The early years of EPOS management - leading to 30 years of success!
By Hans Otto, Dipl.-Ing
EPOS was founded in 1985 as a limited liability company between GOPA and the medical faculty of the private German university Witten-Herdecke. EPOS enabled the specialized know-how of the university’s medical faculty and its 8 affiliated hospitals (holistic treatment) to be applied beyond Germany within the context of German and European development cooperation.
During the first four years of its existence, EPOS was managed by an employee of the university. Unfortunately, the non-profit status of the university and EPOS’ for-profit healthcare consulting model proved to be incompatible in the long term. GOPA took over the university’s shares in 1989, with Dr. Andreas Lenel serving as manager of EPOS in addition to his role as deputy head of the Industrial and Trade Promotion (Industrie- und Gewerbeförderung).
Following Dr. Lenel’s departure from GOPA, Hans Otto, graduate engineer and deputy managing director of GOPA, temporarily took over the management of EPOS. Key projects in these early years included the planning, construction, establishment and follow-on management of the children’s hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, on behalf of KfW and a consultancy for GIZ developing systematic maintenance services of medical equipment for several hospitals in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Company growth continued and after an intensive search, EPOS hired Dr. Robert Gaertner as full-time managing director. Due in great part to his broad expertise, international outlook, entrepreneurial skills, pioneering endeavors, social skills and extraordinary commitment, he was able to build a very strong team within a few years. Incorporating several experienced GOPA employees on the initial EPOS team helped ensure success.
Since the mid-nineties, EPOS has been recognized as the German market leader in donor-financed health care consulting. Following the awarding and implementation of several large European Union (EU) contracts, EPOS became one of the leading European health consultancy and health management companies in 2000. Key technical areas of Health Policy and Financing, Integrated Primary Health Care and Health Facilities and Services were established. To date, EPOS has implemented more than 400 projects in more than 75 countries and recently achieved an annual turnover of approximately EUR 20 million.
In spring 2014, Dr. Gaertner resigned from his position and handed over the management to his long-term employee Inke Fabian de Barreto and her team. I am very confident that the new management team will continue to build on the extremely successful history of the past 30 years.