Montage: Tagesspiegel /Fotos: imago

Berlin’s state-owned university hospital Charité gets a prominent supporter. The publisher Friede Springer will play a key role in financing a prevention and research center for cardiovascular diseases. As the Senate Chancellery announced, a corresponding contract will be signed on Wednesday in the Rotes Rathaus in the presence of Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) and Charité boss Heyo Kroemer.

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Friede Springer, who chairs the board of a foundation named after her, has been involved in healthcare for decades. According to information from the Berlin coalition, Springer is now planning to contribute a “double-digit million amount”, apparently initially even annually. The Senate Chancellery did not confirm this on Monday. Only a few weeks ago, the Charité board managed to reach an agreement with the pharmaceutical company Bayer to set up a center for gene and cell therapies.

As the Charité announced, cardiovascular diseases lead the death statistics in Germany. All diseases of the blood vessels are referred to as cardiovascular diseases. Doctors speak of cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmia.

Researching cardiovascular diseases better, “preventing them, recognizing personal risks early and reacting to them preventively – that is the goal of the Friede Springer Cardiovascular Prevention Center at the Charité”, as the university clinic announced in advance.

By 2014, Springer was already a member of the Board of Trustees of the German Heart Center Berlin (DHZB). According to doctors, she had primarily supported pediatric cardiology and founded the Friede Springer Heart Foundation, which supported relevant research.

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The well-known heart center and the Charité merged a year ago. The head of the Senate at the time, Michael Müller (SPD), who was the chairman of the Charité’s supervisory board, pushed the rapprochement forward. Now this post is held by the Health and Science Senator Ulrike Gote (Greens), who will be there on Wednesday.

The Federal Cartel Office and the House of Representatives had to approve the merger, which also took a long time because of the different legal forms. The Charité is Europe’s largest university hospital and has locations in Mitte, Wedding, Steglitz and Buch. In 2021, the Charité recorded annual sales of around 2.3 billion euros from health insurance fees, third-party funds and state investments.