At the initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), and in close co-operation with the Greek Ministry of Health, the SNF announced today its intention to proceed with major grants to support the Health sector, in Greece, with an initial budget expected to exceed $238 million.
Following discussions between the two parties, the Ministry of Health presented to the SNF the most pressing, prioritized, needs of the Greek Health sector and the SNF intends to undertake the task of fully funding the following projects.
The new grants include, primarily, four major interventions throughout the country. However, the main projects outlined below are expected to be complemented by additional upgrades in existing hospital services, new medical equipment and education-related projects, all relevant to the Health sector, and following further consultation with the Ministry.
The core projects include the following:
• The construction and outfitting of a new building for the General Hospital of Komotini
It is one of the oldest hospitals in Greece, with equally old infrastructure.
• The construction and outfitting of a Children’s Hospital in Thessaloniki
The establishment of a Pediatric Hospital in Thessaloniki, in response to the decades-long need of the population in the wider region, will act as a major health service and treatment hub for the whole of Northern Greece and Thessaly.
• The reconstruction and complete outfitting of the Nursing Sisters’ building at Evangelismos Hospital, with the purpose of operating as the Chair of the University’s Faculty of Nursing.
• Strengthening the capability and efficiency of the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) air ambulance services, with the aim of achieving comprehensive coverage of the entire country. The grant initially focuses on the procurement of 2 new helicopters and the repair/upgrade of the older ones. This particular grant comes as an addition to a previous SNF grant to EKAV, currently under implementation, which covers, among others, the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances as well as their full service and maintenance for a period of 8 years and the digital upgrade of its operations center, totaling $14.5 million.
The Co-President of the SNF, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, stated: “With the recent completion of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and its delivery to Greek society, which has already embraced it, and while we never ceased—not even for a moment—our regular grant making activities in Greece and internationally all these years, we have decided to embark on a new grant initiative, this time focusing on the crucial sector of Health, which is a fundamental pillar of our society. As our experience from the development of the SNFCC has proven, with this new grant initiative for the support of the Greek Health sector, we are looking forward to the multiple benefits that a transparent collaboration between the private and public sector has to offer, especially when it concerns a philanthropic cause. The construction of the General Hospital in Komotini is, on its own merit, a project of national significance. The importance of the establishment of a Children’s Hospital in Thessaloniki is self-evident. Health and education, as exemplified by the establishment of the Chair of the University’s Faculty of Nursing in Evangelismos hospital, are the foundation for every advanced society. The reinforcement of EKAV’s fleet with new and upgraded helicopters will provide national coverage, with enhanced speed and accuracy. We believe that, with the completion of the above grants, as well as with other infrastructure and education projects in the Health sector, which will in time complement the initiative that begins today, in addition to the hundreds of grants the SNF has already carried out in previous years in Greece, citizens and visitors of Greece will feel even more part of a true Social Welfare Society.”
Since 1996, when the SNF began its grant making activity, the SNF has provided grants totaling $149 million for the support of the Greek Health sector.
With the completion of the SNFCC and its delivery to Greek society, as well as with the continued support of the SNFCC for the next five years, which includes support of the organizations relocated there (Greek National Opera, National Library of Greece) through a grant totaling nearly $914 million, which was developed around the pillar of Culture, the SNF’s new initiative for the upgrade of Health in Greece, which is expected to exceed $238 million, is the second largest single grant of the Foundation to date.
In Greece, other significant grants of the SNF include the two Initiatives Against the Greek Crisis (totaling $242 million), as well as the Initiative for Recharging the Youth (totaling $136 million). These initiatives have almost been completed, contributing significantly to the crucial work implemented on the ground by several worthwhile organizations.
At the same time, the SNF continues to support, through its grant making activity, various projects and programs throughout Greece and internationally, placing equal emphasis on the initiatives of small groups with a local impact, as well as on larger-scale efforts of well-established national and international organizations that seek to bring about long-lasting, positive changes for society, at large.