Cottage Health Honors Volunteers

By Giving List Staff   |   May 5, 2023

After a three-year pause during the pandemic, the Cottage Health Volunteer Awards Luncheon was back in person this past April at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

Over the past year, 450 Cottage volunteers have donated close to 95,000 hours of service at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Cottage volunteers serve across nearly every department, including Emergency, Surgery, Intensive Care, Physical Therapy, Orthopedics and Wound Care.

Ron Werft, President & CEO of Cottage Health, praised the vital work of volunteers during the awards luncheon with 150 volunteers in attendance.

“As volunteers, you have chosen to generously share your gifts, and we are all better because of you,” Mr. Werft said.  “Your service is seen through every area of Cottage Health, and you are truly part of the care team.”

Special recognition and a lifetime recognition award were presented to Toni Straka for her 62 years and 15,578 hours of volunteer service at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

“Being at Cottage is a highlight of my week,” Ms. Straka said.  “I look forward to meeting and working with wonderful people. Whether it is an easy day or one with many challenges, my goal is to leave with a smile on my face to mirror the smile of others..”

Cottage also awarded five $3,000 academic scholarships to Santa Ynez Valley High School students who plan to pursue their dreams of careers in healthcare. The recipients were Gabriel Rodriguez, Chase Sylvia, Diana Corona, Allison Linane and Jazmin Gonzalez Salinas.


Cottage Health

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Vice President for Advancement: Andrew Brown


To provide superior health care for and improve the health of our communities through a commitment to our core values of excellence, integrity, and compassion.

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Every staff member was totally dedicated to my healing and recovery with the goal to get me on my feet and walking again – which they did.
Bill Werts, Grateful Patient

Providing Critical and Compassionate Health Services to our Community

Your support of Cottage Health is more important than ever. Your donations provide critical services, innovative technology, and the highest level of compassionate care to our patients and families, and to our friends and neighbors. Together, we can truly improve the health of our community – today and for generations to come.

Cottage Health Supporters

Thanks to countless donors and grateful patients who provide generous and meaningful gifts – at all levels – who help sustain our hospitals and ensure the very best care for our community.

Notable Gifts: Individual Donors 

• Mary & Richard Compton – creating the Compton Center for Medical Excellence and Innovation, bringing the best medical solutions to all who live on the Central Coast

• Ben & Naomi Bollag – funding Emergency and Trauma Care excellence

• Anna & David Grotenhuis, Wayne & Sharol Siemens, Virginia Grotenhuis – providing resources to expand patient care and strengthen our future

• Craig Mally & Louise Stewart, MD – funding the first endowed chair for medical leadership at Cottage Health

• Richard & Mimi Gunner – providing educational support for nursing leaders

• Paul Guido – supporting mental and behavioral health for our community’s youngest and most vulnerable patients

Notable gifts: Estates and Trusts

• Angela Minelli Starke – supporting pediatric excellence close to home

• Paul and Leslie Ridley-Tree – providing inspiration and loving support for the health and wellness of all Cottage patients

Notable Foundation Partners

•  Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation

•  Wood-Claeyssens Foundation

•  Unihealth Foundation

•  Bower Foundation