One of the Institute's historical leaders, he was one of the main responsible for the prestige that InCor has achieved

Prof. Fúlvio Pileggi passed away this Sunday (4/4/2021), in São Paulo. He was a prominent figure in Brazilian and Latin American cardiology who ran InCor from 1982 to 1997. During this period he consolidated the Institute as a legacy from Professors Euryclides de Jesus Zerbini and Luiz Venere Décourt, giving it national and international prominence in cardiology .

“The importance of Prof. Fúlvio for InCor and for all of us who had the honor to live with him and learn from his pioneering spirit and example  is impossible to estimate”, says Prof. Dr. Roberto Kalil Filho, president of the Board of Directors. 

For Prof. Dr. Fábio Jatene, vice-president of the Board of Directors, Prof. Fúlvio was one of the greatest leaders of InCor and one of the main responsible for the great prestige that the Institute has achieved. “I have always had a lot of respect for his performance and great gratitude for his guidance during my training and for supporting my career,” he says.  

“I consider him the main responsible for the formation of the remarkable institution that is InCor today. He was a natural leader, a great doctor, both for his knowledge and for his humanism. He had an advanced administrative vision for the institution. Stimulated the creation of excellent technical teams. He brought science to InCor, by hiring researchers in basic areas. He trained several doctors and researchers of the highest quality”, recalls Prof. Dr. Protásio Lemos da Luz, senior professor in the Department of Cardiopneumology at FMUSP, who worked with Prof. Pileggi for more than 20 years. 

For those who wish to express feelings of condolence, the Pileggi family provided the email 

Prof. Fúlvio and InCor: always together 

In 2011, when he was 84 years old, Prof. Fúlvio Pileggi made his last speech at InCor during the inauguration of our Clinical Research Center, which bears his name. On that occasion, he recalled the path he took at the Institute - which made him so proud - as the dream of a generation that became reality: “The key to happiness is to dream. The key to success is making dreams come true! ”. 

“Incor, like any university hospital, must rely on a tripod: assistance, teaching and research. As for the first item, the institution has always endeavored, and is increasingly committed, to treating the sick with humanity and modernity, making no difference in terms of social origin, race and color. As for education, Incor undoubtedly has a prominent position in Brazil and Latin America, as it has been preparing specialists of the highest level in cardiology, pneumonia and thoracic surgery for many years, with its masters, doctorate and specialization courses. Also very important is its undergraduate course, which provides the basis that every doctor should have in cardiology and pulmonology to students of the Faculdade de Medicina da USP. As for research, the path was arduous and stormy. Researchers of the highest standard have been hired and trained over the years, leading the name of Incor to be respected and recognized as one of the most important centers in the world in clinical and basic cardiological research." 

Love for science 

Prof. Fúlvio Pileggi started his career in medicine in 1947, when he passed in third place in the exam for USP. He did boarding and residency at the HC and won a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to the National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico, at that time one of the most important centers in cardiology worldwide. 

Back in Brazil, he worked with professor Décourt, then head of the Clinical Cardiology Service at HC, whom he would succeed years later. He was an assistant, professor, adjunct and holder of the discipline. He also participated in the union of the Clinical Cardiology Service, led by Décourt, with the Cardiac Surgery Service, led by Zerbini, and saw the incredible increase in the demand for cardiac beds, which led to the development of the dream that would become InCor, named in its inauguration as Institute of Cardiopulmonary Diseases.  

After obtaining all the titles of cardiology professor at the Faculdade de Medicina da USP, including that of specialty holder in 1977, he became general director of InCor.  

Inaugurated in 1977, InCor made the HC cardiology sector take on a life of its own, without, however, failing to act in synergy with the entire university hospital of FMUSP. Prof. Pileggi’s  managerial skill actually implemented the mission of the Zerbini Foundation, a private-law entity created in 1978 to provide financial support to InCor.  

With the economic support and bureaucratic agility provided by the Zerbini Foundation, InCor was able at the time to allocate 10% of the beds to patients under private health insurance or private clients, who paid for the good services provided by the institution's cardiologists. The other 90% were dedicated to patients in the public health system. This flexible management model today has become a reference for foundations and maintainers of hospitals throughout Brazil. 

With his mission accomplished, Pileggi retired in 1997, when he was professor of Cardiology, head of the Department of Cardiopneumology at Faculdade de Medicina da USP and general director of InCor. In his 59 years of practice in medicine, he continued to work in clinical cardiology and scientific research. He published about 488 articles in national scientific journals and 233 in international journals. 

Watch the video of Prof. Fúlvio Pileggi on the FMUSPOficial channel on YouTube, under “Ensaios de Memórias”, or in the link