This profile was prepared when Slavomír Krupa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1997.
The New Idea
Slavomír Krupa, an eminent psychologist, is raising the standard of care provided by Slovak institutions. One of the distinguishing qualities of Krupa's work is his commitment to making institutions better places; he thus provides a distinctive voice in defense of their value for both long and short-term care in some situations, at a time when there is a general trend in many countries toward deinstitutionalization. On the other hand, far from defending the status quo in Slovakian institutions, Krupa sees the current structural transformations of Central European society and its health care industry as an opportunity to reverse the practices of minimal custodial care and social isolation commonplace in the institutions established during the communist era. Krupa is a reformer from within the system. As the founder and director of the leading Slovak institution for disabled children, with a record of introducing innovations over twenty years within the care establishment, Krupa is well-placed to judge what is needed for improvement. He is convinced that the quality of care ultimately depends upon the people who provide it, and he has developed mechanisms to enable caregivers to provide a more human face for institutions.