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French Hospital Medical Center Emergency Department Expansion Begins

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This major expansion project will be completed in two phases and adds 8,600 square feet to the hospital to house the most advanced emergency services center in San Luis Obispo County.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – June 28, 2018 – French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), a Dignity Health Central Coast hospital, is pleased to announce the expansion for a new Emergency Department has begun. In March 2017, FHMC received the extraordinary donation of $5.5 million from Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer. This transformational gift, the largest gift in the history of the hospital, supports the much needed expansion and modernization of emergency services for San Luis Obispo County.

This major expansion project will be completed in two phases and adds 8,600 square feet to the hospital to house the most advanced emergency services center in San Luis Obispo County. The addition more than doubles the space of the existing emergency department. When both phases are completed, the new emergency services center will be housed in approximately 12,600 square feet of new and/or fully renovated space. The FHMC campus is preparing for construction with fencing and redirection of parking spaces. Although parking will be impacted, emergency services and patient care will not be disrupted.  

“We’re thrilled to begin this extraordinary new modernization project,” says Alan Iftiniuk, President & CEO of FHMC. “This expansion will transform how we deliver quality and compassionate emergency care to our growing community.” 

Though FHMC provides award-winning care, the facility is in need of renovation. Over the past 12 years, FHMC has, along with our many donors, invested millions of dollars and taken deliberate and strategic steps to modernize its aging facility. Emergency services are the cornerstone to a vibrant and accessible health care system. As the premier cardiac center and a designated stroke center, FHMC is experiencing a significant increase in ER visits in an outdated and undersized facility built 45 years ago. 

At the forefront of cutting-edge emergency medicine, the new building will feature 18 private treatment rooms compared to the five bed ward and semi-private rooms existing today. Specialized rooms will be designated for critical care, infectious disease isolation, pediatrics and orthopedic emergencies as well as fast track beds for patients with less urgent conditions. It will also provide a sizable waiting area for families, essential triage rooms and a centralized nurse’s station with sophisticated monitoring capabilities. The new facility is designed for a high volume of emergency patients with a very strong commitment to comfort, efficiency, and privacy.

As the sole public benefactors, and in recognition of their incredible generosity, the new emergency department will be named the Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine at French Hospital Medical Center



About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation and one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters.  The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology on the Central Coast. The hospital’s current modernization and redesign project is an example of the commitment to meet the growing needs of the community with lifesaving advancements in medicine coupled with excellent, compassionate care. The hospital is home to the unique Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families.  French is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.


Publish date: 

Thursday, June 28, 2018