By Brooke Holland

Noozhawk Staff Writer

Completing the final phase of construction work at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is a milestone, according to Ron Werft, Cottage Health’s president and CEO.

The project, which added about 134,000 square feet to the hospital, increases capacity to 90 licensed beds in two new pavilions, and elevates the comfort, technology and privacy in an emergency department that served more than 46,000 patients last year.

The redesign brings the facility to about 713,000 square feet and the total number of beds for patients to 337.

Patient move-in date was Nov. 4 for the expanded emergency department and new Children’s Medical Center, Werft said.

A handful of residents got their first look at the addition to the hospital during an open house in October.

“The design driver on this was patients first, and it was staff-led,” Werft said. “We built mock rooms and had nurses, therapists and physicians spending several months in the mock rooms that resulted in several hundred design changes.”

Departments moving into new pavilions include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center — all adjacent on the third floor of the Compton and Arlington pavilions — the oncology and telemetry center located in the Compton Pavilion, the inpatient dialysis in the Arlington Pavilion, and the emergency department expansion.

The remodel includes 24 private emergency department rooms, and a new computed tomography (CT) scanner and X-ray unit have been added to save transport time of patients.

“Because we are able to double the size of the emergency department, we will be able to move patients much quicker through the system,” said Steve Fellows, Cottage Health’s executive vice president and COO. “The emergency department is adjacent to surgery, and also adjacent to the adult critical care units…so when there’s trauma that comes in by helicopter or by ground, everybody is in the same location for the benefit of patients.”

Areas of the emergency department will be closed to the public and remodeled, and scheduled to open in 2020.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is a regional referral center for Central California, and the only designated Level 1 trauma center between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

On the first floor, the Arlington Pavilion remodel expands the number of inpatient treatment areas to eight from six, and the machines are portable to enable treatment at the bedside for intensive care patients.

The facility is the only hospital in Santa Barbara County providing apheresis services. More than 2,000 treatments were provided in 2017, including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and therapeutic aphaeresis.

Design of the first floor Compton Pavilion features 12 patient beds that also are larger, in the oncology areas. It includes enhanced guest accommodations in each patient room, and increases a space dedicated to chemotherapy storage and preparation.

Last year, the oncology center treated 1,000 newly diagnosed patients.

Telemetry activity, located on the second floor of the Compton Pavilion, includes 32 beds and the capability to monitor up to 80 patients, as well as enhanced guest accommodations in each room.

The hospital served more than 10,000 patients on telemetry monitoring in 2017.

The Haselton Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cottage Children’s Medical Center has 22 patient beds. Skylights in the corridor and large windows allow natural light into each unit.

In 2017, more than 260 infants were admitted to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

The Children’s Medical Center includes eight patient beds in all-private rooms in the pediatric intensive care unit. It’s located below the rooftop air transport helipad, allowing children from throughout the region to be transported to Cottage quickly.

In 2017, there were more than 6,000 pediatric emergencies and trauma-related visits to Cottage Children’s Medical Center.

All 38 patient rooms in the children’s acute-care pediatric area offer lighting that kids can control to change the color and intensity, and have sleeping areas for family.

Animal footprints on the floors and educational art on the walls help motivate children in their recovery process, said Liz Lundquist, Cottage Children’s Medical Center’s director of children’s services.

“Nature is all over this unit,” Lundquist said.

The one waiting room for all pediatric units in the Children’s Medical Center includes a decor theme of Santa Barbara’s waterfront.

Sculptures of pelicans are visible throughout the Children’s Medical Center, allowing for therapeutic interaction using art to promote healing.

Design of the new facility focuses on providing a healing environment, with natural light, enhancements to increase the comfort of patients and families, and increased green space.

The remodel on the first floor also includes a new amphitheater with seating for 144 people. The area will be used for medical education and community events.

In addition, there’s a new museum highlighting the hospital’s 127-year history.

The 1994 Northridge earthquake prompted legislation to require all hospitals in California be retrofitted or rebuilt to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

No state, federal or local public funding was provided to meet the requirement, according to Werft.

The cost of the project has been more than $820 million, and of that amount, community members donated more than $110 million.

“It’s been a long journey and an exciting time,” Werft said. “We are proud to have the chance to be part of a team that had the opportunity to do this work for the community.”


Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at