Who says you can’t go home again?

Certainly not Brett Wilson.


This Dos Pueblos High School graduate and UCSB alumnus came back to town after more than a decade of medical training and today serves as disaster liaison for Cottage’s emergency physician group.


He moved to New Orleans after college, working as a laboratory manager and research technician at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center before being accepted to medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine.


After medical school he went on to a residency—and was named chief resident—in emergency medicine at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. And that’s where he was when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.



“It was like being in a war zone,” Dr. Wilson recalls, “with escorts and curfews throughout the city as the military worked to set up field hospitals. Having the opportunity to work with them was incredible—with their resources and capabilities for dealing with such a disaster.”


Heavily involved in and recognized for his role in the response and recovery efforts to this devastating disaster, Dr. Wilson received an award as the Most Outstanding Emergency Medicine Resident as well as Civilian Physician Recognition as part of the 14th Combat Support Hospital and Joint Task Force Katrina. He subsequently completed a fellowship in undersea and hyperbaric medicine at LSU Medical Center before returning to Santa Barbara in 2007 with his wife, Monica, and their two young children, Alexander and Estela, both of whom had been born in Louisiana. He joined the Cottage medical staff at that time.


“It’s most impressive here at Cottage—how well run the [emergency] department is,” says Dr. Wilson. “And people truly enjoy their jobs; I really mean that. You don’t hear grumbling. And for me, I’m just very proud that I can be part of taking care of the community.”


Since returning to Santa Barbara, the Wilsons—who originally met in a Human Anatomy class at UCSB—have added Jacqueline Renee to the family, born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in 2010.


 Return to Fall 2010 Cottage Magazine