Cuesta College President Gilbert H. Stork has been awarded the Louis Tedone, M.D., Humanitarian Award by the French Hospital Medical Center Foundation for his “outstanding devotion to education, leadership and philanthropy.”
The award — created in 2006 to honor a local provider or advocate for a lifetime of dedication to health care and improving the community’s health — is named after Tedone for his 45-year career providing health care to the San Luis Obispo community.
Stork, a native of San Luis Obispo, graduated from San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly, where he played on the ill-fated Mustangs football team whose chartered airplane crashed on takeoff on Oct. 29, 1960, in Toledo, Ohio. Eighteen of the 48 people on board were killed; Stork suffered major injuries.
“It seems that this survival set off a personal kindness that affects everyone he meets,” local businessman Frank Sheahan said when Stork was honored as the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2000.
Stork began his career as a physical education instructor at Cuesta College, where he also worked as a math instructor, associate dean, dean of instruction and vice president until his retirement. He returned as president in 2010. He serves on the board of directors for several community and state organizations, including the Economic Vitality Corp. and the California Community College Athletic Association.
Past recipients of the humanitarian award include Bert and Candace Forbes; Jim Copeland; John and Sandy Dunn; Jim Sargen; Frank and Betsey Kelton; Phyllis Madonna; Jac Pedersen, D.D.S.; Stephen Hearst; Dr. Ke-Ping Tsao; Rob Rossi; and Dr. Louis Tedone.
Stork received the honor at the foundation’s recent gala, where it raised more than $400,000. Most of the proceeds will benefit the Copeland Health Education Pavilion on French Hospital Medical Center’s campus in San Luis Obispo, and about $86,000 will go to the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund, according to a hospital news release. The fund, which has helped more than 800 women since it started in 2011, provides mammography screenings and diagnostic testing for patients who have low incomes or are underinsured, uninsured or unable to afford out-of-pocket expenses.
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