The GEES, led by professor Hedi Crecencia Heckler de Siqueira, uses an ecosystem perspective to study, develop and facilitate the production of technical/scientific and administrative/managerial knowledge in the nursing and health field. It seeks to improve the quality of services and activities affecting the well-being, health and quality of life of individuals and communities. It is especially interested in improving the environment and work context of health workers, the sociopolitical interrelations/interconnections governing assistance/care and the rational use of health resources.

The group researches the organization of nursing and health work using an ecosystem approach. It also focuses on the ecosystem health, labor and quality of life of workers and users of the health system with an emphasis on education.

It is primarily interested in health as a collective and interdisciplinary production (the ecosystem approach); nursing/health workers and their work environment and context with an emphasis on education; the structure (form and content) of services and activities in the nursing/health field; management modalities and their interrelationships; the interrelations/interconnections of nursing/health activities and services; and the nursing/health field’s production process and relationship with public policy in the ecosystem perspective.

The group has been informally operating since 2003 and was formally certified by FURG in 2006. It primarily researches issues related to health institutions/organizations and their problems, facilities, health actions and services; management/administrative issues related to ecology, including sustainability, healthy behaviors and education, interconnectedness in a global context and the environmental, cultural, historical and political influences that affect the health of workers and health services users; the relationship and inter-relationships, partnerships and cooperation of health institutions/organizations in healthcare delivery; education and individual and collective health; and the examination and proposition of policies that contribute to quality of life improvement.

 The GEES conducts local and regional seminars and national symposia and sponsors lectures to disseminate knowledge. It has also published four books and 64 scientific articles in national and international journals, 22 between 2010 and 2012. In 2013, it published 8 articles and had several forthcoming.

Dr. Hedi Crecencia Heckler has advised 15 master’s theses and one doctoral thesis and is currently supervising 7 doctoral theses, 1 master's thesis and one undergraduate research project. Furthermore, she continues to advise many academics in the health field on their final papers.

GEES meetings are held monthly to discuss the theoretical, philosophical and methodological bases that motivate the group's scientific production. The goal of these meetings is to understand the interconnections among the group members' research projects and to encourage sociability.