After one of the most challenging years the health care industry has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, French Hospital Medical Center has reason to celebrate. The facility has reached a significant milestone, having served the community of San Luis Obispo County for 75 years.  

In 1946, Edison French, MD, set out to meet the health care needs of the residents of San Luis Obispo. After serving in the Navy Medical Corps, Dr. French purchased the San Luis Sanitarium at 1160 Marsh Street and the doors of the original French Hospital opened to serve the county of San Luis Obispo. 

The 1950s were referred to by many San Luis Obispo County health care practitioners as “The Golden Years.” During this decade, the County grew to a population of over 50,000 and the need for specialist doctors arose. 

In 1972, as the community continued to grow, Dr. French saw a need to expand on the facility and services offered, so he opened the doors to a larger French Hospital at its current location on Johnson Avenue.  

“French Hospital Medical Center has deep roots in this community, and strong partnerships that have formed over our many years of service, and we are incredibly proud to serve this great community,” says French Hospital Medical Center President and CEO, Alan Iftiniuk. “From the beginning, we made a commitment to provide exceptional health care for every stage of life, combining physicians from top medical schools, the latest advanced technologies, and safe, quality care for our residents – we feel we have accomplished that and more, and we look forward to the future of our facility.” 

Dr. French passed away in 1985, but his memory and the contributions he made to local health care are still appreciated to date. Dr. French was a physician who had deep care for his patients, staff, and for the community in which he served.  

Today, as our community continues to grow, French Hospital remains committed to being at the forefront of health care. As such, French Hospital is building the hospital of the future, Your New French Hospital, a culmination of a vision of superior health care and a pledge to care for the community, well into the future.  

Your New French Hospital will transform the current campus and set the standard for care on the Central Coast with: 

  • A new four-story 85,000 square foot patient care tower with 56 new single patient rooms 
  • 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 
  • Interfaith Chapel open to all for prayer, meditation, learning dialogue and group services 
  • Holistic grounds and healing spaces 
  • A rooftop garden terrace providing space for sensory stimulation, socializing, and outdoor activities 
  • Expanded space for imaging, labs, pharmacy and more 
  • Enhanced and advanced technologies and services 
  • A helistop helicopter landing pad for critical emergencies 
  • New Parking Pavilion 

As we celebrate 75 years of care, we look forward to the future of French Hospital Medical Center. 

To learn more about Your New French Hospital, visit The community is invited to follow #75YearsofCare on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn