Our Vision
Wath the video

In 2016, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) initiated a process of investigating areas of possible support for public health in Greece. Building on a long track record of grantmaking in the area of health since 1996, SNF engaged experts to identify and map community needs and held dedicated discussions with the Greek state. As an outcome of the latter, in September 2017, SNF officially announced its intention to fully support a series of major projects to enhance the country’s public health sector. On March 21st, 2018, SNF and the Greek State signed a Memorandum of Understanding marking the start of SNF’s Health Initiative in Greece.

With the ultimate goal of expanding access to health, strengthening quality of care for all, and empowering providers on the front lines, the Health Initiative is carried out with exclusive support from SNF, with a total budget exceeding $750 million. The initiative is founded on an extensive public-private partnership between SNF, the Hellenic Ministry of Health, and other competent bodies of the Greek state, as each of its projects will be handed over to the Greek public upon their individual completion.

To date, the Health Initiative encompasses 17 constituent projects, with the Health Initiative S.A. serving as the special purpose vehicle set up by SNF to facilitate their coordination and implementation as well as a transparent and participatory process at every stage.

Infrastructure projects
The Health Initiative’s infrastructure projects include the design, construction, and outfitting of three new state-of-the-art hospitals in Komotini, Thessaloniki, and Sparta, as well as major infrastructure expansion and renovation projects in large public hospitals of Athens.

Procurement of equipment
The equipment procurement pillar includes a series of projects aimed at ensuring enhanced tools for health care professionals in their daily work: from the procurement of two new helicopters and two new planes to strengthen national ambulatory air services, to the procurement and installation of PET/CTs at four University Hospitals across Greece, to dental chairs and simulators for the School of Dentistry of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), and a nurse call system and other medical equipment for the Evangelismos General Hospital in Athens.

Educational programs lie at the core of the Health Initiative’s effort to empower medical staff, focusing on bringing new and targeted training opportunities on issues such as trauma, the prevention of infections, nursing, and intensive care.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Initiative
With a vision to improve the lives of children and youth and help instigate sector-wide transformations in how child mental health care is delivered in Greece, in 2021 the Health Initiative launched an ambitious five-year program in partnership with U.S.-based Child Mind Institute and a country-wide Network of child mental health professionals. The aim is to enhance mental health care capacity and strengthen the infrastructure for prevention, assessment, and treatment of mental health struggles faced during childhood and adolescence.

The Health Initiative projects are founded upon an approach by SNF that aims to identify and address community and national healthcare needs – through a transparent, multi-stakeholder and consultative process, entailing active engagement of relevant end users and community groups along the way. To this end, SNF has set in place a set of number of platforms and activities, such as a Special Advisory Committee, which comprises all relevant state actors and meets monthly, to take stock of progress, discuss emerging issues and exchange ideas. Additionally, in a broader effort to keep the Greek public informed on the progress of the Health Initiative, the SNF publishes Quarterly Updates with the most up-to-date information and detailed reporting for each project. In the context of the creation of the three hospitals, every six months, the SNF moreover holds Town Hall Meetings in Komotini, Thessaloniki and Sparta, organized as open events in collaboration with the respective Municipalities.

The Health Initiative follows on the heels of a series of SNF grants of more than $145 million for the support of health programs in Greece, which include, among others, the SNF grant to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV), totaling $15 million, for the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances. Past grants in the health sector also include support, totaling $23 million, for the replacement of ten linear accelerators in seven public hospitals around the country, the grant for the renovation of all Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as the grant for the construction and complete outfitting of hostels to house the relatives of patients in hospitals around the country. In addition, the SNF’s initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units, in collaboration with the NGO “Regeneration and Progress”, has wielded significant results in providing healthcare programs to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece.

In the context of the pandemic, a significant portion of SNF’s $100 million global COVID-19 relief initiative was also allocated in support of Greece’s health sector. This includes grants totaling over $30 million for the creation of facilities to add 175 new beds in intensive care units (ICU) and high-dependency units at 15 public hospitals across Greece , the introduction of a five-year training program on intensive care, direct support for hospital staff on the front lines of the pandemic, the expansion and continuation of the 10306 Psychosocial Support Helpline for COVID-19, and the procurement of two molecular testing systems and 240,000 units of reagent to significantly increase Greece daily testing capacity.