1973 - Villa Maria healthcare facility was established in Cotignola

The Group’s history began on October 21, 1973, the day Villa Maria was inaugurated, a hospital with 180 beds set up in Cotignola, in the province of Ravenna.

From the very beginning, Villa Maria stood out from the other private facilities in Emilia-Romagna due to a clear choice: the activity was directed towards High Specialty and high complexity, in particular towards Clinical Cardiology - diagnostic, interventional and endovascular - and towards Cardiac Surgery.

Villa Maria in Cotignola (RA) aims at complex operations, with the goal of inverting the trend of the so-called “journeys of hope”, which up to that moment in time forced hundreds of patients needing cardiovascular treatments to go abroad.

Thus towards the end of the Seventies, Villa Maria gave life to one of the first private Italian cardiac surgery poles: some foreigners of international renown work alongside valid Italian professionals, helping strengthen its image, including the Frenchmen Carpentier, Neveaux and Lessana, the American King, the Swiss Senning and Turina, the Englishmen Yacoub and Wright, the Dutchman Bos and the Swede Byork, the latter inventor of the heart valve of the same name.

1978 - 1988 First public-private partnership

In 1978 Villa Maria gave life to the first public-private agreement in Italy. The opportunity ripened following structural problems in the Cardiac Surgery ward of Parma Hospital, which persuaded the Local Health Authority (LHA) concerned - in agreement with the Emilia Romagna Region - to request “hospitality” from Villa Maria.

Thus Parma Hospital’s Cardiac Surgery activity moved to Villa Maria’s Cardiac Surgery ward, through the interaction of public and private employees, doctors and non-doctors. This was the first step of a path that, ten years later, led to full recognition of Villa Maria’s effort, aimed at obtaining institutional credibility in healthcare.

Indeed, the agreement was signed in 1988, with the consent of the Region and of the Association of Municipalities, first with LHA (Local Health Authority) 36 of Lugo and immediately afterwards with those of Ravenna and Faenza, for the interventional diagnostic activity of Haemodynamics and Angioplasty. This agreement is the first example, at the national level, of full collaborative integration between public and private: public doctors, on instructions from their respective LHAs, perform tests and operations at Villa Maria during their service activity, taking advantage of the medical and nursing staff, as well as of the instrumentation available at the Cotignola facility. Thus for the first time a private healthcare facility is recognised as providing support to the public sector, an additional incentive to extend the areas of integration.

1988 - 1991 The Group idea comes to life

After the establishment of the company Kronosan in 1987, which deals with the centralisation of purchases, in 1988 the President of Villa Maria healthcare facility, Ettore Sansavini, began setting up the Group through several acquisitions.

Thanks to the broad experience gained in Cotignola, the growth model aimed at hospital building renovation and technical reorganisation. The first two acquisitions were Villa Maria Beatrice in Florence (former Oltrarno healthcare facility, a High Specialisation hospital dedicated to cardiac surgery) and Villa Maria Pia multi-specialty hospital in Turin, still with the goal of supplementing public activity.

In subsequent years the policy was still inspired by the reinvestment of the profits and, after Turin and Florence, Primus Forlì Medical Center was purchased in 1990. A year later Villa Maria Eleonora in Palermo also joined the Group, a hospital facility accredited with the National Health Service oriented mainly towards High Specialty.


1992 - 1997 Gruppo Villa Maria S.p.A. is established and expands

In 1992 the President, Ettore Sansavini, acquired the absolute majority of Villa Maria and Gruppo Villa Maria S.p.A. was born on 31 August 1992.

Simultaneously, the Group’s development goal continued, with increases in capital even by partners and with the reinvestment of the profits generated by the management.

In a short time the Group gained a spot in the forefront in the world of Italian private healthcare in the High Specialisation sector. The same year Villa Azzurra in Rapallo was acquired, currently ICLAS, a High Specialisation facility dedicated to the Heart.

Deep development in Emilia Romagna was obtained with the entry in 1995 of Salus Hospital in Reggio Emilia (multi-specialty facility established in 1946) and of Ravenna Medical Center, in 1996 of Villalba Private Clinic in Bologna and of San Pier Damiano Hospital in Faenza (multi-speciality facility established in 1964). In 1997 the Group made its entry into another region, Puglia, acquiring Città di Lecce Hospital.

1998 - 2000 The start of the production and service companies

In order to follow the development of its core business, towards the end of the Nineties the Group created and augmented some production and services companies.
In 1998 Eurosets, a medical-surgical device manufacturing company located in the biomedical district of Medolla, in the province of Modena, was acquired and subsequently expanded and renovated.
The same year SIA - Servizi Integrati Aziendali, was established in Lugo, offering hotel and environment sanitizing services.
In 2000, still in Lugo, GVM Engineering took shape, an engineering company dedicated to the hospital design and building sector.

2001 - 2003 Castrocaro, SPA and wellness join the Group

In the early 2000s the Group continued to grow. In 2001 its presence in Puglia was strengthened with the acquisition of Anthea Hospital in Bari, joined in 2006 by Casa Bianca Hospital in Cassano Murge and in 2007 by Medicol - Villa Lucia Hospital in Conversano, a multi-speciality hospital, one of the first Pugliese eco-hospitals, built according to the most innovative energy and environmental respect parameters.
A second facility was integrated in Sicily in 2004, the Agrigento Medical Center.

Meanwhile the Group’s commitment also extended to wellness: in 2003 the management of Terme di Castrocaro was acquired, with annexed wellness centre and Grand Hotel, historical Italian thermal complex dating back to the Thirties.

2007 The Group expands into Europe

In 2007 the Group extended its presence beyond national borders for the first time.

In Poland, in the small town of Ostrowiek, the first haemodynamic centre of the company GVM Carint was started, which was later enriched by another two facilities, in Sanok the following year and in Oswiecim in 2009, all three accredited with the Polish National Health System.

At the same time, the Group continued to expand in Italy also: in 2007 it entered Lombardy, thanks to the acquisition of the historical G.B. Mangioni Hospital in Lecco (obstetrical-gynaecological hospital established in 1951) and to the start up of Emo GVM – Centro Cuore Columbus in Milan.

Still in 2007 Medicol, the company that manages Villa Lucia Hospital, joined GVM Care & Research. Villa Lucia is considered to be one of the first Pugliese eco-hospitals; besides having been built according to the most innovative energetic and environmental respect parameters, it has a solar panel system that covers 50% of the energy requirements for hot water production. 

2008 was the year of enhancement of the presence in Puglia, with the acquisition of D’Amore Hospital in Taranto, and it was the year of expansion in Tuscany, with Santa Rita Hospital in Montecatini Terme (established in the Sixties) and in Florence with Pergolino Hospital and Maria Teresa Hospital.

GVM expanded its activity to France, where it acquired the Hôpital Europeen de Paris La Roseraie in 2009, a large multi-specialty health facility. The Hôpital is a reference pole in particular for cardiology and oncology and one of the first French private hospital centres, with a total of 420 beds and 18 thousand hospitalisations per year.

2010 Villa Maria Group becomes GVM Care & Research

In December 2010, Villa Maria Group was renamed GVM Care & Research in confirmation of its international vocation and of its commitment in several directions to the health and wellness of the individual.
In recent years, there have been other important acquisitions in Italy, allowing the Group to consolidate its presence in the large national centres.
The private hospital ICC Istituto Clinico Cardiologico, High Specialty centre, was inaugurated in Rome in 2010.
Villa Torri Hospital, established in the early twentieth century through the initiative of Professor Ulisse Gardini, a pioneer in urological surgery, joined the Group in Bologna in 2011. The GVM Training project was consolidated the same year; it coordinates the Nursing degree course, the CME-accredited courses, the refresher courses and the use of Training Online Management. Torre della Rocchetta, a modern residential facility dedicated to caring for the elderly, joined the Group.
The presence doubled in Palermo also thanks to the acquisition of Cosentino Hospital. Finally, Santa Caterina da Siena Clinic, a multi-specialty facility, was added in Turin.

2012 - 2015 San Carlo di Nancy Hospital in Rome joins the group

In 2012 Misilmeri Medical Center was established in the province of Palermo as an extension of the High Specialty services of the renowned Maria Eleonora Hospital. Still in the same year the Group joined the management team of Spitali Europian Tirana, in Albania, today called Spitali Villa Maria, to underline its affiliation with the Italian parent company; and in collaboration with a well-known entrepreneur from Ravenna, Ettore Sansavini, it established Keir, concentrating on the production of dietary foods.
It established GVM Geriatric Care to respond to the increasing demand for diversified social welfare services, often with a high healthcare content, dedicated to elderly people; in 2013 it took over the management of the RSA (residential care facility) Opera Pia Lotteri in Turin.
In May 2015 GVM Care & Research took over the management of San Carlo di Nancy Hospital. Established in 1932, the hospital is located on Via Aurelia, not far from the Vatican City. Since September 1976 the hospital has been classified as base district hospital. It has the capacity to treat around 14 thousand inpatients per year.

2016 - 2017 Expansion into Lazio and Campania

Beginning on 10 February 2016, it joined the corporate team of Casa di Cura Montevergine in Mercogliano (AV), a private High Specialty hospital, accredited with the National Health Service, which for decades has been a credit to Italian healthcare in the South in the treatment of all coronary heart diseases in adults.

In May 2016 GVM Care & Research joined the corporate team of Clinica Ruesch private hospital, established in 1919. The facility, completely renovated and overlooking the Gulf of Naples, covers a surface of around 6000 sq m distributed over 6 levels in which high medical professionalism goes hand in hand with the most advanced surgical and diagnostic technologies.

Clinica Ruesch promotes direct agreements with public and private agencies, companies, associations and with the bodies of primary importance that manage health policies, funds and welfare funds.

In January 2017 GVM acquired the Roman facility Villa Tiberia in the heart of the Roman quarter of Montesacro, Talenti area and, still in Rome, also the residential care facility Beata Vergine del Rosario.

2018 - 2019 Cortina Hospital joins the Group

In 2018 the following centers become part of the Group: Villa Serena (GE), Santa Rita da Cascia (RM) e Ospedale Cortina (BL).

2019 the Group lands in Ukraine and acquires the Casa SS Salvatore Residential Home in Palermo

2022 - 2023 Entry into Digital Health

With GVM Assistance and GVM Next Care.

2023 50 years of activity

Focusing on people since 1973. 

On the 21th of October 2023, on the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Villa Maria nursing home, GVM Care & Research celebrates 50th anniversary year of activity.

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