The Monastery Center for Disease Prev.
THE MONASTERY CENTER OF PANAGIA PHILANTHROPINI IN ORMYLIA GREECE
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
The Monastery Center for Disease Prevention, Panagia Philanthropini, (Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who Loves Humankind) resides in northern Greece, near the town of Ormylia, Chalkidike. The mother monastery, the Sacred Convent of the Annunciation, is a large monastic community, with over 120 nuns from various nations, the majority of whom hold university degrees. The Convent, is a dependency of the Monastery of Simonos Petras on Mount Athos.
Founded by the Athonite Elder, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Aimilianos, the mission of the Center is to comfort and alleviate the suffering of human beings with emphasis on the poor and working class public without preference to race, nationality, gender, or creed. The Center is dedicated to spreading the message of God�s love and saving grace to all human beings. This message takes the form of medical, educational, scientific research, charitable and spiritual services and ministries. These constitute the means by which the Center seeks to serve the needs of modern human beings in the Twenty First Century and beyond.
The Center of Panagia Philanthropini�s complex is a beautiful traditional Byzantine structure of more than 8,000 square meters harmoniously combining Eastern Orthodox Monastery architecture and modern state of the art technology into a beautiful and natural setting. The facilities include a modern multilingual conference center, and a high tech laboratory for medical research.
The Research Center Laboratory is equipped with state of the art spectroscopy, biological and chemical analytical equipment, advanced network computer systems, modern high-powered microscopes and other devices necessary for the high level of research conducted. (The equipment in this laboratory is used for the advanced study of Byzantine Icons and is easily adaptable for biological research also.)
The Center of Panagia Philanthropini has two modern mammography and radiology units; radiation levels measurement equipment, a biochemical hematology laboratory, an ultra sound unit, a complete modern hematology and cytology lab, an advanced motherboard computer system and automated as well as hard copy archive system. In addition, the Center complex houses clinics, lecture halls, meeting rooms, physician and administrator offices as well as a guesthouse that can accommodate more than 30 persons.
Since 1991, the Center of Panagia Philanthropini has organized and continuously augments its medical diagnostic, public health and scientific research divisions. These divisions are: The division for Breast Cancer Early Detection and Screening. (The Center of Panagia Philanthropini is one of the Ten Reference Centers in the European Union, and representative for the European Union Network for the development of pilot projects for cancer early detection in Eastern Europe). The division for Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Screening. (The Center of Panagia Philanthropini is one of the seventeen Reference Centers in the European Union). The division for Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetic Screening. (This is administered in cooperation with the National Atomic Agency �Demokritos� Genetic Research Facility in Athens, and tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations). The Cancer Research division. The Breast Cancer Education and Training division. Since the year 2000, the Center has been a EU training Center for experts from the EU Accession and Candidate States. Also through support from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, this activity has been expanded beyond the boundaries of the European Union. As of 2004 the countries that are participants of this activity are: Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. The unit for childhood screening and health education programs. The ministry of love providing basic needs such as food and medical care to the homeless and poverty stricken, systematically providing basic needs to more than three hundred families. The ministry for love and support to street. Poor and working class youth. The Humanitarian Aid division for large-scale support for nearby refugees of war and natural disaster such as the earthquake in Athens in 1999, and the wars in Kosovo, Bosnia, Novi Sad and Belgrade and other areas of Eastern Europe.
At the Center of Panagia Philanthropini, annually more than 7,000 women undergo cancer early detection and screening examinations. Over 36,000 persons participate in health educational programs at the Center, whereas more than 50,000 locals and 200,000 tourists are reached through multi-media health educational materials and Television and Radio broadcasts developed by the Center. All services are rendered completely free of charge. The Center is funded through private contributions and with limited support from the European Union. The Center complex was built through private donations and partial European Union support together with modest funding by the Greek Ministries of Health and Interior.
Panagia Philanthropini also has an Educational division with courses for unemployed youth to acquire relevant working skills. Varied fields of education are offered. The Center gives a stipend to the more than 60 students that participate in these classes at any one time. The focus is on providing education in practical areas in order to provide youth with the tools for fulfilling and self-satisfying employment.
The goals of the Center of Panagia Philanthropini are:
� Continued scientific research, study, enterprise and endeavor in a spirit of respect for creation; conducted with humility and awe before God�s love, providence and mighty works in the natural order of the Universe. � The augmented operation and further development of the Cancer Early Detection and Screening European Reference divisions. The expansion of this successful enterprise into the area of colon cancer early detection. � The augmented operation and further expansion of the Cancer Research division. � The establishment of a Children�s Medical Diagnostic division. � The creation and establishment of an international scientific and medical partnership in the field of Geriatrics. � The operation of the youth health education and research unit concentrating on primary prevention regarding AIDS, substance abuse, nutrition and environmental health. � The expansion of the Humanitarian Aid division activities as the need arises. � The continuation of services ministering to the poor and poverty stricken. � The continuation and refinement of the educational division for unemployed youth.
The objective of the Center of Panagia Philanthropini is to attain these goals in cooperation with the finest experts in the various medical, scientific, educational and social disciplines. This will be accomplished by further enhancement of the Center�s existing relationships and cooperation with institutions of higher learning in Eastern and Western Europe, the European Union, the United States as well as private philanthropic and medical education institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. In this way the institution endeavors to be a gateway of exchange of scientific knowledge and medical expertise between East and West. The Center of Panagia Philanthropini seeks to be a bridge of faith between peoples and persons of good will in the spirit of love as expressed by the holy Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This cooperation in an attitude of Christian commitment is basic to the Center�s intentions to insure the highest standard of excellence in clinical disease early detection and human service, cancer research, public health, humanitarian aid, scientific research, study and education into the twenty first century and beyond.