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Significant Statue Donated to French Hospital Medical Center

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CENTRAL COAST, CA – October 2, 2020 – French Hospital Medical Center today announced the donation of a special St. Elizabeth of Hungary statue donated by Dr. Michael and Jennifer Clayton as part of the Beyond Health campaign.

The St. Elizabeth Statue was placed in the healing garden of the hospital and was generously donated by long-time supporter Dr. Clayton and his wife, Jennifer. Dr. Clayton worked with a renowned artist in Germany to hand carve the wooden statue, which stands 39 inches tall. This is the first of many spiritual symbols and artifacts that will be placed around the hospital campus, recognizing inclusion of all faiths and beliefs. 

Dr. Clayton is currently Chairman of the French Hospital Community Board; serving on the board since 2012. He is also a long standing member of the French Hospital Medical Staff; now retired from Urology Associates of the Central Coast Medical Group. This gift is particularly significant to the Claytons, as it was made in honor of the Sisters of Saint Francis.

St. Elizabeth is remembered for her charitable works, especially for the establishment of hospitals. Today, dozens of hospitals and medical centers are named for her, several of them founded by the Sisters of St. Francis. Elizabeth lived at a time when the combined disasters of climate, war, pestilence, and poverty caused great suffering, and she became devoted to helping those who had nowhere to turn.

“Both Jenni and I are strong supporters of French Hospital and believe that this remarkable statue resonates with the heroic work being done by our hospital caregivers every day,” says Dr. Clayton.

“We are so grateful to the Claytons for this extraordinary gift. Our healing garden is a place which brings comfort and peace to our patients, visitors, and caregivers,” says Alan Iftiniuk, French Hospital President & CEO. “This statue will be a wonderful addition and fits well with our Beyond Health movement.” 

The healing garden is adjacent to the site of the new interfaith Swanson Family Chapel which will begin construction in January. The Chapel is part of a major hospital expansion project titled “Your New French Hospital.”

The Beyond Health fundraising campaign is supporting a $130 million hospital expansion project which includes the Swanson Family Chapel, a new four-story Patient Care Tower, and enhanced green spaces throughout the hospital campus.

[Photos: Left-St. Elizabeth of Hungary Statue; Right-French Hospital President and CEO Alan Iftiniuk and Donor, Dr. Michael Clayton]


About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated among the top hospitals in the nation.  The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology, and is home to the Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. French is a Dignity Health Central Coast hospital which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, CA. Dignity Health 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 surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories, imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service. 

Publish date: 

Friday, October 02, 2020