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 accompany-
ing 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 op-
portunity to lessen their load by using a scribe to take
notes inthe 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 med-
ical professionals. Students are therefore able to further
understand what their future medical professions may entail. For more information, check