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14 May 2024
Five people seated on a stage and in front of them there is a diverse seated audience under a tree and they attend the presentation.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), in keeping with its commitment to open communication with the respective local communities throughout the construction of the new SNF General Hospital of Sparta, the SNF University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki, and the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini, organized the seventh series of public townhall discussions in the three cities in mid-May.

The first of the three meetings was held on May 13 in Sparta at Goude Park, followed by meetings in Thessaloniki at the Municipal Gymnastic Center of Filyro on May 16 and in Komotini at the Tsanakleio Megaron on May 17. The panel of speakers included representatives from SNF, the Ministry of Health, the project manager, Hill International, the project’s construction contractor, AVAX Group, as well as representatives from the design team—specifically from the Greek architectural firm partnering in the project, BETAPLAN—and the landscape design office, H. PANGALOU AND ASSOCIATES. Deputy Minister of Health Marios Themistocleous made remarks at the event, as did SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, who joined via livestream.

The meetings were attended by hundreds of residents from the three regions, local political and religious leaders, representatives of the regional health authorities, and health professionals. Following the presentations, which focused on progress in the construction, outfitting, and development of the hospitals, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions. These, which mainly focused on the project timelines, the health services that will be provided, and the staffing of the hospitals, were answered by the relevant panel members.

Andreas, who actively participated in both the presentations and the audience discussion portions of the meetings, emphasized the importance of cooperation between all relevant stakeholders and the participation of local communities in the projects’ development process.

“Discussions on the development of the three new hospitals in Greece’s geographic peripheries began in 2017, following SNF’s handover of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) to the Greek state. The aim was to strengthen, to the full extent of our capabilities, the public’s equal access to culture and health, given that both are vital elements of a healthy and free democracy and society. We are confident that the Greek state will follow through and staff the hospitals adequately, as the heart of a well-equipped, state-of-the-art hospital is the people who staff it.”

Deputy Minister of Health Marios Themistocleous said, “The remarkable grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and its Co-President, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, serve as a beacon for the development and progress of the National Health System. The design, construction, and outfitting of the new hospitals in Sparta, Thessaloniki, and Komotini represent the most emblematic projects developed as part of the Global Health Initiative, which will substantially upgrade the National Health System and the services provided to all our fellow citizens.

We are already on track for the construction of the three hospitals and our concern, as the state, is to ensure their smooth operation and full staffing from the first day of operation. In this context, we have already put out a tender for new positions for the staffing of the University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki and we are proceeding in the same manner, with dedication and consistency, regarding the hospitals in Sparta and Komotini, in strict compliance with the contractual timelines.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and its Co-President, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, for their long-standing contribution to the health sector, as well as for our excellent cooperation over the years.”

Town hall in Sparta

Town hall in Thessaloniki

Town hall in Komotini

The development of the three new state-of-the-art public SNF Hospitals in Thessaloniki, Komotini, and Sparta reflects a vision shared between SNF and internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano to create model hospitals for the future, based on an intrinsically human-centric approach and incorporating innovative environmental standards. The grant for the design, construction, and outfitting of the three new SNF hospitals is part of SNF’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), whose total budget exceeds $1 billion, funded exclusively by SNF.