Established in March 2009, CFIT has been dedicated to helping people maintain brain fitness over the entire lifespan. Programs include a complete cognitive evaluation, as well as exercise training, life coaching, cognitive exercises, music, nutrition counseling, technological aides, massage, social networking, aquatic wellness, and genetic testing. The entire program is designed to provide an additional dimension to the comprehensive care currently offered by the Santa Barbara physician community.

The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of developing cognitive impairment associated with aging. Cognitive decline is one of the most frightening prospects of aging. Although no pill exists that can wipe away cognitive decline, interventions that are supported by evidence can decrease the risk. Prevention is the key. CFIT has provided services intended to decrease risk.

CFIT approached Cottage Health System for assistance in sustaining its programs and serving more members of the community. Based on a recommendation from a physician medical advisory panel, the Cottage board of directors took the request under consideration. The two not-for-profit organizations agreed that the best way to accomplish those goals would be for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to assume operational oversight.

Following a review of CFIT’s clinical and business model and operations, in consultation with members of the local medical community, the Cottage Center for Cognitive Fitness will open to provide client services in January 2012. Inquiries about the Cottage Center for Cognitive Fitness may be made to 805-899-7777.

“Commitment to our core values of excellence, integrity and compassion embrace the goal of serving the better health of all members of our community, including cognitive support services,” says Cottage Health System Board Chair Gretchen Milligan. “Philanthropy support from residents of the Central Coast will continue to be vital to support this important initiative.”

The center’s Medical Director, Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., comments, “Like all preventive measures, keeping the brain fit means adopting healthy interventions before disease strikes. Doing so is a challenge because when we feel well there is little incentive to face the frightening specter of disease. However, brain fitness is quite simple and when done well should be enjoyable and engaging.”

Dr. Kosik is internationally known as a leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders. He was recruited from Harvard Medical School by the University of California Santa Barbara to co-direct the Neuroscience Research Institute, and he is also a professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at UCSB. Dr. Kosik has been responsible for directing and integrating research and information technology developments into CFIT’s programs.

“We are fortunate that Dr. Kosik will continue as Medical Director of the Cottage Center for Cognitive Fitness,” says Cottage Health System President and CEO Ron Werft. “We feel it is of importance to maintain these programs in our community and to provide interventional support to individuals experiencing early signs of cognitive impairment.”


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