FS Italiane and Federfarma work together to transform railway stations in small towns into health hubs

The agreement marks the launch of the “Regional HUB” project for the future of small communities

Rome, 12 December 2023

The Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group and Federfarma have signed an agreement to transform stations in small municipalities into veritable health hubs, kick-starting an important and community-focused collaboration aimed at providing modern social and health centres for local communities.

The agreement was signed by Marco Cossolo, President of Federfarma, and Massimo Bruno, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of the FS Italiane Group. The signing of the agreement marks the start of a strategic collaboration that highlights the importance of working together to improve quality of life in sparsely populated areas prone to depopulation.

The community-oriented initiative represents the realisation of a shared vision of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Federfarma, a federation that represents more than 18 thousand private pharmacies in Italy. The move also represents the launch of the FS Italiane Group’s broader “Regional HUB” project which aims to transform railway stations from mere transit points into important centres equipped with services and functions that can benefit both residents and travellers.

“The Regional HUB project represents a fundamental innovation in our commitment to promote the well-being of local communities. The collaboration with Federfarma allows us to expand our range of services and transform railway stations into true health centres that can serve local people,” said Massimo Bruno, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of FS.

Under the terms of the agreement, the FS Group, together with its subsidiaries, will provide access to areas of its stations or own buildings across the country that are no longer in use. Meanwhile, thanks to its network of regional pharmacies Federfarma will aim to create the best conditions - including in terms of logistics - to provide local and accessible health services, supporting in particular small towns where the need for health services is greatest.

“This project will also facilitate the extension of telemedicine services thanks to an effective and efficient digital connection, overcoming the digital divide that still persists in some areas of the country and prevents access to digital health services. The activities outlined in the agreement will also constitute a further step towards greater equity of access to health services even in Italy’s most remote areas,” said Marco Cossolo, President of the national Federfarma Federation.

The first phase of the “Regional HUB” project will focus on five municipalities in the areas affected by the earthquakes between 2009 and 2016, in cooperation with the Commissioner for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction, Guido Castelli.

The first multi-service HUBs will enter into operation from February 2024.