These programs are supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, through the Foundation's grants in Health and Sports, as well as its initiatives to address the crisis, and they pertain in particular to the Mobile Medical Units, the Sport Paths and the SNFCC RUN: Running into the Future.
The common purpose of these programs is to promote and foster Health and Sports through specially designed actions, focusing in particular on providing free access to the highest possible number of residents of Greece of all ages to the services being offered.
Details on each of the three programs follow below:
• Mobile Medical Units (www.mmu.gr): Since 2014 the two state-of-the-art Mobile Medical Units have already visited 13 remote islands of Greece, offering comprehensive and high quality healthcare services, free of charge. The Mobile Medical Units, staffed by a team of 25 doctors and scientific personnel, have already visited the islands of Kastellorizo, Amorgos, Kasos, Astypalaia, Psara, Fournoi, Thymaina, Patmos, Folegandros, Lipsoi, Nisyros, Tilos and Serifos, offering access to medical care services, as well as preventive education to more than 6.040 residents. The residents of the above areas, in addition to being able to access medical services from a broad range of specializations (paediatrician, gynaecologist, cardiologist, dentist, orthopaedist, pulmonologist, general surgeon, neurologist, psychologist, dietician and ENT specialist), also received more specialized services, since the Mobile Medical Units are equipped with a state-of-the-art digital mammography unit, a portable X-ray machine and a bone density scanner. Finally, a series of speeches and presentations took place during the visits of the Mobile Medical Units, with the purpose of offering advice on health issues. The Mobile Medical Units are scheduled to continue their visits to other areas of Greece over the coming months.
• Sport Paths: The "Sport Paths" is an educational and recreational program addressed to children aged 6-15 years old, focusing on sport activities. It was created with the purpose of introducing the athletic culture to the broader public, and especially to vital areas of Greece that need it the most. The program ran for the first time in the summer of 2015 on the islands of Amorgos, Anafi, Astypalaia, Ios, Kastellorizo, Kasos, Kimolos, Lipsoi,
Milos, Nisyros, Patmos, Serifos, Symi, Tilos, Folegandros, Fournoi, Halki and Psara, with the participation of 1.010 children, 95 trainers, 13 chess players and a medical staff of 14. The program will continue next year, by adding more destinations and enriching its content.
• Annual SNFCC RUN: Running into the Future: During the “Light Up the Night at the Stavros Niarchos Park” 4-day events in June of 2015, the 6km SNFCC Run: Running into the Future was held for the first time on 23 June 2015 (Olympic Day), starting at the Panathenaic Stadium and finishing at the Stavros Niarchos Park. In the run, bearing the symbolic title “Running into the Future”, participated 2,016 runners, a number also symbolizing the year when the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) will be completed and offered as a gift to the Greek state. Additionally, a series of sporting events took place inside the Stavros Niarchos Park, reaching a total participation of 1,640 children. Both the sporting activities, and the run, were implemented by "Regeneration and Progress."
In 2016, events will also include a short race for children inside the Stavros Niarchos Park. The parallel athletic events are also expected to be further enriched employing the on-site SNFCC sport facilities.
Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, stated: "When programs that create a direct positive impact for the local communities are implemented, we feel that the work of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is evolving, but most importantly, that the needs of our fellow citizens find an outlet. We are therefore especially proud of the programs that our grantee, "Regeneration and Progress”, is running, because through the Mobile Medical Units and the Sport Paths, the residents of our country's remote areas have the opportunity of accessing healthcare services, as well as sporting, educational and cultural programs that offer them, even for a short time, some relief in these difficult times we are facing as a country. The SNFCC RUN: Running into the Future is a sporting event which we hope has come to stay and that it will serve as a link between the people of Greece with Athens’s new meeting point, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center."
Dr. Panagiotis Koulouvaris, President of "Regeneration & Progress" added: "The creation of the Mobile Medical Units and the launch of a primary healthcare program for our remote islands was the vision of a group of young doctors. Their love for the residents of these islands and at the same time lack of any substantial local medical care, were the main elements that inspired us to start looking into this direction. Our research lasted almost a year, recording in detail the exact needs of these areas. We are truly grateful that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation put its trust in us, believed in us, and that we thus managed to embark on this long journey with cutting edge equipment and highly skilled scientific staff. Today our team numbers 73 people who are continuing with unmitigated enthusiasm this offer of love and top quality medical care, so that all the residents of these islands can enjoy medical services just like any citizen of the urban centers. Furthermore, the Mobile Medical Unit program resulted in certain collateral benefits. This program recorded the shortage of any organized athletic activities for children. We therefore organized the "Sport Paths" program for children, which was also implemented with the generous grant of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation."