Who we are
Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association (H.C.F.A.) is a non-profit patient association established in 1983 in Athens. Its purpose is the protection and welfare of Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families throughout Greece.
H.C.F.A. is one of the oldest Greek patient associations in Greece. It was founded 40 years ago by parents of children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, as in the ’80s, life expectancy was very low, and only a small number of patients (around 25%) managed to survive to adulthood.
During 40 years of actions Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association has managed to change the disease in Greece through the teamwork of all its members, improving the quality of life of patients and ensuring their active participation in decisions and actions related to their health and rights.
The Association is a founder member of the Greek Patients’ Association and Rare Diseases Greece and representative of Greece in the international and European organizations.
Anna Spinou, President
Anna Spinou is a patient with Cystic Fibrosis. She was diagnosed at the age of six months and is being monitored in the CF Center for Adults of Sismanoglio Hospital.
She graduated from the Department of Organization & Business Administration of the Athens University of Economics and Business. She has the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English and Sorbonne II. For 15 years, she has been working at the "Attikon" University General Hospital and recently got involved in the tourism industry.
She is inspired with the values of the Association, as her father was one of the 24 founding members of Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association. From 2003 to 2005, she was a member of the Board of Directors of H.C.F.A., and from 2015-2017 she served as Secretary General. Since 2018, she has been elected President of HCFA. In 2023 she was elected in Board of Directors of Eurordis- rare Diseases Europe.
She participates in working groups and meetings of CF Europe, Eurordis, ELF, European Transplant Patient Organizations.
From 2017 to 2019, she was the General Secretary of the Hellenic Federation Rare Diseases Associations. In 2022-2023, she was a Board Member of Rare Disease Greece, offering her services to defend the rights of all patients suffering from rare diseases.
Because of her personal experience as a patient and her experience from participating in the Boards of Directors of patient associations, combined with her knowledge as a hospital employee, she has developed a deep understanding of issues concerning Cystic Fibrosis patients, their families, and all patients with Cystic Fibrosis and rare diseases.
Irini Katsini suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and she is monitored in the CF Center of Sismanoglio Hospital. She graduated from the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a specialty title in Psychiatry at the Aeginitioo Hospital in 2017.
She has the Michigan Certificate of Proficiency in English. Since 2018, she has worked as the 2nd Psychiatry Supervisor in the Adult Psychiatry Department at Asklipieio Voula General Hospital.
She has been a member of HCFA since 1999 and she has actively participated in the Association's actions. Since 2021 she has been elected Vice President of the Association, offering her knowledge and experience in improving the mental health of CF patients and their caregivers.
Konstantina Giannaki is the mother of a boy who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and monitored at the CF Unit of the "Agia Sophia" Children's Hospital.
She studied Marketing at Deree College and has the Michigan Certificate of Proficiency in English. She works at the Hellenic American Union.
She has been a member of the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association since 2016. Since 2019, she has been offering her services to the Board of Directors in the secretarial support of the Association. Since 2021, she has been elected General Secretary of the Association, offering essential services in promoting the activities and objectives of the Association.
Konstantina (Nadia) Progka
Nadia Progka is the mother of two children who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis and are monitored in the CF Department of the "Agia Sophia" Children's Hospital.
She studied graphic design, has the Lower Certificate in English, and runs her business in Athens.
Since 2013 she is the Treasurer of the Association, offering services in the financial department.
Maria Paliou is a Cystic Fibrosis patient and is monitored in the adult CF Center of Sismanoglio Hospital. She lives in Athens and she has a son.
She has been an active member of the Association for a decade together with her brother Vassilis Palios, who was the General Secretary of the Association and passed away in 2021.
She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the HCFA from 2012 to 2015. Since 2021 she is the Deputy Secretary of the Association.
Christos Bakodimos is the father of a boy who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and is monitored at the CF Unit of the "Agia Sofia" Children's Hospital.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association since 2018, actively supporting all the Association's actions. Since 2021 he is the Deputy Treasurer of the Association.
Sotiria (Roula) Tzonou-Moutsiou
Roula Tzonou lives in Thessaloniki. She is a mother of a son with Cystic Fibrosis who is monitored at the CF Center Unit of Hippokration Hospital of Thessaloniki.
From 2014 to 2017, she was the President of the "North Greece CF parents Association" based in Thessaloniki. In collaboration with the Hellenic Association of Cystic Fibrosis, she organized events, conferences and other actions in Thessaloniki to support CF patients and raise awareness of the disease.
From 2017 , when the "North Greece CF parents Association" merged with the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association, she has been a member of the Association's Board of Directors.
Maro Gounari has a degree in Greek Philology with a major in Linguistics and a specialization in Counseling and Professional Guidance. She holds two postgraduate degrees: the first in Teaching Greek as a Foreign or Second Language (EKPA) and the second in the Management of Cultural Organizations (Hellenic Open University).
She has worked for many years as a teacher in refugee and immigrant populations and a certified teacher in Vocational Training Institutes. Since 2010, she has been active in the field of Civil Society, holding positions of responsibility.
She has worked as an Educational Project Manager at the Hellenic Children's Museum, as a Project Assistant (Education) in the "Voluntary Relocation from Greece" Program at the International Organization for Migration, and as a Program Manager at the Lambrakis Foundation. She has participated as a speaker at national and international conferences. She speaks excellent English and very good French.
Ioanna Mantzana is a student at the Department of Tourism Management at the University of Western Attica (PADA). She is responsible for secretarial support and communication with patients, caregivers, and relatives of patients with Cystic Fibrosis. In previous years, she volunteered at the Association and is very knowledgeable about the multi-dimensional issues concerning cystic fibrosis sufferers and their caregivers. He speaks fluently English and German.
Psychologist – Volunteer
Psychologist – Volunteer
Dr. Dipl.-Psych. Stavroula Rakitzi is a licensed psychologist. She studied psychology at the Georg August University of Göttingen in Germany, where she specialized in Clinical Psychology. She holds the European Diploma of Psychology. She was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy in Athens at the Institute for Behavioral Research and Therapy.
She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany in Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy. She has been working as a psychologist since 2001 and as a freelancer since 2003. She is a trainer and supervisor of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy in her private office. She oversees research protocols for the effectiveness of the combination of pharmacotherapy and specialized psychotherapy for patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in her private office. She has participated as a speaker at national and international conferences. She is the author of articles and books.
She is a member of the Hellenic Society for Behavioral Research and Therapy (EEES) (www.eees.gr), the Association of German-Speaking Psychologists BDP (www.bdp.org), and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Since 2022 Stavroula Rakitzi is a volunteer coordinator of HCFA's group cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy program for adult CF patients and their caregivers.
Dionysis Chionis is a Supreme Court Lawyer and litigator. He graduated from the University of Athens Law School with a postgraduate diploma specializing in Criminal Sciences (Criminology) from the same Department. He collaborates with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Lifelong Learning Center) as a Lecturer-Author and Trainer in Criminology educational programs. He is the President and founding member of the Center for the Study of Crime.
He is a science partner of the publishing house "Legal Library" and the I.T. company "Nomotelia."
He has been for years a scientific associate of the Laboratory of Criminal and Criminological Investigations of the School of Law of the University of Athens and a legal advisor of the N.P.I.D. "Return" for the social reintegration of former prisoners, a member of the Board of Directors of the N.P.I.D. "Research Center for Equality Issues," deputy Professor of Criminology at the Academy of Greek Police Officers and regular Professor of legal courses at Institutes of Vocational Training
He has participated in criminological research programs at the University of Athens and has taken part as a national expert in research programs and projects of the European Commission and the Council of Europe.
He has published articles and studies in Greek and international scientific journals, participated as an author in collective works on criminal law and criminology and presented numerous presentations at scientific conferences.
H.C.F.A. is supported by a Scientific Committee, including doctors and health scientists specialized in Cystic Fibrosis from all Greek CF Centers.
Its mission is to support and advise the HCFA’s Board of Directors on medical and related issues to be able to better advocate for CF patients.