UnitedHealth, the most prominent health care insurance company of the United States, signs an agreement to establish IRCAD in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil: On Saturday, January 30, 2016, Professor Jacques Marescaux, IRCAD President, signed a partnership agreement with Dr. Edson De Godoy Bueno, CEO of Amil and board member of UnitedHealth group, with the objective of creating a new training center in Brazil in 2017 (IRCAD Rio).

Leaning against Americas Medical City, a huge hospital compound, this third international offshoot of IRCAD will first be deployed over 4,000 sq. m. in the district of Barra da Tijuca, right beside the sea, in Rio de Janeiro.

Closely modeled on the IRCAD center in Strasbourg, France, this new center will train surgeons to laparoscopic and endovascular techniques, in all specialties taught at IRCAD Strasbourg. This center will have with a platform equipped with 20 experimental operating tables, 2 robotic surgical systems, and one robotic CT-scan (Artis ZEEGO).

Given the outstanding establishment of UnitedHealth in the United States with 70 million members and its impressive network of hospitals, IRCAD Rio will not only train Latin American surgeons but also Northern American surgeons. The agreement was made possible only because IRCAD represents one of the rare institutions in Europe, along with the Imperial College of Surgeons in London, to have its training programs certified by the prestigious American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Professor Jacques Marescaux and the IRCAD team will take responsibility for scientific content, course organization, and evaluation.

IRCAD France and IRCAD Rio will also cooperate for the development of common research projects in the field of novel surgical and imaging techniques.

Project history

In April 2015, a delegation made up of American and Brazilian surgeons, radiologists, and administrative leaders of the UnitedHealth group, came to IRCAD to carry out a detailed audit of research and educational activities held at the Institute.

Further to this 4-day visit in Strasbourg, it was decided to build a new mirror Institute of IRCAD in Rio de Janeiro.

The reasons for this partnership allowing UnitedHealth to join the international network of IRCAD excellence already put together in France, Taiwan, and Brazil, are manifold:

  • IRCAD’s international recognition over 20 years;
  • IRCAD’s network of experts associating 800 opinion leaders in the field of surgery, from the world over;
  • WeBSurg’s web-based Virtual University, gathering more than 320,000 members.

It is rather incredible that a private insurer in health care would have such an exciting vision for tomorrow’s treatment strategies and would take the initiative to set up specific training programs in the field of innovative technologies for the benefit of patients.

Edson De Godoy Bueno’s outstanding career

Son of a truck driver, Edson De Godoy Bueno, board member of UnitedHealth group, decided to become a doctor at the age of 14. Even before the end of his medical studies, he acquired his first hospital. The following year, in 1972, he founded the Amil Health Trust Fund, which was soon to become the most important health trust in Brazil. In 2012, to support its ongoing development, Amil was rebought by the American UnitedHealth Group specialized in health care insurance.

The IRCAD’s international development

After the creation of IRCAD France in 1994, the opening of IRCAD Taiwan in 2008, of IRCAD America Latina in the State of São Paulo in 2011, the Institute takes a new step forward with the creation of a fourth branch in Rio de Janeiro. This new agreement aims to strengthen the position of the IRCAD as a world leader in the field of medical imaging, surgical research, and education in novel minimally invasive surgical techniques. Along with the largest health insurance company in the United States, this partnership testifies to the recognition of French excellence in the field of medicine and surgery, truly embodied by IRCAD.


Professor Jacques Marescaux officially made an Honorary Member of the Italian Society of Surgery

Professor Jacques Marescaux was officially made an Honorary Member of the Italian Society of Surgery during the 117th National Congress of the Italian Society of Surgery, which took place in Milan on October 21-24, 2015. A mere 40 surgeons worldwide have had the privilege of receiving such an honor, which is awarded during the General Assembly of the Italian Scientific Society.

Full renovation of the IRCAD experimental Laboratory

The renovation works, which took place in August in our experimental laboratory entirely dedicated to surgical training, have now been completed. The IRCAD minimally invasive surgery training platform now shifts from 17 to 34 operating tables.

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The IRCAD honored at the World Congress of Surgery in Bangkok, Thailand

On Sunday, August 23, 2015, during the opening ceremony of the World Congress of Surgery, which gathered more than 8,000 surgeons in Bangkok, the International Society of Surgery Prize was awarded to Professor Jacques Marescaux by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

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On Monday, June 29, 2015, Professor Jacques MARESCAUX, President of the IRCAD, Mrs. Laurence COMTE-ARASSUS, President of Medtronic France and Mr. Damien DESMEDT, European Sales & Marketing Vice-President at Intuitive Surgical, inaugurated the IRCAD 2 facilities, which are the new extension to the IRCAD Institute within the compounds of the University Hospital of Strasbourg. Mr. Philippe RICHERT, President of the Regional Council of Alsace and former Minister, Mr. Frédéric BIERRY, President of the Bas-Rhin Regional Council, and Mr. Robert HERMANN, President of the Strasbourg Eurometropole were also present.

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The Alsace region receives the French Tech healthcare accreditation

On Wednesday June 24, shortly after midnight, Axelle Lemaire announced that the Alsace region had received the French Tech healthcare accreditation.





The IRCAD earns a new official distinction as a Comprehensive – American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute (AEI)

The IRCAD (Research Institute Against Cancers of the Digestive System) has been officially certified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for all of its educational programs in minimally invasive surgery, held in Strasbourg, France. As a result, the IRCAD has become the first French Academic Center in surgical education and training to earn such a prestigious distinction, granted by the world-famous ACS scientific organization based in America.

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The most prestigious distinction of the National Academy of Surgery awarded to Professor Jacques Marescaux during the Academy’s formal sitting

The “Ambroise Paré Medal” was awarded to Professor Jacques Marescaux by Professor Daniel JAECK, President of the National Academy of Surgery, during the Academy of Surgery’s formal sitting, which was held on Wednesday, January 21, at the René Descartes University in Paris.

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“2014 NUMERIC’ ALSACE Grand Prize” awarded to Visible Patient, an IRCAD spin-off

On November 5, VISIBLE PATIENT, a company which stemmed from 15 years of IRCAD R&D, received the 2014 Numeric’Alsace Grand Prize in Strasbourg. This prize rewards Alsace’s best digital ideas, strategies, solutions and applications. Visible Patient was created in July 2013, and proposes a new type of surgery guided by 3D virtual imaging for every patient, used before and during the intervention.

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