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Healthier than ever 

French Hospital wins cardiovascular care award

The French Hospital Medical Center was recently recognized as one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. for setting the standards for cardiovascular care, and is the only hospital in California to receive the award.

A study conducted by information technology company Thomson Reuters examined the performance of 970 hospitals nationwide by analyzing the clinical outcomes of patients who’ve been diagnosed with heart failure or heart attacks, and who’ve received coronary bypass surgery and angioplasties.

“This is one of the biggest accolades that a hospital can receive,” said Alan Iftiniuk, French Hospital President and CEO. “Hospital CEOs work their entire career to get these recognitions—this is like our hospital winning an Academy Award for excellence in our field.”

“This is a pretty big deal, especially when we didn’t apply for the award but received it as a result of public data that was compiled by an independent agency,” Dr. Luke Faber, a cardiac surgeon at French Hospital, agreed. 

While the average mortality rate for cardiovascular patients is 3.4 percent, the mortality rate for bypass surgery was 26 percent lower in the hospitals recognized among the 100 Top Hospitals winners. 

“What this boils down to is patients who’ve received treatment will get good outcomes,” said Dr. Michael Famularo, a cardiologist. “The study also concerned things such as length of stay, so this award speaks volumes about the quality of care that patients receive and is a wonderful thing for our staff.”

“The real winners out of all this are members of the community, because San Luis Obispo can now boast that they have best-in-class cardiac care right in their own neighborhood,” added Iftiniuk. “It’s a tremendous benefit that people can stay home to get care, and not have to travel hundreds of miles to a big city.”

Founded in 1946, French Hospital Medical Center is a nonprofit care facility with more than 500 people on staff and 300 physicians who work daily to provide compassionate care to San Luis Obispo and the surrounding communities. More information about the hospital can be obtained by visiting


Fast facts

Local companies Impact Absorbent Technologies and Lindsey Trucking recently aided the areas burned by the Tea Fire by donating $30,000 worth of erosion control blankets and shipping them to the Santa Barbara Flood Control District.

Used to stabilize and anchor hillsides, erosion control blankets are also used in areas that have been reseeded to help with germination. The areas burned by the Tea Fire would need less precipitation to reach a saturation point and create the possibility of dangerous and costly mudslides if not for the blankets.

Impact Absorbent Technologies can be reached…

Naked Food will be hosting a holiday dessert party at the Steynberg Gallery on Thursday, December 18, starting at 6 p.m.

The event will feature delectable healthy desserts that are free of refined sugars, bleached flour, and animal-based ingredients.

This celebration of veganism costs $15. Information can be obtained by calling 805-550-2487 or by emailing [email protected]

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians recently donated $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County, which will be used to pair high-school mentors with elementary school “littles” through the Big Brothers Big Sisters High School Bigs program.

The pairs meet an hour a week for the academic year, and studies have indicated that children who have mentors do better in school, have more positive relationships with fellow students and family, and are less likely to become involved with drugs or legal trouble.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has paired more than 1,100 children with adult role models since its founding in 1995, can be reached by calling 805-781-3226 or by logging onto…

Spencer’s Fresh Markets in Atascadero will combine with the local CHP-sponsored program “CHiPs for Kids” for this month’s Free Flapjack Friday from 7 to 9 a.m. on Dec. 12, collecting toys to benefit local disadvantaged children during this holiday season.

Local CHP officers will be serving a free breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, juice, and coffee—courtesy of John Spencer—and the first 200 patrons to donate a toy will receive a free two-liter bottle of Pepsi as a token of appreciation for their support. Santa Claus will be there.

“We’ve worked with the local CHP in past years to make December’s Free Flapjack Friday a really special one for those who attend and for the kids who will receive a toy this Christmas thanks to our community’s generosity,” John Spencer said. “The officers work hard and have fun, the kids can sit on Santa’s lap, and everyone has a good time.”

More information about Spencer’s upcoming Free Flapjack Friday Holiday Celebration can be obtained by calling 544-9220 or e-mailing [email protected]

Intern Aaron Guadette compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business news to [email protected].

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