Born June 19, 1948 in the city of Pau dos Ferros, in Rio Grande do Norte, Eudes de Freitas Aquino taught Chemistry while he studied Medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. He applied this “chemistry” in the human relationships he built during his life time.
Soon after his graduation, 1975, he and his wife, Marta Maria Queiroz Aquino, moved to the countryside of São Paulo, in the city of Ribeirão Preto, where he obtained his masters and doctorate in Medical Clinic, with specialization in Nephrology at the University of São Paulo (USP).
Alongside his doctorate degree, he was a visiting professor of the University of Campinas (Unicamp) and received the invitation to start a Nephrology service in Piracicaba, becoming the city’s first nephrologists.
As soon as he arrived in Piracicaba in 1982, he was called to cooperate with the local Unimed, beginning his cooperative trajectory. Shortly thereafter he became the vice president of Singular for two terms, which was time enough for him to reform the bylaws in the cooperative.
From then on Eudes became more involved in the cooperative management, being one of the founders of the Intra-Federative Federation of Unimed Centro Paulista in Limeira during a period when the Confederation was restructuring the cooperative model of Unimed in the São Paulo State, with the creation of the Intra-Federative Federations. Eudes was president of this federation for two terms.
He was later invited to be part of the then Unimed Confederation of the State of São Paulo (Confesp), where he served as director of educational and assistance programs because he showed great capacity in dealing with issues involving all the cooperative principles.
In 2005, he became the president of the Unimeds Federation of the State of São Paulo (Fesp) with a more modern vision of cooperativism, transforming the institution into a second class cooperative that fostered this business model, developing his potentials in the state and also becoming a political agent. During the four years he was president of Fesp, the number of clients of the cooperative increased from 100 thousand to 300 thousand.
He sought technical knowledge in administration by taking the post-graduate course in Advanced Business Management in Health and MBA in Health Service Management, both by Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (Faap) in São Paulo.
After the political efforts of the national cooperatives of Unimed in 2009, Eudes became the president of Unimed do Brasil, Confederation that for exactly 40 years is institutionally responsible for the Unimed System – the biggest medical cooperative in the world, leader in the health plan market in Brazil, with 110 thousand cooperative doctors and 20 million clients.
The Confederation represents medical cooperatives before regulatory bodies and the government, besides ensuring the Unimed brand, helping maintain the economic-financial sustainability of the System and providing guidance and consultancy to Unimeds, ranging from management to issues related to finance, sustainability, information technology, communication, marketing, attention to health, legal issues, health regulation, among other important issues that make up the organizations.
Presently, Unimed do Brasil is elaborating strategic instruments for a more professional management of the Unimed System, with the disclosure of Demographic and Strategic Profiles and HR indicators and the release of the Cooperative Governance Manual of the Unimed System with the purpose of adapting the governance rules to cooperativism, without the commercial bias, such that all the cooperatives have the same management model.
One of its differentials, the Exchange, gained more dynamism under the watchful eyes of Eudes. Based on the principle of inter-cooperation, the Exchange helps the client to receive service all over the country, even though client of a single cooperative, through the contractual conditions.
Paying attention to the quality of services provided by the cooperatives of the System, Eudes institutionalized the Own Resource sector in order to increase the accreditation rate of own hospitals and develop the hospital cost management.
Under the management of Eudes, Unimed do Brasil still founded the Unimed Institute, implemented the Competency-Based Human Resource Management and created the Economic-Financial Follow-up department.
Lastly, Eudes is leading a change in the Brazilian assistance model in order for the full attention to health to be widely exercised by the cooperatives of the Unimed System.
To Eudes, the inter-cooperation present in the Unimed System through the widely used mechanism is one of the major tools to strengthen the cooperativism. In an example of Unimed itself, the ideal would be for all the Unimeds to purchase supplies from cooperatives and for cooperatives to have the Unimed health plans.
Furthermore, the principle that proclaims education, training and information is being widely put into practice through the Unimed Foundation, the purpose of which is to promote group training, qualification and education in various areas of interest of the medical practice, and the Unimed Qualica Program, which aims to meet the certification and accreditation needs in the health sector.
When he became the president of Unimed do Brazil, Eudes became the vice-president of the International Health Cooperative Organization (IHCO), health cooperative body connected to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
In 2015, he was elected first vice-president of the Cooperative of the Americas after being part of the entity as member of the Administrative Council since 2010.
In 2013 he became member of the Administrative Council of ICA. In both institutions, he always seeks to exchange experiences with representatives from all cooperative fields in order to implement good examples in his reality at Unimed.
In Brazil, his is member of the Administrative Council of Sescoop/SP, of Seguros Unimed, Unimed Odonto and the Technical Administrative and Operating Council of the Unimed National Central, besides being a consultant of the Cooperative Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association in the São Paulo State since 2013.
He was state representative of the Health Sector at the Organization of Cooperatives of São Paulo State (Ocesp) and national representative of this same sector in the Brazilian Cooperative Organization (OCB).
In 2015 Eudes was elected one of the 100 most influential people in Brazil by the Forbes magazine, he appeared on the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2015 list of the Healthcare Management magazine, and was named São Paulo state citizen for his contribution to medicine and cooperativism.
During the same year, Eudes became member of the Administrative Council of the Instituto Coalizão Saúde (Icos), an entity that aims to bring together and articulate the major members of the Brazilian private health production chain, with the purpose of promoting the discussion and search for innovative solutions for the sector, contributing to the strengthening and sustainability of the Brazilian health system.
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