Health & Medicine

$100 million expansion to make French Hospital the largest medical center in SLO County

Preview of French Hospital’s $100 million expansion in SLO

French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo announced a $100 million expansion on March 29, 2018. The expansion will add a new four-story hospital building to the existing campus and will make the hospital the largest hospital in SLO County.
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French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo announced a $100 million expansion on March 29, 2018. The expansion will add a new four-story hospital building to the existing campus and will make the hospital the largest hospital in SLO County.

A new $100 million expansion will nearly double the size of French Hospital Medical Center, making it the largest hospital in San Luis Obispo County.

Dignity Health Central Coast announced the expansion Thursday.

“I'm filled with great pride and enthusiasm to announce today's transformational project that will redefine healthcare in San Luis Obispo County," President and CEO Alan Iftiniuk said at a press conference in the hospital's Copeland Pavilion on Thursday. "This remarkable undertaking will transcend our facility into the hospital of the future."

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Rendering of the planned $100-million French Hospital Medical Center expansion. Studio Design Group

According to the release, the expansion will include:

A four-story 85,000-square-foot hospital addition

20,000 square feet of renovated space within the existing facility

95 new private patient rooms

An 8-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

16 Intensive Care Unit patient suites

A new front entrance and lobby area

A helipad

Expanded space for imaging, labs, materials management and food preparation

90 parking spaces

Enhanced and advanced technology

The addition of private patient rooms brings the total number of private rooms to 115 and the hospital's licensed bed count to 195, according to the release.

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The French Hospital Medical Center expansion will a new four-story, 85,000 square foot hospital addition to the existing campus, plus a new front entrance and lobby area. Studio Design Group rendering

By comparison, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has 164 licensed beds and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton has 122.

It will also be the only hospital in the county with private patient rooms.

Once it is completed, the expansion will nearly double the size of the hospital to more than 181,000 square feet.

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The majority of the funding for the project will come from hospital operations, as well as community donations that will be sought in a French Hospital Medical Center Foundation campaign in the near future, according to the release.

Since Dignity Health acquired French Hospital in 2004, more than $45 million has been invested in the hospital, including the addition of the Copeland, Forbes and Rossi Cardiac Care Center, the Copeland Health Education Pavilion, expansion of the Stollmeyer Family Birthing Center and Acute Care nursery and the renovation of the Hearst Cancer Resource Center.

"Many hospitals aspire and embrace the twin goals of limiting suffering and improving options for patients and families, but few hospitals embrace these goals as intensely as French Hospital," French Hospital Medical Center Foundation Chair Leopold Selker said Thursday. "This expansion will further enable our unrelenting pursuit of these goals for our community, and for our patients."

The new expansion is separate from an already planned expansion of the hospital's Emergency Department, to be named the Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine.

That project is set to begin construction in May.

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Mr. Darcy is a 9-year-old English toy spaniel with French Hospital Medical Center's Healing Paws program, which brings dogs to the hospital to sit with patients. Here he sits with patient Donnie Jensen of San Luis Obispo, who is recovering from hi

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928; @kaytyleslie
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