Guests enjoy the reception outdoors at the Octagon Barn during the 2022 Celebration of Caring Gala

French Hospital Medical Center Foundation Gala Raises $200,000 for Hospital Expansion and Hearst Cancer Resource Center

2022 Louis Tedone, MD Humanitarian Award presented to Bill and Cheryl Swanson

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – October 5, 2022 – The French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) Foundation is pleased to announce that the 15th annual Celebration of Caring Gala raised more than $200,000 to support the Beyond Health campaign for Your New French Hospital, as well as local cancer patients at the Hearst Cancer Resource Center.  The event took place September 24, 2022 at the Octagon Barn in San Luis Obispo. 

At the Gala, Bill and Cheryl Swanson were honored with the prestigious 2022 Louis Tedone, MD Humanitarian Award. Each year, this award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of individuals dedicated to building healthier communities. Bill, the retired Chairman and CEO of Raytheon Company, and Cheryl Swanson have a long history of philanthropy in the San Luis Obispo community and have a passion to see our community continue to prosper. The Swansons have contributed to many worthy causes including Cal Poly and French Hospital Medical Center, including a transformational gift of $2.75 million to the hospital’s Beyond Health campaign to support the Swanson Family Chapel and Robotics Program. 

The Foundation also held a memorial tribute during the Gala for the late Louis Tedone, MD, whose legacy is honored with the annual Humanitarian Award. Dr. Tedone passed away in 2021 at the age of 97 after touching many lives in San Luis Obispo. He was the community’s first pediatrician and cared for more than 30,000 children during his 45-year career. The Foundation also recognized the passing of three other past Humanitarian Award recipients and beloved community members - Jim Copeland, Betsey Kelton and Jim Sargen.

In honor of his upcoming retirement in January 2023, FHMC President and CEO, Alan Iftiniuk, received a special tribute from the FHMC Community and Foundation Boards for his extraordinary leadership for the past 18 years - a special naming will take place in his honor in the new Patient Care Tower.

“My tenure at the helm of French Hospital has been a truly incredible journey,” says Iftiniuk. “I am humbled and grateful for the honor bestowed upon me by the Community and Foundation Board’s with this special naming recognition.”

Since 2006, the Gala has raised more than $3,500,000 to support FHMC patient programs and services. The annual event’s remarkable success is due to the incredible generosity of its sponsors, contributors, and guests.

“Your New French Hospital”, a $150 million expansion project, includes the addition of a four-story, 85,000-square-foot Patient Care Tower featuring single patient rooms and one story parking structure. Built to accommodate growth, construction on the parking area is scheduled to start next year, with the expansion planned for completion in 2025.  The hospital has $138 million committed to the project, with $120 million being invested by Dignity Health and the balance coming from many private donors in San Luis Obispo County. To date, the Beyond Health campaign has raised more than $18 million.
To learn more about the project or donate, visit

About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 112-bed acute care hospital located in San Luis Obispo, California. French’s Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine is the area’s most advanced emergency services center. The modern facility is home to the Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center, is the county’s premier cardiac center, providing the latest cardiac and imaging technology, and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. 

French Hospital Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, make up Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, and outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency. To learn more, visit