Skip to Main Content

French Hospital Swanson Family Chapel Groundbreaking Paves Way for Your New French Hospital

Chapel project is the first of many offering San Luis Obispo County residents a transformational health care experience

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – April 13, 2021 – French Hospital Medical Center today celebrated a historic groundbreaking for the Swanson Family Chapel on the hospital campus, signifying the launch of the French Hospital Medical Center campus transformation. 

As longtime supporters of French Hospital, and to support the healing of a patient’s body, mind, and soul, the Swanson’s made a transformational gift of $2.75 million to the Beyond Health campaign. Thanks to their generosity, the hospital is building a serene interfaith chapel—Swanson Family Chapel. The addition of this sacred space will create an inclusive and diverse sanctuary for patients and their families to seek solace. 

“We are pleased to be able to help support French Hospital Medical Center with this expansion of spiritual and holistic services for hospital patients and our community,” says Bill Swanson. 

The new chapel will accommodate up to 65 people, as well as patient gurneys. A dramatic centerpiece is the inclusion of customized stained glass windows being designed by world renowned artist Elizabeth Devereaux, who has over 45 years of glass art experience. This exquisite artwork will create a breathtaking ambience reflecting hope and peace. The chapel will also feature a majestic bell tower with a unique cast bell. Construction is slated to begin in the coming weeks.

“French Hospital continues its pledge to remain at the forefront of health care, and we are eternally grateful to the Swanson’s who have chosen to support our vision for the future of health care,” says Alan Iftiniuk, President and CEO, French Hospital Medical Center. “We are eager to share this beautiful chapel with our diverse community, and are excited about the future of French Hospital.”     

This groundbreaking is the catalyst for Your New French Hospital, a monumental transformation which will revolutionize the physical campus and advance health care in San Luis Obispo County. 

This incredible undertaking will transcend the facility into the hospital of the future, far exceeding the needs and expectations of our growing community through advanced technologies, highly skilled personnel, and a new state-of-the art facility. The elaborate $130 million-plus project is being partially funded through the Beyond Health fundraising campaign. Nearly $15 million has been raised to date towards a $30 million goal.

The expansion will include:

  • A new four-story 85,000 square foot patient care tower
  • 56 new single patient rooms, bringing the total licensed bed count to 180 and making it the largest hospital in San Luis Obispo County 
  • A 16-bed (all state-of-the-art private, family-oriented) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
  • An additional 10 Intensive Care Unit beds, bringing the total to 21 (all single rooms)
  • A new front entrance, lobby, and dining area
  • Swanson Family Chapel
  • Swanson Robotic Surgery Program 
  • Holistic grounds and healing spaces
  • A rooftop garden terrace providing space for sensory stimulation, socializing, and outdoor activities 
  • Expanded space for imaging, labs, food preparation, and more 
  • Enhanced and advanced technologies and services 
  • A helistop helicopter landing pad for critical emergencies 

A new parking structure will be built to accommodate the growth. Once complete, French Hospital Medical Center’s innovative campus will set the standard for health care in San Luis Obispo County. 

To learn more, visit

PHOTOS: Top - Swanson Family Chapel rendering; Bottom - French Hospital Medical Center Representatives participate in groundbreaking

[PHOTOS: Top - Swanson Family Chapel rendering; Bottom - French Hospital Medical Center Representatives participate in groundbreaking]


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.

Publish date: 

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Dignity Health French Hospital Medical Center Makes Newsweek’s List of Best Maternity Hospitals 2024

JUL 02, 2024

Dignity Health French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) is excited to announce it has been named one of America’s Best Maternity Hospitals 2024 by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider.

Read More Additional information about French Hospital Makes Newsweek’s List of Best Maternity Hospitals

French Hospital Medical Center Achieves 25 Consecutive ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grades from The Leapfrog Group

MAY 01, 2024

French Hospital Medical Center was awarded an “A” Hospital Safety Grade today for the 25th consecutive time by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog organization.

Read More Additional information about FHMC Achieves 25 Consecutive ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grades