Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Celebrates 5 years with Cottage Health System


In September 2007, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Rehabilitation Institute at Santa Barbara (RISB) signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH) in which RISB became a program of SBCH and a part of Cottage Health System.


Becoming part of SBCH/CHS has achieved exactly what the RISB Board had envisioned: preservation of RISB’s unique 57-year mission and the sustained ability to provide state-of-the-art physical medicine and rehabilitation care for our community.  CRH is now part of a future-oriented and viable health system, one that fully embraces the rehabilitation process and the value the CRH team brings to the continuum of care offered by SBCH.


In anticipation of the Asset Purchase Agreement, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (CRHF) was incorporated to receive the funds from the purchase, to hold the donated funds previously received by RISB, and to continue to seek philanthropic support for CRH Programs and Services.



Melinda Staveley

Vice President

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital



CRHF, with its volunteer board dedicated to our work and the needs of people with disabilities, is not only meeting its obligations, but exceeding them. CRHF has already reached its 2012 annual goal of $800,000, with additional revenue expected including from the recent successful Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation event.


CRH focuses on the patients and community members we serve as inpatients; as patients at Keck Center for Outpatient Services; as clients of Coast Caregiver Resource Center; and as participants in our many community outreach programs, including The Tuohy Foundation Aquatic Center, Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp, and our newest Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Therapy Group fully funded by CRHF.


Such an anniversary would not be complete without also celebrating the gifts of wisdom, expertise, compassion and dedication which Harris Meisel, MD and his wife, Fredda, brought to their leadership of RISB in its earliest days.  Dr. Meisel, RISB’s founding Medical Director and President/CEO Emeritus and founding partner of Central Coast Physical Medicine & Rehablitation (CCPM&R), set the tone and the direction for RISB; recruited the best in physiatry to the practice; seeded the community’s understanding of what this then unusual service would provide; and inspired the community support to make it happen. Many still don’t realize that RISB was then and CRH continues to be now the only acute medical rehabilitation program of our depth and scope in a community of this small population size. 


This is a milestone to cherish and gives us an opportunity to look ahead to the next five years of exquisite teamwork on behalf of our patients, their caregivers, and our community.


Melinda Staveley
Vice President, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital and CHS Therapy Services
President, Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation