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Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Embarks on $2.2 Million Community Fundraising Campaign

Foundation gets the kickoff started with a party as hospital starts drive to close out seismic retrofitting, rebuilding project

A fancy reception was held at Bacara Resort & Spa for the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation’s kickoff of the community fundraising campaign to rebuild Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

Nearly 200 guests enjoyed wine and hors d’ouevres in the downstairs foyer of the Bacara theater March 12. Later, Bacara general manager Kathleen Cochran announced that the hotel was donating the cost of the reception, an announcement that was warmly received by the audience.

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, 351 S. Patterson Ave., is replacing all of its in-patient care facilities at an estimated cost of $114 million. The work is required by a 1994 state law mandating that acute-care hospitals be retrofitted or rebuilt to withstand — and function after — a magnitude-6 earthquake. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is undergoing a similar overhaul to meet the law’s requirements.

The Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation is asking the community to help it raise at least $14 million to fund the new hospital. To date, $11.8 million has been raised, with $2.2 million to go.

Brian Stenfors, manager of affiliated campaigns for Cottage Health System, announced that “Building Well. Being Well. The Campaign for the New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital” is the theme to fund the rebuilding project. Later it was revealed that the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation of Santa Barbara has provided a $1 million challenge grant, which means that community contributions will be matched up to a total of $1 million.

The new hospital will be a 152,000-square-foot, two-story facility. New additions and expansion will include 20 Emergency Department treatment rooms (up from the current eight rooms), six surgical suites (up from current four suites), a dedicated endoscopy suite , 44 private medical/surgical rooms that will significantly improve patient privacy and also increase overall bed capacity, eight private intensive care unit rooms, and four hyperbaric oxygen chambers (an increase from two chambers). Click here to view the hospital’s construction Webcam.

Thanks to a $5 million donation from Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, the expanded wound center will be named the Ridley-Tree Center for Wound Management. In addition, $1 million was donated by an anonymous local family, $500,000 from participating physician support, $350,000 from the Santa Barbara Foundation, and $250,000 from another anonymous local family.

Although the state of California is requiring the work, it is providing no funding to help the hospital reach the deadline goal set for 2013. Construction in Goleta is expected to be completed during the summer of 2014, and funds to pay for the work are coming from hospital operations, tax-exempt bonds and community donations.

Cottage Health System president and CEO Ron Werft and three-term board president Gretchen Milligan opened the well-orchestrated program in the Bacara theater. Werft introduced community leaders Donald Anderson and William Peeples as the campaign co-chairmen of the fundraising effort. They will be assisted by committee members Dr. Daniel Craviotto, Susan Deacon, Thomas Frutchey, Jim Knight, Jeffrey Kruthers, Mark Linehan, Richard Scoby and Craig Zimmerman.

Diane Wisby, vice president of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, continued with a retrospective of the hospital, which was originally known as Valley Hospital of Santa Barbara. A group of physicians made the purchase in 1966 when Dr. Paul Ashton paid some overdue property taxes. In 1996, Goleta Valley Community Hospital became affiliated with Cottage Health System.

“Why have hospitals seven miles apart?” asked Wisby. “We can remember recently how one veteran with a firearm on a bridge gridlocked the whole town for hours. Other catastrophes such as fires and flood can bring the same situation.”

Wisby went on to describe specialty departments at the new hospital, such as the wound center, breast care center, and oral and maxillofacial surgery services. Architectural details will incorporate some Goleta themes, such as the chapel in the shape of an airplane wing (the hospital is in the flight path of the nearby Santa Barbara Airport), corrugated roof (reminiscent of the old fruit packing houses), and sandstone.

Sure to provide support are Foundation Board of Trustees chairman Jeffrey Bermant, Earl Armstrong, Joan Bennett, Jean Blois, Robin Cederlof, Andy Clark, Robert Fatch, Dennis Franks, Valerie Fuette, Joanne Funari, Lawrence P. Harter, Robert B. Locke, Dr. Bruce McFadden, Lynda Nahra and Tom Parker.

Honorary Cabinet members include Mounir Ashamalla, Edward Birch, Larry Crandell, Betty and James Fisher MD, David Giorgi, Darwin Holian MD, Gerd and Peter Jordano, Nancy and Robert Knight, Jackie Parker, Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman, Betty Rosness, Anne and Michael Towbes, Susan and Yulun Wang Ph.D., Dilling and UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang. The Physicians Campaign chairman is Dr. Nicholas Vincent, who will lead committee members Craviotto, Harter, John Deacon MD, Michael Gunson MD and Brett Wilson MD.

The not-for-profit Cottage Health System, parent organization of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and its associated Cottage Children’s Hospital, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, is guided by a volunteer board of directors from the greater Santa Barbara community. Last year, the Cottage hospitals provided in-patient care for 21,000 people, treated 66,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,600 newborns.

Click here for more information on Building Well. Being Well. The Campaign for the New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, or call Brian Stenfors at 805.696.7918. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews, @NoozhawkBiz and @NoozhawkSociety. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook and Noozhawk on Pinterest.

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