Thinking Beyond

An Open Letter to Our Community


We find ourselves today in a global health care crisis the likes of which has not been experienced in our lifetime.

As a responsible and trusted community health care provider, French Hospital Medical Center has always been committed to basing our clinical protocols on the best available science. This has resulted in our being nationally recognized as an award-winning health care facility. Today, we find ourselves challenged by this novel coronavirus—“novel” because it is a disease that has not been previously identified and studied, and experts must track and study its evolution daily. With this ever-growing body of scientific-based knowledge, we are learning, and we are adapting. We are staying focused and not letting emotions or rumors affect our courses of action, to ensure that we keep our community’s best interest in the forefront at all times.

With the COVID-19 pandemic has come an overwhelming amount of information. Unfortunately, hard data has been misinterpreted or misrepresented, and often is presented to the community without benefit of proper context.

All of us at French Hospital are acutely aware of our responsibility to protect our valued caregivers so that they, in turn, can continue to provide the safest care to our patients.

Here are a few examples of how French Hospital is responding and adapting to these challenging times:

  • We are working tirelessly to stay abreast of fast-breaking developments and adapt our clinical and operational protocols to the emerging evidenced-based guidelines from the very best national and local infectious disease and community health knowledge leaders.
  • We have temporarily amended our hospital visitation policy to limit potential COVID-19 exposure.
  • We have limited all access to our facility by instituting manned checkpoints of entrance.
  • Following guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and San Luis Obispo Public Health Department (SLOPHD), all physicians and staff are wearing the appropriate masks and maintaining safe social distance while in any patient care area of the hospital.
  • We have broadened our staff work at home policies, not only to safeguard nonclinical hospital staff, but also to allow us to more responsibly manage the use of limited personal protection equipment and supplies.

Please know how proud I am of the way our entire health care community has come together to work collaboratively in the best interest of all of our patients. Behind the scenes, health care workers, public servants, and volunteers are meeting tirelessly and selflessly to safeguard our community against any foreseeable medical crisis. We have your back, and you have my word that your French Hospital is prepared and committed to responsibly see this crisis through.

Thank you for your continued support of our courageous health care workers—they are our frontline of defense.

Stay safe and stay well,

Alan Iftiniuk
President & CEO
French Hospital Medical Center