Interview: Hellenic Liver Patient Association “Prometheus” – 6th Cycle of Accelerator

1. A few words about the organization’s goals and work

The Hellenic Liver Patient Association “Prometheus” was founded in 2012 and it is the first association of patients with liver diseases. Its primary objective is to support people who belong to socially and economically weak population groups facing inequality in having access to health. Our services focus on socially deprived people (economically vulnerable groups) and their unhindered access to diagnostic tests and medicines, which in recent years has encountered serious obstacles.

We implement the following programs:
• Checkpoint: non-clinical prevention, information and testing center for HIV, HBV (Hepatitis B) and HCV (Hepatitis C) operating in Athens and Thessaloniki.
• Awareness campaigns and workshops about Hepatitis C
• “I Deserve to Know” – Free provision of liver elastography screening to beneficiaries that have been diagnosed with liver diseases across Greece and are unable to cover the high cost of the examination.

2. A few words about the program that was funded

The project, funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, aims at supporting the continuation of the Panhellenic project of free Liver Screening via the Method of Liver  (Fibroscan) “I Deserve to Know”.

The project “I Deserve to Know” has been successfully implemented by HELPA “Prometheus” since April 2016, with the elastography machine covered by Corporate Social Responsibility activities. The personnel of HELPA has visited 17 cities in Greece and examined 8,200 patients with liver disease. The implementation of the action at this stage as well as its extension to areas that have not been covered so far is achieved with the valuable support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

The implementation of “I Deserve To Know” aims:
• at informing and strengthening patients’ awareness about the degree of their liver injury.
• at offering free of charge the specialized examination for the evaluation of patients’ liver injury that is not covered by the National Health System and is necessary for the control of their health and the determination of their treatment.
• at providing the examination of the elastography in the hepatology centers that do not have the machine, giving access to patients from remote areas.

3. What advice would you give an organization in order to write a successful proposal for funding?

• Their project proposals to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Oriented).
• Provide a detailed Logical Framework, which will be the backbone of a successful proposal.
• Brainstorming sessions with the team before writing down the ideas mentioned.
• Needs assessment that are the basis for determining the purpose of the proposal.

4. How much do you think your participation in HIGGS Accelerator program has helped you and why?

The participation of HLPA “Prometheus” in Accelerator was a valuable experience, which helped us improve our proposal writing skills. HIGGS has provided us with knowledge and tools (such as “needs assessment”, “problem and solution tree”, “logical framework”, “SWOT analysis”) that have broadened our horizons and reinforced the holistic and in-depth approach of the organization’s fundraising.

5. Why would you advise other organizations to join the Accelerator program?

Many NPOs have been facing difficulties in writing proposals and identifying funding sources. The Accelerator program offers all the needed knowledge and information to organizations in this field in order to help them gain a more organized approach. After completing this program, the organization will have the “roadmap” with all the necessary steps for preparing a proposal, maximizing the chances of getting funding.

6. What are your next steps?

The organization’s goals are twofold:
1) Keep running successfully the programs that are already in progress.
2) Expand the association’s activities in areas where we have not yet covered.

Our efforts will focus on eliminating inequalities in the health sector and on supporting patients that have difficulties in accessing health care services.

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