Cottage Health System embarked on an ambitious philanthropic campaign in 2004 to build a new, state-of-the-art Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The goal was to raise $100 million in community support to help pay for the project, which is now estimated to surpass $700 million.

More than 5,500 donors, individuals, corporations, businesses and foundations have recognized the importance of The Campaign for Cottage Health System, and have joined in the effort to help ensure the construction of an exemplary acute medical center that will provide superior quality health care for the entire Central Coast. The outpouring of community support allowed the campaign to achieve a successful conclusion at the end of 2008, raising a total of more than $110.8 million over a five-year period.

“Being a part of a community-wide effort to ensure the highest quality of health-care services for our community has been a privilege,” said Peter MacDougall, chairman of the Campaign Cabinet.

“Few activities are more rewarding than to work with others to help provide a new hospital, ideally designed and equipped to deliver essential and vital medical services to each of us, our families and all those with whom we share life in this beautiful environment.”

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital touches thousands of lives each day. Last year, the hospital admitted more than 18,000 patients (including those admitted at Cottage Children’s Hospital and Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital), welcomed 2,800 newborns and treated 38,600 in its emergency department/trauma center.

“The generous community response to The Campaign for Cottage Health System has verified the heart, compassion and genuine concern shared by thousands of our friends, neighbors and fellow residents,” MacDougall continued. “To see how broadly and generously the community responded to the opportunity to provide a new hospital for current and future generations has been inspiring.”

The rebuilding of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital began in 2005. Currently, construction of approximately 70 percent of the new hospital is under way, and the first two patient-care pavilions will be completed in 2011.

Although the campaign has concluded, the hospital will continue to seek gifts and grants in support of the construction of its new patient-care facilities and the medical equipment and technology associated with the rebuilding project.

— Maria Zate is Cottage Health System’s marketing and public affairs manager.