Health among generations

The attention and investment in health care have always been present in the history of Votorantim



Portuguese Antonio Pereira Ignacio, founder of Votorantim, arrived in Brazil in 1884, at the age of ten and still illiterate. His entrepreneurial skills and talent to manage the business made him grow as a merchant and industrialist, and stand out as a leader of the Portuguese community in the city of Sorocaba, in the interior of the state of São Paulo. From the aid to victims of earthquakes, going through the assistance to Hospital da Misericórdia de Paredes in Portugal, to the management of hospital Santa Casa de Sorocaba, everything relied on his participation. And that was the beginning of the history of a family always attentive to the importance of supporting the health sector.

Antonio Pereira Ignacio

The results of the well-managed health

Beneficência Portuguesa is a mutual aid institution created in 1859 and which built, at the beginning of the 20th century, a hospital to assists its members.

By moving to the capital of the state of São Paulo, in the 1900´s, Pereira Ignacio got closer to the institution and also managed it. 

In 1951, after the death of Antonio Pereira Ignacio, the institution broke the tradition of always electing a Portuguese chairman and invited José Ermírio de Moraes to be the first Brazilian to lead the society. By accepting the position, the businessman defined his goal: to build a new hospital that would not be restricted to assist the members, but also a model institution in terms of medical excellence and that, at the same time, would assist the low-income population.

The idea was received with enthusiasm and materialized in a huge volume of donations – the largest ones came from Votorantim and Nitro Química –, enabling the construction of a hospital with 24,000 square meters of built area and 440 beds. When opened by the president of Portugal, Craveiro Lopes, in June 1957, it was the largest private hospital in Latin America.

Beneficência has been managed voluntarily by four generations of the Family: Antonio Pereira Ignacio, José Ermírio de Moraes, Antônio Ermírio de Moraes and, currently, by Rubens Ermírio de Moraes.

Today, Beneficência Portuguesa is a reference in medical-hospital care in several specialties, including cardiology, oncology, and neurology, being the largest private health center in Latin America in number of beds.


In addition to Beneficência Portuguesa, the Moraes Family and Votorantim have been involved in many projects in the health care area.

In the 1940´s and 1950´s, two hospitals were opened in the interior of the state of São Paulo financed by the company: Hospital Santo Antonio, in January, 1949, in the city of Votorantim and Hospital Maternidade Santa Lucinda, in April, 1950, in the city of Sorocaba.

Together with Hospital Maternidade Santa Lucinda, there was the opening of Faculdade de Medicina de Sorocaba, which used the facilities of the hospital as the headquarter of the learning center. For the first time in Brazil a medical school was based away from the capitals, in a medium-sized town, meeting a demand for the training of physicians in interior of the state.

Hospital Santo Antonio built by Votorantim in the city of Sorocaba to assist the employees of the textile and cement factories.

José Ermírio de Moraes Filho followed the steps of his father and grandfather. During 12 years, his main occupation on health was to be the volunteer chairman of Fundação Antônio Prudente, which manages Hospital do Câncer. His son, José Ermírio de Moraes Neto, is currently the chair of trustees of Hospital A.C. Camargo (Former Hospital do Câncer). José Neto´s wife, Liana Maria Carraro de Moraes, is the vice-president director of the statutory board of A.C. Camargo.

Antônio Ermírio de Moraes, José Ermírio de Moraes Filho and Carmen Prudente open the auditorium of Fundação Antônio Prudente, of Hospital do Câncer, which is named after Senator José Ermírio de Moraes, in August 9, 1998.

Antonio Ermírio de Moraes with a group of nurses of Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa, 1985.

Antônio Ermírio de Moraes had an outstanding performance in health by participating in the management of several institutions. Among them, Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (1962-1966), Hospital da Cruz Verde (1967-1975) and Beneficência Portuguesa, where he worked for almost 40 years. At Beneficência Portuguesa, he was present every day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Today, his son, Rubens de Moraes, is the chairman of the institution with the same dedication of his father and his grandfather.

Rubens de Moraes, at the center, in the management of Beneficência Portuguesa.

Clóvis Scripilliti led the growth of Votorantim in the Northeast of Brazil as of 1966 and, in 1970, he became the councilor and treasurer-director of AACD (Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente), positions held by him as a volunteer. In 1985, he became the vice-president of AACD. In 1998, he was responsible for implementing AACD in the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco and took over the presidency of the board of directors of AACD, a position held by him as a volunteer until his death. His daughter, Regina Helena Scripilliti Velloso, was the chairwoman of AACD up to April, 2018.

Centro de Reabilitação Física Engenheiro Clóvis Scripilliti in the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco, built with the assistance of Clóvis in 1999.

Regina Velloso at AACD.