Jessica Winkler
Sonoma hospital ranked No. 2 in state
Acute-care facility gets ‘A’ for social responsibility, equity, value, outcomes
By Daniel Johnson sonoma Index-Tribune

Sonoma Valley Hospital has been ranked the second most socially responsible acute-care hospital in California by a nonpartisan health care think tank.

The ranking is included in the 2024-25 Lown Institute Hospitals Index, released on Tuesday by the institute, which is based in Needham, Massachusetts.

Sonoma Valley Hospital received an “A” rating, the top grade, in the social responsibility, equity, value and outcomes categories.

“Social responsibility, equity, value and outcomes are all part of our culture at Sonoma Valley Hospital; it’s who we are as an organization,” said RN Jessica Winkler, the chief nursing officer at the hospital. “By nurturing our culture and developing our programs — such as our DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) work group, Age-Friendly Health System journey and Community Trust Team — it simply follows that the outcome of that work is the ‘A’ rating in these categories.”

In social responsibility, Sonoma Valley Hospital was ranked second among 258 hospitals in California and 10th among 2,758 hospitals in the nation.

“As a small community hospital, we are very honored and pleased to be recognized for our commitment to the care of the community,” Winkler said.

Within the equity category, Sonoma Valley Hospital received “A” rankings in the pay equity, community health and inclusivity subcategories, while in the value category, it was awarded “A” rankings in avoiding overuse and cost efficiency.

The hospital was ranked fourth among California hospitals in outcomes and received “A” rankings in clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, in which it was rated fifth in the state.

“We are proud of the quality of care we provide to our community,” said RN Kylie Cooper, director of quality for the hospital. “Our dedicated hospital staff and physicians are always focused on excellence in clinical outcomes and improving population health.

“Many of our caregivers have been part of the Sonoma Valley Hospital family for several years and they choose to work here because they are able to provide care on a highly empathetic level. We have a supportive, welcoming and compassionate culture at Sonoma Valley Hospital, and this shows with our patient satisfaction scores.”

Sonoma Valley Hospital’s rankings earned it honor roll status, a distinction given to only 5% of hospitals evaluated in the 2024-25 Lown Institute Hospitals Index.

“As an essential part of Sonoma, SVH is committed to serving the whole community and is pleased to receive recognition for our commitment to provide excellent care,” said John Hennelly, president and CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital, in a news release. “We are extremely proud to have maintained ‘A’ grades in social responsibility, value of care and cost efficiency for three years running.”

Dr. Vikas Saini, president of Lown Institute, emphasized the importance of social responsibility.

“Great care is only great if everyone can access it,” he said in a news release. “Socially responsible hospitals are trusted to provide high-quality care to all, and their success directly improves the health and economic stability of their communities.”

The Lown Institute Hospital Index rates hospitals on more than 50 metrics pertaining to equity, value and outcomes. The index is unique in that it includes metrics such as racial inclusivity and pay equity along with more traditional measures.

“Our rankings show there is considerable room for improvement in social responsibility, even among well-known and typically high-performing hospitals,” Saini said.

Reach Sonoma Index-Tribune reporter Dan Johnson at