The Caring Spirit Of St. Francis Is Alive In Santa Barbara

In 1908 the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart made their way west from Illinois to Santa Barbara to operate the St. Francis Hospital. Their mission was to provide quality medical care, with special emphasis on those people most in need.

In 1956 a group of prominent local businessmen, with a deep desire to help St. Francis Hospital, formed the St. Francis Hospital Foundation. Their goal was to ensure that the hospital continued providing excellent medical care and all funds raised were used locally.

In 1998, St. Francis Medical Center and the St. Francis Foundation became part of the Catholic Healthcare West system, now known as Dignity Health. Although St. Francis Medical Center closed its doors permanently in 2003, the St. Francis Foundation continues in our community in the spirit of the Franciscan Sisters and Dignity Health, to promote and support healthcare in the St. Francis tradition in the Santa Barbara area.

St. Francis Medical Center of Santa Barbara, 1908-2003

The majority of our funds support the Parish Nursing Program, which began at St. Francis Medical Center and has been managed through Cottage Health since St. Francis closed. Nurses work in local churches of many faiths, PathPoint Mental Health Program, Catholic Charities, PATH, several housing facilities for low-income seniors, and many other local service agencies.

In addition, the Foundation also funds nursing scholarships through Santa Barbara City College Foundation and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara from an endowment established by the wonderful Guild Volunteers of St. Francis Medical Center.

With cherished memories of the past, and a vision to the future, we look forward to the opportunity to continue helping those in our community who require our assistance, and invite you to join us in our mission.