Cal, and accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc.(CHAP) for achieving the CHAP standards of excellence. For more information, visit, or call (415) 927-2273.

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