Council Connect Articles

Hospital Council Holds North Bay CEO Section Meeting


  • John Hennelly, CEO, Sonoma Valley Hospital
  • Judson Howe, President, Adventist Health Howard Memorial
  • Scott Knight, CEO, Sutter Lakeside Hospital
  • Steve Herber, MD, President, Adventist Health St. Helena
  • Tarek Salaway, Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Marin-Sonoma, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa
  • Bryan J. Bucklew, President & CEO, Hospital Council – Northern & Central California
  • Kirsten Barlow, Vice President, Policy, California Hospital Association (CHA)
  • Meghan Hardin, Regional Vice President, Hospital Council – Northern & Central California
  • Angela Nielsen, Administrative Director, Hospital Council – Northern & Central California


Leading off the first section meeting in 2022, Bryan Bucklew provided an overview of priorities from Hospital Council and CHA. Of particular interest and importance in the North Bay are safeguarding the state’s hospitals through continued advocacy around seismic standards (disaster preparedness), ambulance patient offload delays (APOD), and strengthening California’s health care partnerships. While the hospitals in the North Bay Section generally don’t have the same APOD challenges found in the more densely populated cities, transportation can be a tremendous challenge in rural areas. This is especially the case with interfacility transport of behavioral health patients, which is reimbursed only if patients are transported to the hospital in an ambulance. For certain transports, this can result in ambulances being out of service for up to half a day.

Bucklew also noted recent meetings with PG&E have focused on several priorities:

  • The growing challenges associated with California’s ongoing drought
  • New enhanced powerline safety settings power outages that PG&E has introduced
  • PG&E’s commitment to supporting California’s hospitals
  • PG&E’s strong partnership with Hospital Council

CHA’s Kirsten Barlow, vice president, policy, discussed legislative proposals related to behavioral health. This includes funding for housing, social workers/treatment, provider workforce expansion, and 988 (the alternative to 911 specifically for those in a behavioral health or other crisis). The CEOs present agreed that their facilities struggle mightily with behavioral health patients and that county support, interfacility transport, and services for pediatric patients are foremost among their concerns.

Takeaway/Next Steps

For informational purposes only.