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Winfrey Gives $1 Million to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s Rebuilding Campaign

The fundraising campaign to rebuild Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has received a significant boost with a $1 million gift from Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey.

The donation, earmarked for The Campaign for Cottage Health System by The Oprah Winfrey Foundation based in Chicago, comes at the close of the nonprofit hospital’s largest fundraising effort ever — a five-year drive to raise $100 million to support the rebuilding of the largest acute-care hospital on the California coast between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

In pledging her financial support, Winfrey, a part-time local resident since the early 2000s, indicated to Cottage Hospital president and CEO Ron Werft how much she appreciated the hospital’s dedication to the health and well-being of the community, and that it was given “with the hope that your great work will continue to thrive.”

“Oprah has changed so many lives throughout the world,” Werft said. “Her generous support of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital will now enhance the lives of countless Central Coast residents for generations to come.”

Construction on the new Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital began in 2005 and is expected to cost more than $700 million. The first two patient pavilions will be completed in 2011.

Janet O’Neill is a public affairs representative for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

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