This recent grant is part of the Foundation’s three-year (2012-2015) initiative to provide an additional €100,000,000 ($130 million), in order to actively support Greek society and provide relief from the adverse effects of the deepening socioeconomic crisis in Greece.
With this new grant, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports the replacement of obsolete linear accelerators in seven public hospitals around the country, with new, state-of-the-art and high precision linear accelerators. The selection of hospitals where the new accelerators will be installed, will be made taking into account the need of providing comprehensive geographical coverage, in terms of offering health services throughout the whole country.
This new, modern radiotherapy equipment, will contribute significantly to offering efficient, safe and comprehensive treatment of patients with cancer throughout the country. Moreover, with this grant, the Foundation supports the training of qualified personnel in public hospitals on using the new linear accelerators around the country, radically improving the quality of medical care for cancer patients in Greece.
In order to ensure scientific integrity during the planning and implementation process of this grant, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will collaborate with internationally accredited university hospitals in Europe and the U.S., as well as the Hellenic Society of Radiation Oncology. The technical expertise and extensive research experience of these institutions, will be instrumental in the successful implementation of this grant.
Taking into account, on the one hand, the severe effects of the economic crisis on the health sector and, on the other hand, the needs of approximately 25,500 people who are in need of cancer treatment each year in the country, this grant is expected to significantly contribute to the smooth operation of public oncology departments, to modernize radiation therapy methods currently applied and, therefore, to introduce new standards in the field of radiotherapy in Greece.
Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, stated: Providing modern, safe and comprehensive health services to our fellow citizens is an essential social commodity, and we feel it is our obligation to contribute to this direction, as always to the extent of our abilities. With this as our basic philosophy, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is implementing a new grant in the health sector, and specifically towards improving radiotherapy in Greece, with the desire to implement a holistic approach, and to contribute to the necessary upgrading of radiotherapy services offered by public hospitals to those suffering from cancer. We hope that through this grant we will contribute towards improving the quality of life of patients and make their treatment more effective. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the Foundation's team as well as Dr. Panagiotis Koulouvaris for their significant contribution in planning and ensuring the successful implementation of this important grant.
Finally, it is noted that, with this grant, as well as the renewal of the Foundation’s support to PRAKSIS (the most recent grant amounts to €2 million while the complete grants to PRAKSIS amount to more than €11 million) for the social housing program and day centers, the Foundation’s three-year €100 million initiative against the adverse effects of the deepening socioeconomic crisis in Greece, is nearing completion. Moving forward, the Foundation turns its attention to the implementation of its other initiative, totaling an additional €100 million, entitled “Recharging the Youth”, which was announced in October 2013.