Debby Nicklas

French Hospital Medical Center Foundation

Photo of Debby Nicklas.

Debby Nicklas is currently the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Dignity Health California Central Coast Market and French Hospital Medical Center Foundation in San Luis Obispo, California.

Ms. Nicklas led the effort to establish the hospital foundation in 2004 when Dignity Health acquired French Hospital Medical Center. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $50 million to support French Hospital and its patients. Under her leadership, the foundation was named “Foundation of the Year” by Dignity Health for fiscal year 2015.

In 2017, Debby’s role expanded to incorporate service area philanthropy leadership responsibilities to enhance the work of the four Dignity Health Foundations on the Central Coast through collaborative programming, shared services and operational efficiencies.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Nicklas held numerous senior-level management positions in health care marketing, business development, public relations, and fundraising, and was a part-time lecturer at California Polytechnic State University. She also served as board chairwoman for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, which named her Citizen of the Year in 2002. She received the Woman of Distinction Award from Cuesta College in 2006, and continues to be a dedicated volunteer in her community. Debby is also a Past Board President of the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Ms. Nicklas holds a master’s degree in health service administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ithaca College.