Emergency Department Expansion

Rendering of the planned expansion of French Hospital Medical Center's Emergency Department

French Hospital Medical Center Receives $5.5 Million Gift from Oppenheimer Family

Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer’s contribution will help revolutionize emergency care on the Central Coast

March 13, 2017 - French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) is excited to announce the transformational gift of $5.5 million from Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer. This extraordinary donation, which is the largest gift in the history of the hospital, supports the much needed expansion and modernization of emergency services for San Luis Obispo County,

Though FHMC provides award-winning care, the facility is in need of renovation. Over the past 12 years, FHMC has, along with our many donors, invested millions of dollars and taken deliberate and strategic steps to modernize its aging facility. FHMC is now launching its most important and ambitious undertaking to date, that is, to build a new emergency department and transform the way emergency services are provided in San Luis Obispo County. Emergency services are the cornerstone to a vibrant and accessible health care system. As the premier cardiac center and a designated stroke center, FHMC is experiencing a significant increase in ER visits in an outdated and undersized facility built 45 years ago.

This major expansion project will be completed in two phases and adds 8,600 square feet to the hospital to house the most advanced emergency services center in San Luis Obispo County. The addition more than doubles the space of the existing emergency department. When both phases are completed, the new emergency services center will be housed in approximately 12,600 square feet of new and/or fully renovated space.

At the forefront of cutting-edge emergency medicine, the new building will feature 18 private treatment rooms compared to the five bed ward and semi-private rooms existing today. Top-notch and the latest innovative medical technology will enhance treatment and diagnosis capabilities.

As a comprehensive emergency center, specialized rooms will be designated for critical care, infectious disease isolation, pediatrics and orthopedic emergencies as well as fast track beds for patients with less urgent conditions. It will also provide a sizable waiting area for families, essential triage rooms and a centralized nurse’s station with sophisticated monitoring capabilities. The new facility is designed for a high volume of emergency patients with a very strong commitment to comfort, efficiency, and privacy.

Upon completion of the new facility (i.e., phase 1), the existing emergency department will be renovated to accommodate ancillary support functions, and provide high tech imaging services specific to the needs of emergency patients (phase 2). This second phase is critical to the expansion of emergency services and will accommodate state of the art, highly advanced medical equipment including a dedicated low-dose 64-slice CT scanner, X-ray and ultrasound machines.

“This incredibly generous gift will transform the way we deliver emergency services in our community. We are deeply grateful to Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer for their passionate dedication to community health care. This gift will truly save lives, and will benefit our patients for generations to come.” said Alan Iftiniuk, FHMC President and CEO.

“As a recognized leader in Emergency Medicine quality and service, I am most proud of the high caliber of emergency physicians, nurses and staff that make up our team at French Hospital. We are extremely excited about the new Emergency Services Center and have immense gratitude to the Oppenheimer family for believing in our vision of expanding the compassionate care we deliver to our patients,” said Juan Reynoso, M.D., CEP Regional Director of Emergency Medicine.

As the sole public benefactors, and in recognition of their incredible generosity, the new emergency department will be named the Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine at French Hospital Medical Center. The total cost of both project phases is estimated to cost $13,000,000 with ground breaking for the first phase expected to occur in spring 2018.

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