On Friday, December 10, 2021, the inauguration of the new, state-of-the-art One Day Clinic "Nikos Kourkoulos" took place. The Clinic was reconstructed and equipped thanks to a donation of Mrs. Marianna Latsis to the Theagenio Anti-Cancer Hospital of Thessaloniki. The Clinic is located in the premises of the Hellenic Cancer Society in Pylaia, Thessaloniki. This is the second One Day Clinic donated by Marianna Latsis to the National Health System, after the donation to the General Anti-Cancer and Oncology Hospital "Agios Savvas" in Athens. The new healthcare structure in Thessaloniki is expected to decongest, both in terms of time and space, the tens of thousands of chemotherapies per year that are currently carried out in the limited space of the 9th floor of the Theagenio Anti-Cancer Hospital.
The Clinic was handed over exactly one year after the signing of the relevant donation agreement with the Greek State on December 9th, 2020 and ten months after its ratification by the Hellenic Parliament on February 1st, 2021. The coordination of the implementation of Marianna Latsis’ personal donation was undertaken by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The new Clinic will be fully operational by January 2022 and is expected to serve more than 35,000 oncology patients per year.
The new One Day Clinic "Nikos Kourkoulos" extends over 1,800 square meters, has capacity to cater 41 chemotherapy patients - 27 chairs and 14 beds -, while it is equipped with 5 medical offices, a cardiology laboratory, a blood collection room, a microbiology and blood laboratory, an emergency room, a pharmacy, a waiting area, a dining hall, changing rooms and other ancillary areas. The donation also initiated the creation of a special area for the installation of the first robotic system for the dissolution of cytostatic drugs in Greece.
During the inauguration ceremony, Marianna Latsis and the President of the Hellenic Cancer Society, Mr. Evangelos Filopoulos, announced an information and awareness programme for young adults’ cancer. The programme will be implemented in memory of the journalist late Ariadne Gerasimidou, who shocked all of Greece with her bravery and honesty shortly before her untimely passing.
Marianna Latsis stated that this donation, as well as the previous one to the "Agios Savvas" hospital,
"first and foremost, is an act of duty to our country and the National Health System which has been tested over time, especially now that the pandemic has set in and people and health systems have long since exceeded their limits. It is a donation of love and support to each and every one of our fellow human beings who are being tested and are struggling with the disease in every stage. It is a socially just donation for the benefit of the many and especially the weak. It is an act of deep gratitude and practical expression of gratitude to the medical, nursing and administrative staff of all the cancer hospitals in our country who tirelessly carry out their work, usually under adverse conditions. It is a tribute and remembrance to all those who have fought the battle with cancer, fought but in the end were defeated and passed away".
Marianna Latsis added that
"the One Day Clinic we are inaugurating today, like the one in Athens, bears the name of Nikos Kourkoulos - Nikos as a symbol and not as a physical person. In this respect, Nikos merely lends his form and name to the hospital's logo. In his place, there on the front of the building, each of you can place your own Nikos."
The Minister of Health, Mr. Thanos Plevris, addressing Mrs. Marianna Latsis, said among others, that
"in fact, all these of Mrs. Latsis’ actions are actions that should be carried out by the State. And as has been very nicely said here, Nikos Kourkoulos does not need posthumous fame, we all know him. So, what you are really doing is taking something negative that happened to your family and turning it into strength, so that people who will find themselves in this situation can have the best possible and dignified treatment."
Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs. Mina Gaga, noted that
"Greece is characterized by great donors who truly leave something that is important to all of us. The State is ultimately all of us, each with a smaller footprint or larger footprint like you. It is very important because I am in contact with these patients every day, to be in an spacious environment, to have light to see the view outside, to have that sense of team and care that you provide. For that we thank you very much and we really will be here for the patients and for the staff who is also inspired in better conditions."
The Deputy Minister of Interior responsible for matters pertaining Macedonia and Thrace, Mr. Stavros Kalafatis, stressed that
"The public and private sectors, local government and civil society are working and cooperating for the continuous improvement of health services. We are grateful and thank Marianna Latsis for her contribution. We are grateful and thank the doctors, nurses and hospital administrators who are making superhuman efforts in the fight against the pandemic. We thank the doctors, nurses and administrative staff of the National Health System for all that they offer every day to all of us."
Speaking on behalf of the Hellenic Cancer Society, the President of the Board of Directors, Mr. Evangelos Filopoulos, said that
"over the last 40 years, the number of One Day Clinics has impressively increased worldwide, because of the fact that patients are better served this way, hospitals are facilitated, insurance funds as well as society as a whole is benefitted. The creation of the two Nikos Kourkoulos One Day Clinics is an innovation for our country and apart from the internationally accepted advantages that accompany them, history will refer to them as the first organised efforts in this field in our country and carried out by public hospitals".
On the part of the Theagenio Anti-Cancer Hospital of Thessaloniki, the Director, Dr. Evangelia Kourteli-Xouris, noted that
"The Theagenio today has every reason to hope, to smile, to dream, because Mrs. Marianna Latsis, listening to her heart, undertook this donation and thus delivers hope, relief and smiles to people, who, without additional stress and anxiety, will have the maximum security of a hospital structure in a friendly and familiar place, without the heavy climate and the burden of the Anti-Cancer Hospital".
The inauguration ceremony was attended by, among others, the Minister of Tourism Mr. Vassilis Kikilias, the mayors of Thessaloniki Mr. Zervas, Pylaia Mr. Ignatios Kaitezidis and Oraiokastro Mr. Pantelis Tsakiris, while His Eminence Metropolitan of Neapolis and Stavropolis Varnavas performed the consecration.