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French Hospital Medical Center law enforcement and facility employees

Law enforcement agencies celebrate Dignity Health staff

Operation Holiday Cheer made stops at three Dignity Health hospitals on Dec. 19

A motorcade that started in San Luis Obispo County made its way through Santa Barbara County in the area’s inaugural edition of Operation Holiday Cheer. 

The event was spearheaded by Cuesta College Police Chief Rich Randolph, who experienced similar events while working in the Inland Empire in Southern California. 

The original event began in 2020 in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, with San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties joining in on the fun this year. The operation covered an area of over 475 miles, or nearly one-third of California.

Operation Holiday Cheer is aimed at showing the law enforcement community’s appreciation of their fellow first responders who work in healthcare and also bring some smiles to patients who needed a little extra Christmas spirit.

The motorcade featured various police vehicles from different law enforcement agencies in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The patrol cars were decked in festive holiday attire and, of course, Santa Claus, was in tow. 

The parade visited French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and was welcomed by a large crowd that included president and CEO Patrick Caster, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Vendegna and Chief Nursing Officer Julia Fogelson. 

The motorcade eventually made its way to the South County, making a stop at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital where it was greeted by a large, festive crowd that included Sue Andersen, the president and CEO at Marian Regional Medical Center, and Senior Director of Nursing Amber Rogers. 

The motorcade then arrived at Marian Regional Medical Center where they were greeted by another large, rowdy group, led by Andersen and MRMC CMO Dr. Chuck Merrill, that was touched to see the support from law enforcement.

"Both professions work 24/7, 365 days a year. We're away from our families and so it's important for us to show that camaraderie and our appreciation for what they do," said Cmdr. Mike Brown of the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Maria office while visiting Marian Regional Medical Center.

To learn more about Dignity Health’s Central Coast locations and the services provided at our facilities, click here.


marian regional medical center with law enforcement and facility workers
Arroyo Grande Community Hospital with law enforcement and hospital employee and a costumed gingerbread man and costumed reindeer