Thinking Beyond

Donor Spotlight: Bill and Cheryl Swanson


Today, we’d like to spotlight one of our generous donors whom we consider part of the French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) family. It is through the generosity of our donors that we continue our journey to bring reimagined health care to San Luis Obispo (SLO) County residents. That is why it is our pleasure to recognize Bill and Cheryl Swanson for their transformational gift of $2.75 million in support of the Beyond Health movement benefiting Your New French Hospital.

During the summer of 2019, we launched our Beyond Health fundraising campaign with a goal of $30 million—our biggest fundraising effort to date. The FHMC Foundation team, alongside many dedicated staff, board members, and volunteers, has been working tirelessly to help bring our dream of big city health care to SLO County. And it is through the philanthropy of people like the Swanson’s that we are able to achieve our goals.

One of our core campaign initiatives in the Beyond Health movement is to expand our holistic practices and heal the mind, body, and soul. As part of this, we wanted to ensure that we created an inclusive and diverse space of refuge for FHMC patients and their families to find solace during what could be the most pressing moments in their lives. Thanks to the generosity of the Swanson family, we will have a serene interfaith chapel for all those in need of a place for reflection – the Swanson Family Chapel. It will accommodate up to 65 people and will feature a majestic bell tower and custom stained glass.

“We are pleased to be able to help support French Hospital Medical Center in their mission of advancing medical care and holistic services. Our gift touches both of these important goals for our community.” -Bill and Cheryl Swanson

Another key campaign initiative in the Beyond Health movement is to enhance services and improve technologies. This is something that Bill and Cheryl both find essential to elevate the quality of health care services for the SLO County community. The Swanson Robotic Surgery Program offers surgeons superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, and unmatchable precision compared to most traditional approaches.

The Swanson’s have a long history of philanthropy in the San Luis Obispo community, which is a special place to them both. Bill and Cheryl both grew up in Los Osos. Bill received his industrial engineering degree from Cal Poly and became the chairman and CEO of Raytheon Company, now known as Raytheon Technologies. Now retired from Raytheon, he and Cheryl have returned to San Luis Obispo and wish to see it continue to thrive.

This generous gift of $2.75 million brings us to more than $13.5 million raised and closer to our campaign goal, but we still have a long way to go. We ask that you join us in bringing transformational health care to all SLO County residents. To learn more about the Beyond Health movement and join us in revolutionizing health care, visit