Partners in Wellness consists of 5 subprograms that volunteers can get involved with. Each offers a unique experience to gain new skills and experiences. Click on each program below to learn more. 

General volunteering


General volunteering is the heart and soul of our organization and is currently our largest program. Each day of the week a different group of volunteers visits Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and makes rounds through a variety of different floors visiting patients. Our first priority is always patient well-being and our volunteers do their best to provide friendly faces and warm conversations to the patients. Our patients open to us about their lives and interests, and many have expressed how grateful they are to  have someone to talk to during what can sometimes be an incredibly isolating experience.


General Volunteering provides the opportunity to be in a clinical environment and gain experience in the hospital years before one might begin a career in medicine. As a healthcare worker, one’s interpersonal skills are extremely important and improving these skills will benefit volunteers for the rest of their life, both personally and professionally. Throughout their time at Cottage, our volunteers are exposed to various career paths within the hospital setting allowing them to see what appeals to them as they embark upon their own path to a career in medicine.


art for wellness

Art for Wellness views art and artistic expression as one way to help and cheer up our patients. Once a week, we bring a cart  full of many different kinds of art supplies, from colored pencils to paints, around to patients. By providing patients with art supplies, we provide a way of taking their minds off of things, allow them to creatively express themselves, and hopefully help them to have an overall more positive stay at the hospital.

peds reads

Peds Reads is a unique sub-program within UCSB’s Partners in Wellness in which volunteers exclusively visit Santa Barbara Cottage’s Children’s              Hospital and pediatric ICU. Yielding iPads and positive attitudes, our Peds Reads team works together to improve the hospital stays for pediatric patients of all ages and backgrounds. Our iPads are stocked with classics, such as Oh, the Places You’ll Go, to unique stories, like Goodnight Little Monster, and the collection continues to grow. In addition to reading stories, Peds Reads volunteers can adapt to connect with patients in other ways, either through silly jokes, lively discussion of the Harry Potter series, or simply by playing some card games. And no child is left out: the team is trained to visit patients staying under various isolation protocols. 


It is immensely difficult for a family to have a sick child. The purpose of Peds Reads is to help ease the stress of family members as well as brighten a patient’s day. Our volunteers are truly passionate about these children, and dedicate their own time in order to help in any way they can.



Shadowing provides valuable insight into the day-to-day life of a physician. From seeing patients to charting after visits, a shadow sees many facets of the job. By accompanying the doctor, this experience helps pre-medical students to better understand what it means to wear a white coat. While observation is the main purpose of shadowing, students may also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, interacting directly with patients.
The purpose of shadowing is not to learn medicine or how to become a doctor, but rather to learn about patient interaction and what your future career may look like. One-on-one conversations with the physician may help to guide career choice and determining whether medicine is the right path for you.

student scribes

The Student Scribes subprogram aims to connect members of Partners in Wellness with local scribing positions to broaden their understanding of the medical terminology and clinical workflow of various specialties.
Partners in Wellness at UCSB is partnered with the non-profit organization, Student Scribes, to provide passionate students with the opportunity to directly shadow and scribe for private physicians and medical professionals. In recent years, the transition from paper charts to electronic medical records (EMR) has created a profound need for support in the medical field to ensure that physicians are able to provide the highest quality of care possible. Student Scribes works with local physicians to connect students with the position to bridge this gap. This opportunity is mutually beneficial: medical professionals who are constantly bombarded with paperwork have the opportunity to lessen their load by using a scribe to take notes in the room with a patient; additionally, students have the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in which they get to experience the day-to-day work of medical professionals. Students are therefore able to further understand what their future medical professions may entail. For more information, check out