26 MARCH 2018 / Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Greek State and the SNF for the SNF’s Initiative “Supporting Greece’s Health Sector”

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Greek State and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the implementation of the SNF’s initiative “Supporting Greece’s Health Sector” took place on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018.

The MoU was signed between the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, and the Co-President of the SNF, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Dracopoulos met with H. E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, to provide a detailed update regarding the SNF’s grant initiative.

The event for the signing of the MoU was attended by representatives from the Greek Ministry of Health and the Greek Ministry of Education, as well as representatives of the organizations who will benefit from the new grants.

The implementation of grants within the framework of the grant initiative has started. The first step was the visit by representatives of the SNF, along with architect Renzo Piano and his architectural firm RPBW on the sites of the new infrastructure projects in Komotini, Thessaloniki and Athens (Evangelismos Hospital), on March 23rd and March 24th. 

In September 2017, the SNF announced its intention to proceed with major grants to support Greece’s Health sector, with an initial budget expected to exceed $238 million In close cooperation with the Ministry of Health, which indicated to the SNF the most pressing, prioritized, needs of the Greek Health sector, the SNF will undertake the task of fully funding four major infrastructure interventions throughout the country, along with the procurement of new medical equipment and the implementation of educational programs.

Specifically, the SNF’s initiative for supporting Greece’s Health sector includes the following actions:

  • The design, the construction and the outfitting of a new building for the General Hospital of Komotini

  • The design, the construction and the outfitting of a Children’s Hospital in Thessaloniki

  • The design, the construction and the outfitting of a building to be erected in the current location of the buildings “Oikos Adelfon” (Sisters House) and “Adelfon Nosokomon” (Nursing Sisters) in the premises of the General Hospital “Evangelismos”, in order for it to serve as the Chair of the University’s Faculty of Nursing

  • The procurement and the installation of equipment for the General Hospital “Evangelismos”

  • The procurement of new equipment, as well as the maintenance of existing equipment, with the aim of strengthening the capability and efficiency of the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) air ambulance services

  • The procurement and the installation of special medical equipment (PET – Positron emission tomography and the creation of radiopharmaceutical production units) in selected public medical institutions across the country

  • Funding the formulation and the implementation of educational programs regarding hospital infections and the treatment of trauma

The design of the infrastructure projects to be carried out within the framework of the initiative to strengthen Greece’s Health sector will be undertaken by the internationally renowned architect, Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), designers of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, whose participation in the project will contribute towards introducing a new philosophy for harmonizing treatment areas with the natural environment.

The Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, stated“Οn behalf of the whole nation, I would like to thank the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and, personally, I would like to thank Andreas Dracopoulos, for this grant." He continued, "The Foundation, through its work, gives a different meaning to the way one can contribute [...]. What is most important is the reasoning behind one’s actions. And in this case, the reasoning behind almost all of the Foundation’s activities in Greece moves beyond appearances to the true essence of things”. Finally, the Prime Minister noted “The support offered by the SNF to the Public Health system is an exemplary initiative, with great social and national symbolism, and a true investment in the future of this country.
(Read the full speech)

Speech by Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President, SNF

The Co-President of the SNF, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, during the signing of the MoU, stated “Access to healthcare is a basic and fundamental need for every citizen, and we feel fortunate and proud to be able to continue supporting a better and more effective Public Health system and a more just society.." Mr. Dracopoulos added “It has been 10 years since we signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in 2007. The completion and delivery of the project to Greek Society took place in 2017. Apart from the success of the SNFCC, which has already been visited and enjoyed by millions of visitors from Greece and around the world, a key element of this success was—and still remains—the excellent cooperation throughout all phases and aspects of the project’s creation and execution, in a climate of transparency and professionalism, with a common vision between the public and the private sector for a philanthropic purpose. It is precisely this spirit of cooperation that we are looking forward to throughout the new initiatives in the Health sector, which we are starting to implement together today. Everything we have seen during these first steps is positive, leading us to believe in the successful completion of this new grant initiative."
(Read the full speech)

 Watch in 4 minutes how the SNF supports the Health Sector in Greece

The new grant initiative follows on the heels of a previous SNF grant to the National Center for Emergency Care (EKAV), totaling $15 million, which was just completed, and which covered the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances and their full maintenance for a period of 8 years, as well as the digital upgrade of EKAV’s operations center.

Since 1996, when the SNF began its grant making activity, the SNF has already provided grants of more than $130 million for the support of health programs in Greece. Past grants in the health sector include the grant, totaling $23 million, to support the replacement of ten obsolete linear accelerators in seven public hospitals around the country, the grant for the renovation of all Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as the grant for the construction and complete outfitting of hostels to house the relatives of patients in hospitals around the country. In addition, the SNF’s initiative for the establishment of the Mobile Medical Units, in collaboration with the NGO “Regeneration and Progress”, has wielded significant results in providing healthcare programs to residents of islands and remote areas in Greece.


The initiative to support Greece’s Health sector is a testament to the SNF’s mission and long-standing commitment to Greece, and its support of projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

The most representative example of a successful public-private partnership is the development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), the SNF’s largest single gift with a total cost of more than $860 million, which includes the new facilities for the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park. In the winter of 2017, the SNF delivered the SNFCC to the Greek State and the Greek society, the project’s rightful owner. Following the handover, the SNF announced its commitment to continue supporting the SNFCC for five years, through grants of $53 million that support the implementation of public programming and part of its operational costs.