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Central Coast hospital gets major gift for expansion project from famous family in region

French Hospital Medical Center
An artist's rendering of a new helipad planned for French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Contribution to French Hospital Medical Center will help with plans to add new patient rooms, as well as a helicopter helipad.

A Central Coast hospital’s expansion project is getting a major boost from a legendary California family.

French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo is in the process of raising $150 million for improvements and additions which includes a new wing with state-of-the-art rooms for patients.

Steve and Barbara Hearst have given $500,000 to the project. Hearst is the great-grandson of William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper giant and politician who built Hearst Castle.

Among the additions being funded by the gift will be a new heliport on top of a parking structure being built at the hospital. The landing pad will allow critically injured or ill people to get to the hospital faster, or to be flown to other facilities if needed for specialized care.