Inauguration of the Child Oncology and Thalassemia Units at the General State Hospital of Thessaloniki Hippocrateio, by H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias
27 October 2009

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has long supported the General State Hospital of Thessaloniki Hippocrateio on the expansion and total renovation of the Child Oncology Unit, as well as the renovation for the new building of the Thalassemia Unit.

On Tuesday, October 27, H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias inaugurated the two units, at 12.30 noon. 

The Hippokrateio, is one of the largest hospitals in Greece and the Southeast Europe, equipped with 900 beds and 976 organic-developed beds while it operates 33 clinics and departments, 55 laboratories and 186 outpatient clinics. The Child Oncology Unit, established in 1990, is the sole independent and self sufficient unit of the NSH (national system of health), in N. Greece, since it does not belong to any other clinic, has its own administration, medical staff and nurses as well as its own projects. Its medical staff of 5 doctors, 12 nurses screen on average, 40-50 new cases of child malignancies annually, and 800-1000 children at its outpatient clinics.   

The medical staff coordinates further treatment to the children having diagnosed with cancer, leukemia and solid tumors, providing also radiotherapy, bone marrow transplants or surgery, besides chemotherapy. The recovery percentage of patients in a national level, is very encouraging since, a 70% of the hospitalized children with cancer, fully recover. The hospital accepts patients, not only from the periphery of Macedonia but also, from Thrace, Thessaly and Epirus, as well as from the N. Aegean islands and N. Sporades.   
 
On the inauguration day, Epaminondas Farmakis, Chief Operating Officer with the Niarchos Foundation, stated that “...we are extremely proud and happy since the Foundation provided for the total renovation and expansion of the Child Oncology Unit” from 400 to 600 sq.m., “…moreover, for therelocation of the Thalassemia Unit and sickle cell disease, in another building” with increased surface area from 215 to  412 sq.m.  

Also the Child Oncology Unit’s Director, Dimitris Koliouskas, mentioned that “the Unit was sheltered until 2008, in an area of 400 sq.m. Following its full renovation and reformation, the area grew to 600 sq.m.,providing for utility rooms and spaces for the doctors and nurses, a school room, a playground, an interview hall, waiting room for the parents; also, the number of beds has increased to 19 while a filtering system for the Department’s air conditioning is installed, to better protect against infections. We are confident that with all these catalytic and radical interventions, our Department has acquired a new status, as to further improve the care of children with cancer, aiming to succeed in more children, recuperating”. 

This Unit operates for more than 23 years and has exhibited a remarkable scientific and social work. 

 From January 12, 2009 it has been relocated to the second floor of the blood donation new building. It is one of the largest units in N. Greece and unique in its nature, since it monitors all patients from their infancy and throughout their adulthood. The Unit covers Thessaly besides N. Greece, with 4 patient wards (11 beds and 9 automated), a testing room for the emergencies, 3 offices and utility rooms following the international standards. The Unit is staffed by 4 doctors and 5 nurses, accommodating both the patients receiving blood transfusions regularly, and those that must be considered as outpatient (thalassemia syndromes).