From the Urology Care Foundation: Resolution of Disparities is Foundational to UCF's Educational and Research Efforts

By: Harris M. Nagler, MD, FACS, President, Urology Care Foundation | Posted on: 01 Feb 2021

Inequality of access and opportunity is not consistent with the mission and vision of the Urology Care Foundation. The Foundation continues to make strides in our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives every day. We seek and embrace new ways to ensure a future in which the principles of justice and equity are upheld and reflected within our mission.

Respecting, embracing and celebrating diversity is integral to our DNA.

As the world grappled with COVID-19, several events transpired that reminded us of the stark inequalities existing within our world and intensified our efforts and commitment to achieve D&I. Our Board of Directors is diversified in terms of race, gender, region and–yes–even specialty and industry.

We are proud to say that more than half of the 400 pieces of patient education in our library are in languages other than English and reflect, both visually and contextually, the diverse populations we serve. Additionally, we have committed to a 3-year plan to have all of our patient education materials available in Spanish.

We also strive to have our materials presented at an eighth grade proficiency level to ensure the information is easily understandable for our many patients, including their families and caregivers. It is through this library of information that we are able to reach a diverse and culturally rich audience worldwide.

Our new Public Education Council Chair, Dr. Brian Stork, shares our commitment to remove barriers of access to educational materials, which result from failure to address issues of diversity. Maintaining diversity of our public education council and committee representation is an essential element in further enabling us to actualize our commitment to reaching underserved populations.

We are proud of the diversity within our patient education governing bodies. This includes our Council being equally comprised of men and women with racially diverse backgrounds in all age groups.

Recognizing the need to grow the field of urological research and increase the universe of underrepresented investigators, the Foundation has teamed up with the AUA to expand its efforts to advance diversity initiatives across all research grant programs.

To this end, I am proud to announce the 2021 Research Scholar Award competition celebrated its first ever awards dedicated to supporting women and underrepresented minorities conducting urological research. These awards were made possible by a grant from Bristol Myers Squibb, Inc. and a new endowment from the Society of Urologic Oncology.

Additional efforts to achieve this goal include ensuring greater diversity in scientific peer review panels and increasing the representation of women and minorities on the AUA’s research program governing bodies, including the Research Council and the Research Grants and Investigator Support Committee.

The AUA and Foundation stand united in creating more opportunities for our research community to improve the diversification of our research workforce, provide higher impact research and improve patient care.

We acknowledge there is still work to be done and we press forward in our D&I efforts through 2021 and beyond. We encourage you to visit UrologyHealth.org to learn more. Thank you.

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