Cottage Health System is in the process of building a new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital to meet California’s requirements to withstand a major earthquake and to provide a larger facility designed to accommodate the medical technologies that have evolved during the past decades. The rebuild will also position the hospital and Cottage Health System to respond to the growing health care needs of the region.

When the new GVCH opens in 2014, its new main lobby will be dedicated to the memory of the late George and Dale Cavalletto. Over the years, the Cavalletto couple made many generous donations to GVCH.

“The Trustees of the Cavalletto Charities are very pleased to continue this important philanthropic tradition by supporting the rebuilding of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital,” said Dennis W. Reilly, chair of Cavalletto Charities.

The new GVCH has an estimated total cost of $114 million. Although the state is requiring the work, it is providing no funding to help hospitals retrofit or rebuild. There is also no funding coming from any local or national agency.

Funds to pay for the hospital rebuild will need to come from hospital operations, tax-exempt bonds and generous community donations.

The new, two-story GVCH will total 152,000 square feet and plans include more than doubling the size of the Emergency Department and expanding both the Surgical Services Department and the Center for Wound Management. The new facility will include 52 beds and will improve patient comfort by providing all private rooms.

“We are thrilled and grateful for this wonderful gift to our Building Well, Being Well Campaign for the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital,” said Diane Wisby, vice president of GVCH. “It is so fitting that the gift was made in memory of long-time benefactors George and Dale Cavalletto,” she added.

The couple’s estate plan created the Cavalletto Charities in 2003 and it has been a major annual donor to Cottage Health System and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

The Cavalletto family history in Santa Barbara began in 1892 with Giovanni Battista Cavalletto, who emigrated from Italy at the age of 16.

George Cavalletto, son of Giovanni, was a pioneering Goleta farmer, businessman and attorney. In 1954, he was a founding member of the law firm Cavalletto, Webster, Mullen, and McCaughey– now known as Mullen & Henzell.

The Cavalletto family has a long history of involvement with the Goleta hospital. In 1962, George Cavalletto provided a 66-year lease on the property at Patterson and Hollister for the development of a hospital. The ground lease was conveyed to Goleta Valley Community Hospital in 1973.

In 1987, Mr. Cavalletto developed a medical office building across from the hospital that facilitated physician support of Goleta Valley Community Hospital. A year later, Mr. Cavalletto was recognized by the Goleta Valley Community Hospital Board as an Honorary Founder. He remained committed to the hospital and used it for all of his health care needs. The hospital changed its name in 1996 to reflect its affiliation with Cottage Health System.

Dale Cavalletto was a member of the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation Board from 1989-2002. She was board chair from 1991-1992. She was also a founding board member of the Breast Care Center at GVCH from 1991-1996.

Dale Cavalletto’s daughter, Valerie Fuette, is a Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation board member, an active volunteer for the hospital’s building campaign, and a trustee of the Cavalletto Charities.

About Cottage Health System

The not-for-profit Cottage Health System — the parent organization of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and its associated Cottage Children’s Hospital and Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital — is guided by a volunteer board of directors from the greater-Santa Barbara community. Last year, the Cottage hospitals provided inpatient care for 20,000 people, treated 67,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,400 newborns.


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