CULTURE

Sotiria’s Oncology Unit gets new wing

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis opened the new wing of the Sotiria Hospital’s Oncology Unit last week, accompanied by his wife Natassa, herself a recent medical graduate and now at Corinth Hospital for her specialization. Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece officiated at the inauguration ceremony, which was attended by government ministers, professors, academics, university doctors and nurses in their white coats. The new wing was made possible by the generosity over the past four years of Kathimerini chairman Aristides Alafouzos. In 2000 he had donated, together with Kathimerini, an amount requested by Assistant Professor Costas N. Syrigos, a native of Santorini (as is Alafouzos), to set up and operate an oncology day clinic with state-of-the-art diagnostic and chemotherapy equipment, with the cooperation of Professor Theodoros Moundokalakis of Athens University’s Third Pathology Clinic. In a brief speech, Alafouzos expressed appreciation for the kind words addressed to him and his family by hospital officials. He said that with the help of professors Golematis and Haris Roussos, the unit had been opened, but a new wing had become necessary due to the large number of out-patients. This is now a reality, again thanks to Alafouzos. The opening was also addressed by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Thera and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Descended from an old seafaring family which had taken part in the 1821 War of Independence, Kathimerini’s chairman said his main satisfaction was the fact that 6,000 patients had already visited the unit, 2,000 per month, meeting one-third of Attica’s needs. He was presented with a silver cup bearing an emblem symbolizing eternity, designed by Moundokalakis and Syrigos. «The State will abide by the commitments it has made in the health sector,» said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in his own speech. «Private initiative can serve a valuable purpose when it leaves behind the ‘I’ and focuses on the ‘we’.» «Only I am in a position to know just how much Aristides Alafouzos and his wife have done for the island of Santorini,» said Metropolitan Panteleimon of Thera. «The island lives and breathes thanks to their quiet donations and support.»