The New Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital


Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is replacing all of its inpatient care facilities at an estimated cost of more than $700 million. The new hospital’s healing environment will feature natural light, increased green space and environmentally sensitive elements. Its award-winning architectural design will be both patient- and family-friendly and representative of the Spanish Colonial style for which our community is so well-known.


The construction consists of seven phases. Phase 4 was completed in 2011, and patients were moved into the new wings in February 2012.


The rest of the phases include demolishing and rebuilding part of the existing hospital building, which will connect to the new buildings. These last few phases should be completed in 2017.


The helipad also opened for patient transports in February. The new helipad can cut an average of 20 minutes off a patient's transportation to the Level II Trauma Center, critical for injuries that occur in distant or remote areas.


Why rebuild the hospital?

All hospitals in California must be rebuilt or renovated to be able to withstand a major earthquake. Although the state is requiring the work, it is providing no funding to help hospitals reach this deadline goal originally set for 2013.


The new SBCH will feature

  •   337 spacious rooms
  •   increased privacy
  •   numerous meditation areas and gardens, including a “River of Life” flowing through the central gardens
  •   tripled capacity in the Level II Trauma Center/Emergency Department
  •   air ambulance services
  •   consolidated pediatric services in Cottage Children’s Hospital, including a Pediatric Multi-Specialty Clinic
  •   larger, state-of-the-art operating suites, with minimally invasive and robotic surgical services
  •   sophisticated imaging and other diagnostic technologies


Improvements in the new hospital include

  •   The Emergency Department and its Level 2 Trauma Center will double in size. The current Emergency Department was designed to accommodate 25,000 visits a year. But in recent years, the number of ED visits has hovered around 40,000 a year.  The ED in the new hospital will be able to handle 80,000 visits a year.
  •   Every patient room will have a family area with furniture that converts to beds to allow guests to stay overnight
  •   A helipad for air ambulance transport of patients
  •   Significant expansion of the Surgery Department, with room for new technologies such as robotic surgery to offer less invasive procedures and improved outcomes
  •   Substantial investment in state-of-the-art technology, including imaging services and wireless technology
  •   All children’s medical services will be consolidated on the third floor to create a hospital within the hospital -- Cottage Children’s Hospital
  •   The design will focus on creating a healing environment, with more space for gardens, meditation areas, a spiritual center and even a “River of Life” flowing through the interior courtyard
  •   Two new parking structures (already completed)


How will Cottage pay for the new hospital?

With no local, state or federal funding provided to meet new state-mandated seismic requirements, Cottage plans to cover the $700+ million  price through four sources:

  •   Operating reserves
  •   Tax-exempt bond issues (debt)
  •   Current SBCH Foundation assets
  •   The $100 million Campaign for Cottage Health System


How the community provided help

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.  When the five-year Campaign concluded on Dec. 31, 2008, a total of  $110,821,578 had been raised from the community. Get all the Campaign news here >>


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