About Us

Join Us for a Tour

May we show you around the hospital so you can see firsthand the services we offer and the improvements we are making in health care for your community? A member of the French Hospital staff would be happy to talk to you further about what French Hospital Medical Center has to offer, and how we are constantly improving to meet your needs.

To schedule a tour, please contact Ellen Cohune at [email protected] or 805-542-6496

French Hospital Medical Center has a long and rich history. We have served San Luis Obispo County for nearly 70 years, and will continue to be your award-winning medical center, well into the future.

The 1950's were referred to by many San Luis Obispo County health care practitioners as "The Golden Years." During this decade, the County grew to a population of over 50,000 and the need for specialist doctors arose.

One such specialist was Dr. Edison French. After he served with the Navy Medical Corps, Dr. French settled in San Luis Obispo. In 1946 French purchased the San Luis Sanitarium on Marsh Street.

Dr. French renamed the sanitarium "French Hospital." There he began to practice state-of-the art medicine. He claimed to be the first surgeon in San Luis Obispo to use intravenous anesthesia, the first to perform a lung resection, and the first to do a collapsed lung therapy. He was also the first specialist to actively encourage other specialists to settle in the area.

In 1972, Dr. Edison French closed the doors to the French Hospital located on Marsh Street and opened the doors to a larger French Hospital located on Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Dr. French passed away in 1976, but he is still remembered and loved today. Dr. French cared deeply about his patients and his staff and he always reached out to his employees and made them feel like family. French Hospital today is the city of San Luis Obispo's only not-for-profit hospital.

French Hospital Medical Center has a long and rich history. We have served San Luis Obispo County for nearly 70 years, and will continue to be your award-winning medical center, well into the future. We are pleased to announce that we have been named one of the Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® for a third time by Truven Health Analytics, a leading provider of information solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

Awards and Recognitions

French Hospital is proud to be your award-winning community hospital. Our awards and accolades are a testament to the excellence and dedication of our highly skilled physicians, employees and volunteers.

Community Benefits

At Dignity Health, a key part of our mission is supporting the health of our communities in meaningful, measurable ways. It is also part of our mandate as a non-profit healthcare provider under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

End of Life Option Act

Death is a sacred part of life's journey; we will intentionally neither hasten nor delay it. For this reason, physician-assisted suicide is not part of Dignity Health's mission.


When French Hospital opened San Luis Obispo county was growing and so was the need for doctors especially specialists.

Modernization and Expansion

French Hospital Medical Center is modernizing and expanding in order to provide greater patient care.

Physician Mentoring Program

The Dignity Health Physician Mentoring Program provides local high school and college students the opportunity to witness and understand the importance of professions in the medical field, from evaluation and treatment for follow-up care.

Physicians and Residents

We are proud to be San Luis Obispo’s only not-for-profit mission driven hospital. We have 112 licensed beds, nearly 500 employees and more than 330 active medical staff. French Hospital is nationally recognized for exceeding patient satisfaction in service quality. 

Press Center

Stay current on what is happening at French Hospital Medical Center.

Scholarship Request Application

Dignity Health of the Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center and Marian Regional Medical Center, sponsor community activities that benefit the health and well being of the communities we serve.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers at French Hospital Medical Center are the heart of our hospital. Our Volunteers share a common spirit, a desire to use their life experiences, education and concern for others to support our patients, visitors and staff.