From Congress to the Clinic: Congressman Dwight Evans Visits Penn Urology

By: Robert Bass, MD, MBA | Posted on: 01 Dec 2021

Rep. Dwight Evans arrived in Congress in November 2016, and since then, he has gone on hospital and medical center tours throughout Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District. From Temple University Hospital to Einstein to Lankenau Medical Center, listening to doctors, nurses and patients has helped him learn what health care professionals think about our nation’s health care system. Such interest led him to a seat on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, one of the two primary committees of jurisdiction on health care in the U.S. Congress.

Rep. Evans’ Penn Urology tour began with Dr. Ruchika Talwar, Chief Resident, and Dr. Thomas Guzzo, Professor and Chief of Urology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, highlighting key clinic elements and facilities. Shortly thereafter, they were joined in a round table conversation with Dr. Ariana Smith, Dr. Trinity Bivalaqua, Dr. Esther Nivasch-Turner, Dr. Marjorie (Margaux) Johnson, Dr. R. Caleb Kovell and Dr. Daniel Roberson. The conversation mainly centered on bladder cancer research, benign urology and bladder health research, community outreach for urologic health and Penn Urology’s opioid reduction initiative.1

The Congressman was interested to learn that tens of millions of Americans are affected by bladder diseases and benign urological conditions, including urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, stress urinary incontinence, urine accidents, underactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections and neurogenic bladder. In addition, bladder cancer being the second most common urological cancer in adults was discussed, with 67,000 new cases of bladder cancer each year in the United States. He also expressed interest in voiding and erectile dysfunction, lowering urinary tract symptoms and how to improve communication and discussion of the urological quality of life concerns given the intimate nature of psychosocial-related injuries.

“It was an honor to have Rep. Evans join my colleagues and me at Penn Urology to learn more about urology and, more specifically, its impact on the Philadelphia communities and needs. In addition, his passion and interest in health equity, health literacy and veterans’ wellbeing is well aligned with our division’s mission and inspired us to continue with the work we do in those realms,” said Dr. Talwar.

“As his constituent, I initially spoke with his congressional office during the Annual Urology Advocacy Summit this year. So it was exciting to see how an office visit during the Summit translated into a congressional site visit. Congressional site visits can be a very effective advocacy initiative. By inviting your legislator to visit your practice, you get the unique opportunity to show them firsthand the impact of government actions on the healthcare industry and the patients they represent. These visits can help you establish a vital relationship with lawmakers and their staff, which is key to successful advocacy. We are thankful for Congressman Evans’ ongoing support of our mission, and we are so appreciative that he could join us at Penn Urology.”

The Penn Urology congressional site visit has sparked interest in Rep. Evans’s further collaborating with the group to potentially host a urologic health fair in the Third District.

If you are interested in hosting a congressional site visit or setting up an in person district meeting, please contact the AUA’s Legislative & Political Affairs Department staff at LegislativeAffairs@AUAnet.org for information or assistance.

  1. Infanti J: News Release: New Pain Management Protocol Sends 92 Percent of Cancer Surgery Patients Home with No Opioids. Penn Medicine News 2019. Available at https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2019/may/new-pain-management-protocol-sends-92-percent-of-cancer-surgery-patients-home-with-no-opioids.
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