The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), as part of its wider philanthropic activity and continuous support of the health sector in Greece, announces a new major €5.3 million ($6.09 million) grant to 251 Air Force General Hospital in Athens.
The grant is part of a broader effort by SNF to support the people of the Hellenic Armed Forces and, by extension, Greek society as a whole. It builds on previous grants by SNF supporting 401 Military Hospital of Athens and the Hellenic Army Academy.
The Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, stated: “Strengthening health structures in Greece is a top priority for our Foundation, as becomes evident by the multitude of grants directed to the specific sector in the past years, leading to the major project of the SNF Health Initiative. Health is a fundamental public good and all people, with no exception, must have equal access to high quality healthcare services –even more so, when it comes to people who risk their lives on duty on a daily basis. We support institutions such as 251 Hellenic Air Force General Hospital, or 401 Military Hospital of Athens, with the aim of enhancing their services, and at the same time expand their public character by making their offering accessible to the general public.”
251 Air Force General Hospital offers health care and hospitalization services to active and veteranpersonnel from the Hellenic Air Force and the Hellenic Fire Service. The services it offers are also accessible to the general public, making it a universal resource for the Greek people. The hospital has a capacity of 400 beds and a staff of 1,500 people.
The grant to 251 Air Force General Hospital includes the procurement of medical equipment for five different departments, either to replace obsolete machinery or to further enhance hospital services:
- Fully Integrated Digital Angiography System for the Interventional Radiology Department
- Digital Positron Tomography System (PET/CT) for the Nuclear Medicine Department
- Fully Integrated Endoscopic Tower for the Gastroenterology Department
- Dental Cone Beam CT for the Maxillofacial Surgery Department
- Fully integrated drug preparation software system for the Chemotherapy Drug Preparation Facility
One of the main components of the grant is the installation of a PET/CT system in the Nuclear Medicine Department, which will significantly upgrade the imaging capabilities of the department, particularly for oncological, neurological, and cardiac incidents. Examination in a PET/CT scanner combines CT (computed tomography) with PET (positron-emission tomography). It provides high-quality images by combining the anatomical information provided by the computed tomography with information about the metabolic activity of the examined tissues and organs from the positron tomography.
251 Air Force General Hospital will be the only Military Hospital in Greece to offer this equipment, which adds to the capabilities offered by the radiotherapy equipment provided by an SNF grant to 401 Military Hospital of Athens.
Another important component of the SNF grant to 251 Air Force General Hospital is the replacement of the two-level digital angiography system of the Interventional Radiology Department, with the goal of upgrading the equipment and maintaining high level of reliability and efficiency in the services of the department.
A previous €5 million grant to 401 Military Hospital of Athens enabled the purchase of equipment, including two new linear accelerators, as well as the restoration and expansion of the Radiotherapy Department. In addition to military personnel, the hospital’s Radiotherapy Department serves the general public, who account for 60% of all patients using its services. The two new linear accelerators will be accessible to all who need them.
Last August, SNF announced a €1.7 million grant to the Hellenic Army Academy for the complete renovation of the Academy’s five dormitory buildings. In addition, the grant supports the Academy’s educational programs and the participation of Cadets and Officers in programs, including master’s degrees, offered in collaboration with the United States Military Academy at West Point.
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A few words on the SNF Health Initiative
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Health Initiative includes seven new individual grants made with the aim of further supporting the health sector in Greece. The total budget for the initiative is expected to exceed $290 million (€250 million).
The Health Initiative embraces three major infrastructure interventions across Greece that will be designed by the internationally renowned architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW): a new building for the General Hospital of Komotini, the establishment of the Children’s Hospital of Thessaloniki, and a new building at Evangelismos General Hospital, which will serve as the Nursing Department of the School of Health Sciences of the University of Athens. In addition, the grant will strengthen the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV) air ambulance services and provide for the procurement of new medical equipment and the establishment of educational programs.
To optimize the design and implementation of these projects following international standards and best practices, SNF works closely with a team of partners. A team from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Johns Hopkins Medicine International that has been a long-term partner of the Foundation is collaborating with the SNF in an advisory capacity. The scientific personnel of JHU have undertaken a consulting role, offering their extensive knowledge to help transfer the expertise of major U.S. hospitals to Greece. Following the successful model of the Stavros Niarchos Foundational Cultural Center (SNFCC), the Renzo Piano Buiilding Workshop (RPBW) team is working closely with a Greek architectural firm, Betaplan, as well as several other local partners, including the landscape architect Helli Pangalou of H. Pangalou and Associates, who will undertake the design and execution of a study for the surrounding spaces. RPBW is also working closely with the British firm Llewelyn Davies, which specializes in health care architectural design and is expected to contribute its experience in large-scale projects in the health care sector. Coordination of the projects and all partners has been undertaken on behalf of SNF by project manager Hill International.
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A few words on SNF’s support for the health sector in Greece
Since 1996, when the SNF began its grant-making activity, SNF has provided grants totaling more than $130 million for the support of health programs in Greece.
The new SNF Health Initiative follows on the heels of a recently completed $15 million SNF grant to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV), which covered the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances and provided for their full maintenance for a period of eight years, as well as the digital upgrade of EKAV’s operations center.
Past grants in the health sector include a $23 million grant to support the replacement of ten obsolete linear accelerators in seven public hospitals around the country, a grant for the renovation of all Pediatric Intensive Care Units, and a grant for the construction and complete outfitting of hostels for the relatives of patients in hospitals around the country, in areas such as Alexandroupoli, Ioannina, Patra, and Crete. In addition, SNF’s initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units, in collaboration with the NGO Regeneration and Progress, has yielded significant results in providing health care programs to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece, such as Kastelorizo, Schoinousa, Astypalaia, Agathonisi, Kasos, Prespes, and more.