Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday title=
Juana "Jenny" Cue and her family (courtesy photo)
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By Cottage Health

When Juana “Jenny” Cue began working at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH), it was 1953 and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first year as president. Jenny was 30 years old.

On March 22 this year, Jenny turned 100 and retired after 70 years of service at Cottage Health. Cottage honored Jenny and her amazing milestones by hosting a special celebration at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. 25 of the 26 members of Jenny’s family that joined her at Wednesday’s event were born at Cottage.

“We are extremely grateful for Jenny,” said Ron Werft, President & CEO of Cottage Health. “She’s been an important part of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for more than half its 131-year history and has had a positive impact on countless patients. We are definitely going to miss her.” 

Jenny and Ron Werft

Cottage Health is recognized as an organization with employees enjoying long, lifetime careers, and every year it honors staff and their career milestones – many of whom have celebrated 30, 40 and 50+ years at Cottage. In 2022, 594 Cottage employees reached career milestones of up to 45 years of service.

Jenny was born in Kansas on March 22, 1923, where her father worked for the railroads.  When she was seven years old, her family moved to Mexico.  After high school in Mexico, she returned to the U.S. in 1942 and moved to Indio, California.  She and her husband, Alfredo, found Indio to be too hot, so they moved to Santa Barbara in the mid-1940s, where she worked in a local lemon packing plant.

A few years later, she joined Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in the linen processing department. At the time, the hospital administrator, Rodney Lamb, wanted to be oriented in every SBCH department, and when he arrived in linen processing to learn, it was Jenny who trained him.  Folding sheets was a two-person job and the technique resembled dance moves, so Jenny and Rodney would “dance” together as they folded sheets.  That memory still makes Jenny smile. 

In the early 1990’s, Jenny was trained in the sterile processing department to wrap linen and basins for sterilization, and her responsibilities changed. “This was a good move for me, and I’ve always liked what I do.”  In 2011, Jenny transferred permanently to the sterile processing department.

Jenny is the proud mother of three, grandmother of four, great grandmother of eight and great-great grandmother of one – all four generations were born at Cottage. 

About Cottage Health

The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region.  Specialties include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Level 1 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Hospital. The Cottage Health medical staff is comprised of more than 700 physicians, many with subspecialties typically found only at university medical centers. Last year, the Cottage Health hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 21,000 people, treated 80,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,100 newborns. Cottage Health also offers Cottage Urgent Care Centers throughout the tri-counties, as well as 24-hour access to providers via Cottage Virtual Care, an online service for common conditions.

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Sail380 Mar 27, 2023 09:25 AM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

A-1679691539 What's irresponsible is not knowing what your talking about. Cottage has a $20 an hour minimum wage. Much higher than the state mandated minimum wage. But don't let the truth get in the way of your misinformation.

jojomilo Mar 25, 2023 11:14 AM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

The rantings of idiots. A woman who none of these people knew, with a financial package that none of them had seen retires at 100 for reasons none of them knew. SO using that lack of understanding of anything, they choose to launch into how unfair the world is. Lets take a look at the current benefits package at cottage where a 22 year old starting nurse makes $99-102,000.
Complete List of Benefits
Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (CH-paid)
Basic Long-Term Disability Insurance covering up to 60% of pre-disability pay (CH-paid)
Certification Bonus ($1,000 first time and $500 for each renewal)
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Cottage Virtual Care
Dental Insurance
Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Education Assistance Program for Nursing and Advanced degrees
Long-Term Sick Leave (for illnesses greater than 24 hours)
Medical, prescription drug and vision Insurance
Care@Work – Cottage Health subsidized emergency care
Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) – to assist first time homebuyers
Onsite childcare at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (limited availability)
Paid Time Off
Legal Insurance
SBCH Parking Cash-Out Incentive
Student Loan Repayment Program
Emergency Travel assistance
Tuition reimbursement
AFLAC – supplemental medical insurance
Opportunity to purchase Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment for you and your family
Voluntary Short-Term Disability
Wellness program which includes the ability to earn up to $550 each year for various wellness activities
Workforce Housing—Bella Riviera (full-time employees only and based on eligibility and availability). A unique opportunity to own an affordable townhome while employed with Cottage
Benefits Available to All Employees Include:
529 College Savings Plan – resources for childcare, elder care, tutoring, etc.
CH Commuter Program – discounted bus passes and subsidies for vanpooling
CH-sponsored events – We enjoy the comradery of bringing everyone together. Events include an annual family picnic, employee service award dinner and holiday parties.
Coastal Housing Partnership Membership – provides benefits towards purchasing a home, including discounts on realtor and financing fees.
Discount tickets
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – mental health counseling for you and your family
Everyday Heroes—A way of showing appreciation to colleagues who go above and beyond.
Free onsite yoga and fitness classes
Onsite seated massage subsidized by Cottage
Pet Insurance
Retirement Programs
SBCH employee pharmacy discount
Family laying down and smiling at the camera
Learn more about our Choices…for Health…for Wealth…for Life benefit programs.


Additional Benefits and Special Programs
Couple viewing tablet and sitting with their dog
Innovative Benefits and Perks
At Cottage Health, you’ll be part of a leading health care organization focused on serving through community for more than 130 years. We continuously evaluate our benefits to ensure they are competitive. We offer innovative programs including:

Pet insurance
A partnership with to support family care needs including work-related backup care assistance for child, elder and adult care
Cottage Health Commuter Program to encourage green transportation to work
Sponsored employee events
Employee Discount Program for tickets to events and attractions
Travel assistance and more
Onsite childcare (limited availability)
Bella Riviera workforce housing (limited availability)

a-1679773844 Mar 25, 2023 12:50 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

Yet this woman was not a nurse and most likely was not getting all of those benefits.

Speaking of nurses, why is it that local nurses are leaving SB in droves and Cottage can't keep them here? Yet when longtime nurses ask for a raise they're told oh we don't have the funding... as Werft and his nearly $1M/year cohorts go out to lunch again.

szq Mar 25, 2023 09:45 AM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

Retirement kills some people. They miss the social connection and the need to get up in the morning. I bet she loved that job and that they didn't work her too hard for the past decades. She seems to have a large family that I am sure would have supported her if it was a money issue. I am 70 and still happily working part time.

murilreyna Mar 27, 2023 03:39 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

Hi There! Jenny's great grand-daughter here. Interesting assumption you have. But, she was absolutely not forced to work until she was 100. In fact, it was hard to get her to stop working. It was fully her decision. But thanks for your concern!

ChillinGrillin Mar 24, 2023 09:34 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

These “feel good” stories about seniors retiring at an advanced age are pretty disturbing. It’s not inspiring, it’s a symptom of a deep failure in society when an essential worker makes so little that they are compelled to work until they can’t anymore. Reminds me of Communist propaganda extolling the virtues of miners or steel workers dying at the job. Cut the administrator pay and give it to the real workers!

a-1679688846 Mar 24, 2023 01:14 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

Does Cottage pay that little that this poor woman had to work until she was 100 years old?!? Why didn't they offer her a retirement package to retire earlier?

CEO Ron Werft makes $1.6 Million per year, at least in 2019 so it's probably more now. Brent Tande (Senior VP and CFO) makes $900k PER YEAR. Steven Fellows (COO) makes just under $900 PER YEAR. These guys are making more than triple what doctors are making and they sit in meetings and push papers. And this woman has to work for 70 years. Ridiculous.


a-1679691539 Mar 24, 2023 01:58 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

What's irresponsible are the low wages this monopoly system holds on our community. We need another healthcare system that provides some competition to actually afford quality care and pay employees livable wages. And no, Sansum doesn't count, they're basically Cottage's little monopoly brother.

SBSand Mar 24, 2023 01:55 PM
Cottage Health Employee Retires on 100th Birthday

She would have also been able to cash out what was probably a REALLY nice retirement account because Cottage has great retirement. I doubt that she only walked away with $3k. It is irresponsible of you to taint this thread with your negativity when it is clear that she and her family are really proud of her accomplishment and they may be wanting to enjoy this story and share with loved ones.

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