The 2019 HSS-Stavros Niarchos Foundation Orthopedic Seminar Program

December 11, 2019
Matina Demelis

NEW YORK – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s (SNF) major ongoing Health Initiative in Greece seeks to expand access to quality medical care around the country.

But the Foundation has also long believed that sometimes making the best possible care available within Greece means forging connections of knowledge-sharing beyond its borders. For the twelfth time, Greek surgeons traveled to New York City to join a seminar in orthopedics at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) with support from SNF.

The 2019 HSS-Stavros Niarchos Foundation Orthopedic Seminar Program offered a cohort of surgeons from Greece professional development programming that includes case presentations and hands-on practice. Attendees also participated in HSS’s Annual Holiday Knee & Hip Course. This year’s program, ran from December 3-7, and kicked off with a visit from SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

The program aims to develop an enduring transatlantic bridge of knowledge exchange that will bring cutting-edge medical techniques to Greek practice. To date, a total of 124 surgeons have taken part in the seminar program. This year’s participants are practicing medicine in cities around Greece, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Corinth, Patras, Kymi, Ioannina, and Larissa.

HSS is respected as a world leader in orthopedics and rheumatology, performing more than 30,000 surgical procedures each year. The Hospital has also made education a core component of its mission, reaching tens of thousands of medical professionals in scores of countries. A landmark SNF grant in October 2018 supported HSS’s SNF Complex Joint Reconstruction Center.

The orthopedics seminar, organized annually by SNF at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, began on Dec. 3.

SNF Co-President Dracopoulos welcomed the Greek doctors at the start of the program and said, “I think it’s a great opportunity to be here. Take what you learn with you and pass it on to the younger ones who do not have the opportunity to come here. Everything is a matter of cooperation and relationships and in the polarized world we live in today these partnerships and relationships are very important.”

Dr. Thomas Sculco after referring to the Hospital for Special Surgery spoke about the Greek doctor Takis Koulouvaris and his contribution to this particular scholarship program that has been operating successfully for 15 years.

Dr. Takis (Panagiotis) Koulouvaris, Assistant Professor at Attica Hospital, spoke to The National Herald about the seminar, “What we should always remember is that there are talents everywhere, but there are few opportunities and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation came here with guidance from Professor Sculco who gave the opportunity every year for 16 Greeks from all over Greece to come here to this hospital and participate in special seminars, surgeries, and theoretical lessons. This relationship has lasted for about 15 years and we hope to continue.

“The doctors spend four days here, from morning till night with a very busy schedule. The program gives practical knowledge. But it’s not just the seminar, it’s the relationships that the doctors develop between them and when they come back to Greece and have a difficult time, they know they can go straight to the teachers here and get information.”

In the framework of the Health Initiative, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is launching another program to train doctors. “Doctors, surgeons, and orthopedists will go to the larger Trauma Center and participate in trauma student training programs before touching patients, with nurses and first responders,” Dr. Koulouvaris said.


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