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The Gold Medal of the Region of Madrid

24/04/2009

The Gold Medal of the Region of Madrid

The Governing Council of the Madrid Regional Government has resolved to grant the Gold Medal of the Madrid Autonomous Region on Esther Koplowitz in recognition of her intense activity in society and business. Esther Koplowitz will be presented with the award on 2 May at a reception to be held in Madrid's Puerta del Sol on the occasion of the regional holiday.

The Esther Koplowitz Foundation, which is funded solely by contributions from its founder, has donated over 33 million euro to the Madrid Regional Government in terms of improve people's living conditions.

The Esther Koplowitz Foundation financed the construction of a home for elderly people without means in Collado Villalba; the home was transferred in 2001 to the Madrid Regional Government, which manages the institution. Designed and built to the highest quality standards, "Nuestra Casa" is a welcoming home facing the Madrid mountains where 180 elderly people enjoy exceptional living conditions.

Extensively equipped, the centre has game and social rooms and facilities for recuperation and physical and psychosomatic maintenance.

Handcraft workshops and gardens are just some of the amenities that make the residents feel entirely at home in Nuestra Casa.

Esther Koplowitz's involvement is more than just financial. Not only is she permanently interested in the home's performance, but she also provides the residents with medical assistance funded by the Esther Koplowitz Foundation.

Another action by the Esther Koplowitz Foundation in Madrid was the construction and outfitting of a new centre for the El Despertar association for the severely mentally handicapped, located in a former school building owned by Madrid City Government.

In the area of medical research, the Foundation donated a Da Vinci precision surgery robot to Hospital Clínico San Carlos. This technology provides surgeons with a 3D view, providing a sensation of depth in the surgical field and greater precision in diagnosis, in contrast to traditional laparoscopic surgery.

The Foundation also sponsors the Tactile Vision project of General Foundation of Madrid Complutense University, which aims to enable unsighted people to read and recognise their surroundings.

The Foundation also provides numerous study grants for young people.

Outside the Madrid Autonomous Region, Esther Koplowitz and her Foundation have a range of significant projects focused on the most needy.

In Valencia, she financed the construction of a home for people with physical and mental disabilities, which was handed over to the Valencia City Government in 2005, and there are plans for the construction of another similar home in the near future.

Esther Koplowitz has also undertaken two major projects in Barcelona. The CIBEK (Esther Koplowitz Centre for Medical Research) is one of the principal cases of sponsorship for medical research not just in Spain but in Europe. Scheduled for inauguration in the next year, the CIBEK will improve patients' health by probing the origins, diagnosis and treatment of such diseases as cancer, diseases of the liver and digestive tract, and metabolic and neurological diseases, among others.

And in the area of care, Esther Koplowitz funded the construction of a home for the elderly, with capacity for 170 people, which was donated to Barcelona City Government in 2003.

Late in 2008, an agreement was reached to build another home, in Valladolid, for elderly people with mental disabilities together with a specialised treatment unit. Construction has already begun on the facility, which will be the only one of its kind in the Castilla & León region.

The Esther Koplowitz Foundation, which has been operational since December 1995, is registered with the Ministry of Labour and Immigration as a not-for-profit institution. To date, the Esther Koplowitz Foundation has donated 92 million euro.

Esther Koplowitz's work for the benefit of society has been acknowledged by a number of awards in recent years, including:

  • Grand Cross of Civil Merit, granted by the Spanish Cabinet in July 2001 for her track record of supporting social work.
  • 15th Blanquerna Prize, granted by the Catalan Government, for her entrepreneurship and her commitment to the most disadvantaged members of society.
  • Imserso Infanta Cristina 2008 award in the Recognition of Social Merit category.
  • Madrid Grand Cross of Healthcare, granted by the Madrid Government.
  • Gold Cross of Social Solidarity, granted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and presented by HM Queen Sofía.
  • Business Leader of the Year award from the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce.
  • Gold Coat of Arms of the City of Barcelona, granted by the city government.
  • Adoptive Daughter of the City of Valencia, the city's highest honour.
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Academy of History for promoting science books with historical content.
  • Gold and Diamond Insignia from the Foundation of Orphans of the National Police Corps.
  • Silver Cross for Merit from the Directorate-General of the Civil Guard.
  • Annual Award of Fundación Adecco.
  • Trustee of Fundación de San Millán de la Cogolla, taking the place of academician, writer and Nobel prizewinner Camilo José Cela.