The GRAACC > History


In 1981, having been invited by professors Calil Fahrat, Ulisses Fagundes Neto and Benjamim Kopelman - from the Pediatrics Department of the Escola Paulista de Medicina - Dr. Antônio Sérgio Petrilli created an exclusive sector of Pediatric Oncology at UNIFESP to improve the physical treatment conditions.
Thus, in only three beds of the 9th floor of the São Paulo Hospital, the doctor also started to voluntarily treat the children and adolescents with cancer who were looking for an institution.


Dr. Petrilli was invited by the American Cancer Society to visit North American hospitals which had been successful in the treatment of children's cancer and decided to follow the model and create something similar in Brazil.


The recently formed Sector of Pediatric Oncology of the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP/EPM) rented a two-floor house in Vila Mariana, in the city of São Paulo, which is lovingly called the " little house"  (casinha). And this is where the small patients, now better accomodated, started to receive treatment against children's cancer. Dr. Petrilli was nominated assistant professor in the department of Pediatrics at the hospital  that same year.

However, more was necessary. Therefore, to achieve the objectives of guaranteeing all the chances of cure for children and adolescents with cancer, the doctors and professionals of the "little house"  tried to obtain the support of the community. This is when Mrs. Lea Della Casa Mingione created the group of Volunteers from GRAACC, together with Anélia Ramoska, Meiry Nassar, Miriam Mattar and Yara Rosito. The group was joined by Mr. Jacinto A. Guidolin, an engineer who initiated the refurbishing of the "little house"  voluntarily.


The "new little house" was inaugurated with everyone's involvement, on June 14th 1991, and that is where GRAACC was born. On November 4th, doctors, nurses, employees, patient's parents, businessmen and supporting volunteers gathered to formalize the approval of the statute of the new institution, and the service received the 1st Group of Pediatric Oncology Residents from UNIFESP. That same year, 44 children and adolescents were attended by GRAACC. Lea Della Casa Mingione, better known as Dona Lea, started to structure a group of volunteers.
In the following year, another 131 new cases were treated. With the growth and success in the treatment it became necessary to rent a two-storey house next to the "little house".


In 1993, GRAACC was chosen to participate in the first McDia Feliz Campaign, promoted by the Ronald McDonald Institute. GRAACC, with its resources starts thinking of the possibility of building a hospital specialized in pediatric oncology.

As, it was already considered a reference in the treatment of pediatric cancer, GRAACC started receiving several children and adolescents from all the states of Brazil. However, as they could not support themselves in São Paulo, many of these patients abandoned the treatment. This is why GRAACC joined its forces and on November 10th, inaugurated the " Casa de Apoio"  (Support House), a space reserved to take in the patients and their families.


GRAACC tried to form partnerships with companies to build a five-floor hospital, specialized in pediatric oncology. The objective was to obtain one patron per floor. Banco Safra sponsors the first floor.


The Orsa Foundation financed another two floors and allowed the construction to start. The initial five-floor project was enlarged and became a hospital with 11 floors.


The search for partnerships became more intense. The Ayrton Senna Institute, together with Credicard, financed the Senninha Therapeutic Playroom. Cia. Suzano de Celulose e Papel donated one floor and brought along new partners.


On February 26th the GRAACC hospital, the Pediatric Oncology Institute, opened its doors. On April 13th GRAACC signed a partnership with UNIFESP, consolidating the techno-scientific partnership with the university. On May 5th, the hospital was officially inaugurated. That year 173 children and teenagers were treated at the hospital.


In May, the Cryopreservation Laboratory, the Bone Marrow Transplant Center and the Surgical Center started their operations.


The Genetics, Molecular Biology and the Hematology Laboratories were inaugurated, with funding  from the Banco do Brasil Foundation, by means of the "Criança e Vida" Project (Children and Life).


The Orsa Foundation sponsors the Chemotherapy Playroom, and Philips equips the Diagnostic Imaging Center with Computerized Tomography and magnetic resonance machines.


GRAACC completes 15 years of existence, with about 5 thousand children and adolescents having been treated by the institution.


In April, The Ronald McDonald São Paulo House was inaugurated. It has room for 30 patients and their companions.


The Pediatric Oncology Institute from the GRAACC hospital has completed one decade and the institution is getting ready to expand physically.

And GRAACC hasn't stopped there. Inside the hospital, with the specialized human resources and modern equipment, medical assistance activities, as well as research and education continue to be developed in a partnership with the university, through the Oncology Sector of the Pediatrics Department of UNIFESP/EPM. This guarantees that the organization of the hospital is always ahead in children's cancer treatment, using leading edge technology. The support of private initiative and the community makes it possible to have high level treatment in a stimulating and welcoming environment, which constitutes a differential in GRAACC and a predominant factor for its success.


GRAACC improves the structure of its assistance with the creation of the Transfusional Agency, which is responsible for storing blood products for the hospital, for pre-transplant tests and clinical follow-up of transfusions.


GRAACC receives from São Paulo's municipal government a plot of land for construction of new facilities. Beginning of project design for expansion of the hospital, aiming at consolidating the institution as a modern Latin American center specializing in Pediatric Oncology.


Beginning of the works for construction of Annex 1 of GRAACC's Hospital, which, in addition to enabling expansion of services, includes a modern Pediatric Radiotherapy modular center. In that year, GRAACC also enters into a partnership with the National Institute of Health (NIH), a US institution that developes a worldwide research project on the genome of patients with osteosarcoma, a type of bone tumor.


GRAACC completes its 2020 strategic planning, and starts its international hospital accreditation with the Joint Commission International. In the medical field, it consolidates its multidisciplinary medical residency at GRAACC's hospital.


GRAACC is qualified by the Ministry of Health as a "High Complexity Oncology Unit" (UNACON) and opens the Annex 1 of its hospital expansion project.

And this is not all. Inside the hospital, with its specialized human resources and modern equipment, the institution continues to develop its assistance, research and educational activities in partnership with the Academy, through the Oncology Division of the Department of Pediatrics of UNIFESP/EPM. This enables the organization to be always in the forefront of childhood cancer treatment through the use of state-of-the-art technologies. The support from the private sector and the community enables the offering of high quality treatment in a welcoming and stimulating environment, which is a differential of GRAACC and an essential factor for its success.

The next years will be marked by the expansion of GRAACC's physical structure and assistance services.

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