Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital: June 18, 2020 | TheUnion.com

Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital: June 18, 2020

Submitted by Kimberly Parker

As things are opening up, Nevada County is seeing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, there were 57 cases with 41 on the eastern side and 16 western county cases. Placer and Sacramento county numbers are also up since reopening their communities.

Over the years, there have been a lot of questions as to who owns Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH). As our Hospital CEO/President Dr. Brian Evans will tell you, “Our community owns our hospital!”

In the 1990s, SNMH began to recognize what most independent hospitals in the country were starting to realize, which was how challenging it would be for a community hospital in a rural region to sustain itself in the future. SNMH’s board of directors began to look for a solution that would be a great match for our rural community.

After many meetings and much input from the community and health care professionals, the hospital board began its relationship with the Mercy health care system in Sacramento. Finding a system whose core mission, vision and values aligned with those of SNMH was critically important to the hospital board.

In 2005, the board approved a new affiliate agreement with CHW (Catholic Healthcare West) which was renamed Dignity Health in 2013. SNMH was the first non-denominational hospital to join the system. Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (a large health system back east) combined in 2019 to create CommonSpirit Health, becoming the largest nonprofit health system in the United States.

In its affiliate role, SNMH remains your community hospital. SNMH maintains a local board with fiduciary and decision-making responsibilities. We proudly participate as part of the Greater Sacramento Division and share many regional positions resulting in the identification of best practices, greater efficiencies and cost savings, and a wide range of expertise. The systems that created CommonSpirit Health have a proud legacy of serving all people, especially those who have been made vulnerable by poverty, age or other hardships.

Having an association with a system brings tremendous advantages. This has been especially true during COVID-19. SNMH benefits greatly by combined expertise from other hospitals, cost savings on technology, supplies and purchased equipment, a voice at the nation’s capital, being part of a respected national brand, and more.

Also exciting is our hospital’s coordination with Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael. Uniquely positioned to handle COVID-19 patients in a building on their campus separate from other patients, Mercy San Juan stands ready to assist SNMH if there is a major surge and we need to transfer patients due to space restrictions.

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