The South Karelia region is located on the Eastern border of Finland, by Lake Saimaa and River Vuoksi. The region combines the cities and municipalities of Imatra, Lappeenranta, Lemi, Luumäki, Parikkala, Rautjärvi, Ruokolahti, Savitaipale and Taipalsaari.
In South Karelia health and social services are closely integrated together, The Etelä-Karjalan Sosiaali-ja terveydenhuollon Kuntayhtyma (EKSOTE) was established in 2009 to combine primary and secondary care, elderly and social care in a completely new way. The goal of the organisation is to ensure equal access to social and health care services to all citizens in the region, across the boundaries of municipalities. One of the goals in South Karelia is to emphasize the importance of preventive health care and empower citizens to take responsibility of their own health and well-being.