Opening Ceremony

DR. EIRINI MANARAHead of School of Health Sciences, Metropolitan College


Honorable speakers, distinguished guests, dear colleagues and students, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning and welcome to the 1st International Rehabilitation Conference organized by Metropolitan College.

It is a great honor to have you all with us, especially those of you who have travelled a long distance to come to Athens. (some I know are still traveling as we speak)

I am really moved to be opening this conference today because it has taken many years for this idea to mature and materialize.

It has taken the gradual expansion of the School of Health Sciences, which started with a single programme in Speech and Language Therapy and today offers 8 UG and 2 PG programmes.

    It has taken the meticulous development of a large network of clinical organizations (now more than 200 throughout Greece) many of which are joining us for this conference.

It has taken a lot of team-building across our 7 campuses and our three partner Universities.

It has taken many days of envisioning, planning, and organizing to get to today.

And even so, I must be honest. When we first emailed those early invitations, when the conference website went live, we were aiming for a modest event with some talks nicely paced along 2 days and perhaps one more day for workshops. We did not dare to imagine, three full days, with parallel sessions, 5 keynote speeches, over 100 oral and poster presentations and almost 400 registered delegates. Thank you all for responding to these calls.

This, of course means one thing. That rehabilitation is a topic the scientific community cares deeply about.

It is a topic worth studying, worth researching and worth discussing.

The conference theme ‘Advancing interdisciplinary rehabilitation to improve lives’, invites us to push the envelope further.

To work together.

To include those who need inclusion.

Invites us to care.

Before I give the stand to our College Director for his brief welcome, I would like to thank the Conference Organising and Scientific Committee for all their hard work and precious guidance, our marketing & IT departments for the promotion and setup, and our student volunteers for their support.

Now please welcome Mr Dimitris Diamantis, General Director of MC, for a brief welcome.

Dear delegates, colleagues and students from all over Greece, distinguished guests

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Academic Board of the Metropolitan College of Greece, I extend to you all our warmest welcome especially to those who travelled long distance to Athens to join us and contribute to the works of this conference.

We are delighted to have you with us to participate in our 1st International Rehabilitation Conference organized by the School of Health Sciences of Metropolitan College.

The various aspects of rehabilitation are either the main study area for the majority of the allied-health programmes taught at Metropolitan College, or represent a field of study where many of them converge to. So, this explains the idea of organizing such a conference at MC.

I think it’s worth mentioning for those who do not happen to know it, that the School of Health Sciences is by far the largest among Colleges in our region, offering 10 programmes of study in collaboration with 4 UK Universities and almost 200 contracted clinical placements. The students’ population has now reached the number of more than 2200 across the 7 campuses in Greece, whereas the number of academic staff is more than 250 across all programmes of study of this specific School.

This is a great moment for the School of Health Sciences as the opening of this Conference marks the start of a new chapter of its history. The capitalized experience of the last 20 years of teaching allied-health sciences is now naturally followed by the introduction of regular scholarly activity as part of the College’s strategic plan. Moreover, a formal introduction of the Graduate School of Metropolitan College will follow later in 2020. Without doubt, this is a well-deserved development for the School’s identity which is in full alignment with the vision of our Institution.

There are two important things about Rehab Conference that I would like to highlight:

The first is the international perspective our keynote speakers and other delegates bring to this conference. We have the privilege as an Institution to enjoy an excellent working relationship with a number of well-established and internationally acknowledged British Universities over the last many years. Working internationally as a HE provider has given to MC the opportunity to appreciate the benefits of such an experience for both students and staff and therefore cultivate an international profile and form a concrete internationalization strategy which is now well underway. In this context, organizing and hosting an international conference like this makes sense. I think this is the right moment to thank QMU, OBU, UEL and Keele U for their continuous support, and for their participation and contribution to this conference.

The second is included in the theme of this conference which is: “Advancing Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation to Improve Lives”. The inter-disciplinary approach is in the heart of almost all participants and delegates of the Rehab Conference. In fact, MC is the only Greek institution which offers its students a real inter-professional education experience, as the vast majority of the allied-health programmes have one module in common: the IPE module. I trust this conference will justify to all of us the need for further enhancing this approach and the value of instilling it to all health practitioners and clinicians with a view to improve the lives of their patients.

We are honored to have received in this conference a blend of prominent researchers, esteemed specialists, seasoned practitioners, clinicians and enthusiastic young academics along with a number of students studying on allied Health programmes here at Metropolitan College. I believe that this amalgam of participants will serve the conference’s scope and yield the desired outcomes. Having said that, I think I should note that all of you, with your active presence and participation constitute a very important part of this conference’s success.

Organizing such a conference requires a lot of hard work and we are grateful to the Conference Organizing Committee, whose members have put together an engaging programme shaped in a way to attract your interest and I trust it will meet, if not exceed, your expectations. In particular, I would like to thank Eirini Manaras, the project manager and Fotini Vitta, the conference administrator for their dedication, time and efforts. Finally, a big thanks goes to our sponsors for their generosity, our Marketing dept., our IT dept., our students and our volunteers for their support in hosting this conference.

Before coming to a close of these remarks, I would also like to remind you and especially our moderators to strictly stick to our time schedule and not to let any session overrun.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy today and the next two days of presentations, discussions, debate and networking.

Thank you for your participation!

D. DIAMANTISDirector General at Metropolitan College



Metropolitan College

Maroussi, Greece

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