Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) present the 13th annual Health Care Heroes on Sunday October 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Four Seasons Biltmore Coral Casino in Santa Barbara. This event will honor two extraordinary individuals, Eileen Bunning and Jim Tamborello, D.D.S., for their selfless contributions and commitments to community service.

Eileen Bunning served as the President and CEO of Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara from 2001 to 2010. On September 24, 2008, Bunning joined the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Board of Directors. She is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Health Care Administration and a Master of Arts in Psychology. Prior to coming to Santa Barbara, she was the Hospice Operations Manager for Sutter Health in San Francisco, overseeing 5 programs around the Bay area. Under her direction, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care tripled in revenue growth and persons served.

Bunning serves on the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Board of Directors as Board Chair, the Board of Adventures in Caring, the City College Advisory Board for Nursing, the Professional Advisory Board for CenCal Health and co-chairs the Non-Profit Division of United Way of Santa Barbara County. In 2007, Bunning was honored by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce with the Betty Hatch Award for Women and Entrepreneurs.

Jim Tamborello completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) at UCLA and his Master of Science in Dentistry at Georgetown University. After completing these degrees, he served in the U.S. Air Force. In 1981, Tamborello started a private practice with Dr. Bill Arnett in Santa Barbara. From 2004 to 2009, Tamborello worked in a private practice with Drs. David Hall and Marc Bienstock. After serving the Santa Barbara community for over 40 years, Tamborello retired in 2009.

He has served as a Diplomate for the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and is a member of the American, California, and Santa Barbara/Ventura County Dental Associations. He served as the Board Examiner for the Advisory Board of American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from 1987 to 1992. Tamborello is Board certified and has medical staff surgical privileges at Santa Barbara and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospitals and St. Francis Hospitals. He has lectured for the UCLA Department of Oral and Maxilllofacial Surgery on dentoalveolar surgery and has served as a lecturer at many California dental and hospital-based study clubs.

Beginning with an energizing reception, “Health Care Heroes” will feature wine from Oreana Winery, delectable dishes in a seated dinner from the Four Seasons Biltmore, Coral Casino, and a live “Hearts” auction, which will present opportunities to sponsor emergency dental treatment, counseling services, diabetes & nutrition classes, Teen Health Advocates, and more. A short film premiere will highlight the important work of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and words of gratitude from patients served. The event’s centerpiece is the presentation of the Health Care Hero’s themselves, along with the gift of a handmade, embroidered Hero’s Cape for each of the honorees.

The benefit event will celebrate the clinics’ unparalleled decades of service to the community and raise funds for the important medical, dental, and mental health programs and services the organization provides, which prioritize preventive strategies and health education.

“Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics has been the community’s health safety net for children, families and seniors for over for over forty years,” said last year’s Health Care Heroes recipient, Sybil Rosen. “Even today, despite the healthcare challenges we are all facing, our supporters have come together to ensure the Neighborhood Clinics can continue to provide vital medical, dental, and mental health services to 17,000 people each year.”

Event sponsors are CenCal Health, MarBorg Industries, Montecito Bank & Trust, Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, St. Francis Foundation, Venoco, Inc. and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. In-kind sponsors are Oreana Winery, Boone Graphics, La Fête, and Netnolimits, Inc. Media sponsors are Daily Sound, Santa Barbara Independent, Montecito Messenger and Pacific Coast Business Times. “By sponsoring and attending this event, you will help SBNC continue its legacy of making our community a healthy and vibrant place for all,” said Rosen.

The 13th Annual “Health Care Heroes” will be held on Sunday, October 2, from 6-9 p.m. at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort at the Coral Casino in Santa Barbara, 1260 Channel Drive. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by calling 805.617.7853 or online at or e-mailing

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics

Since Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics began serving the community over four decades ago, the organization has been diligently working in the community to provide high quality, affordable, comprehensive healthcare to all people regardless of their ability to pay, especially those uninsured and otherwise underserved, while maintaining a welcoming environment and treating patients with compassion, dignity, and respect. Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics strives to achieve excellence and to maximize the potential of each employee, volunteer, and board member through a respectful and supportive organization.

For more information about the event or SBNC services or to donate, please go to or call Bonnie Campbell, Chief Operations Officer at 805.617.7853.


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