WONCA Europe is proud to announce the winner of the WONCA Europe Award of Excellence in Health Care – The 5-Star Doctor 2019:
Dr Anargiros Mariolis, Greece
A short extract from Dr Anargiros Mariolis' application:
“The Hero of Primary Health Care in Greece”, “The Role Model of General Practice”, “The Samaritan on the ancient grounds of Sparta”… These flamboyant terms, quotes from journalists, patients and community members, seem modest and fragmentary in the challenge to describe the inspiring, monumental figure of Dr Anargiros Mariolis. Having been the only doctor to receive the ultimate Award by the National Academy of Athens (2016) for his services in Primary Health Care and Greek society, his multidimensional impact is unprecedented.
- In the early 2000s Dr Mariolis graduated from the School of Medicine, National University of Athens (NKUA), Greece, finished his PhD thesis with “summa cum laude” honour in NKUA and completed his training in General Practice.
- At the age of 30 Dr Mariolis conceived the idea and constructed the first Urban Health Centre in Greece, namely “Health Centre of Vyronas”, a striking success with persistent impact on the Greek Health System. Located in the centre of Athens, it has been serving more than 150,000 visits per year, with general practitioners and a multidisciplinary Primary Care team. Since then, Ministers of Health from various countries, including Sweden, Turkey, Egypt, visited this model institution to gain insight into its scientific standards.
- Dr Mariolis has organised various campaigns and has created a special social guesthouse with 150 rooms, where refugees, immigrants, socially deprived people stayed to receive care.
- In 2010, Dr Mariolis left the capital to devote himself in another struggle to develop the Health Centre of Areopolis. In this extremely remote area, he developed the Centre, where approximately 2,500 patients per year are admitted to. Dr Mariolis created a multidisciplinary team, working as a harmonious leader and team member (GPs; nurses; 2 health visitors; midwives; social workers; administrative employees) The Health Centre has now been expanded, with a dedicated Emergency Department, Rehabilitation Department and a diagnostic laboratory.
- Dr Mariolis has been helping refugees and deprived immigrants with his own funds and means at their first steps on European territory offering a special place of accommodation for them and raising awareness-support campaigns. For these achievements, Kathimerini, the newspaper with most sold copies in Greece, has included him among the “People of the Year” as a “Samaritan Doctor on call”.
- Dr Mariolis organised a series of campaigns in schools for primary prevention and has implemented screening strategies for various age groups. Notably, he has been organising and conducting innovative ideas, such as a program for integrating Primary Care with specialist care, calling specialists in the Health Center who, together with their equipment (e.g. mammogram, etc.), provide care (screening, diagnosis and treatment) beyond Primary Care to the inhabitants of the most remote villages who are transported to the Center by the funds that Dr Mariolis, as community leader, has raised. He has organised in-home care for special patient groups, taking active action there. Numerous media, TV channels, newspapers have covered his actions as a role model in Greece.
- Dr Mariolis has given more than 600 lectures and invited presentations in international and local conferences, he is an author of 78 Pubmed-indexed articles. He has received 15 awards and prizes in national and international conferences for excellent research work in Primary Health Care issues. He has authored numerous book chapters and is the editor of four books in Greek regarding Primary Health Care and associated conditions. He has been an academic advisor of Greek Ministers of Health regarding Primary Health Care aspects.
- On the teaching field, Dr Mariolis has implemented a Continuous Education Program, novel and unique in our country, both in the Health Centre of Vyronas and in the Health Centre of Areopolis, with separate modules for medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Widely recognised experts from Greece and abroad have participated as tutors in the Continuous Education Program. In addition, he introduced the education of undergraduate students in Primary Health Care into the study curriculum of NKUA; medical students from NKUA have been coming to the Health Centers for their first contact with clinical practice and Primary Care as part of their studies (practical exercise of the Applied Physiology course). These two Centers have been the only ones affiliated with NKUA, in light of the high quality of services. He has been member of the Examiner Committee for GP medical specialty in Greece and is the President of the Greek Association of General Practice (ELEGEIA), supporting and mentoring colleagues across Greece and abroad in achieving their scientific goals and serving Primary Health Care.
WONCA Award of Excellence in Health Care: The 5-Star Doctor is an award to be conferred on physicians, who in the opinion of the WONCA Council, have made a significant impact on the health of individual and communities, through personal contributions to health care and the profession. It is 3 instituted in an attempt to increase the global development of Family Medicine, global networking and partnership.