Ascardio: Collaborating For Cardiovascular Health



Josefina F. Bruni-Celli EN

Rosa Amelia Gonzalez


IESA Business School Venezuela

Published in


Ascardio was a hybrid organization dedicated to support the cardiovascular program of the Ministry of Health in the mid-western region of Venezuela. What had started as a small project in 1976 had turned into a 11.5 million dollar per year operation with 400 permanent employees and 100 thousand diagnostic and therapeutic procedures per year. Ascardio represented the healthcare model Dr. Finiziola, its founder, had dreamt of: one that combined the universality of the public sector and the efficiency of the private sector.

This was largely achieved through alliances and collaborations with public and private organizations. The case ends when Ascardio’s Administrative Technical Council was discussing the organization’s options to face the progressive loss of support from key actors, in an increasing complicated economic and political environment. On one hand, Ascardio had the option of modifying its fee system. Crosssubsidies were becoming increasingly difficult to manage and the remuneration of residents required urgent updating. Also, public and private contributions to patients in need of financial support to access Ascardio’s cardiological services were declining. On the other hand, Ascardio had the option to use the social capital of Dr. Finizola and his family, as well as the one accumulated by Ascardio, to launch an aggressive fundraising campaign, and seek contributions in volunteering hours from the citizens of the region-well known for the mutual trust and solidarity of its citizens and organizations. Having analyzed both options, students will decide if Ascardio: 1) Should sacrifice universality to ensure financial sustainability and market positioning, while running the risk of losing legitimacy among its stakeholders. 2) Should seek alternatives for mobilizing the region’s civil society and different forms of volunteering to secure an inclusive health service, available for all public regardless of their ability to pay, but risking to lose quality of service.