From the AUA Secretary: Leaders in the Making

By: John D. Denstedt, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS | Posted on: 05 Oct 2021

The AUA Leadership Program identifies urologists who have demonstrated effective leadership skills within organized medicine or the community. Since 2004, the AUA and its Sections have sought applicants who are driven to tackle future roles of responsibility within the AUA. To date, 147 AUA members have participated in 1 of 8 different Leadership Program classes.

The AUA is proud of its Leadership Program, which provides younger AUA members the opportunity to polish their leadership skills, take advantage of networking opportunities and become better acquainted with AUA programs and services. More than 25 program graduates have served on their Section’s Board of Directors, 2 have served on the AUA Board of Directors, and an impressive 12 have served as Section Presidents.

The AUA Leadership program is so critical because the future of the AUA and urology depends on us cultivating wonderful leaders to advance the specialty. The AUA has been around for 119 years due to great leaders, and developing strong leaders through the AUA Leadership Program will help us be around for 119 more.

I would like to recognize the 2021–2022 AUA Leadership Class Participants and Mentors:

Mid-Atlantic Section

  • Suzanne Merrill, MD, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Tullika Garg, MD, Geisinger Medical Center

New England Section

  • Kevan Sternberg, MD, University of Vermont
  • Alex Vanni, MD, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

New York Section

  • William Huang, MD, NYU Langone Health
  • Jessica Kreshover, MD, Arthur Smith Institute for Urology

Northeastern Section

  • Naeem Bhojani, MD, University of Montreal Health Care Center
  • Bruce Jacobs, MD, University of Pittsburgh

North Central Section

  • Anne Cameron, MD, University of Michigan
  • Charles R. Powell, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Kyle Richards, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Southeastern Section

  • Matthew Coward, MD, University of North Carolina
  • Kristen Scarpato, MD, MPH, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Trushar Patel, MD, University of Southern Florida

South Central Section

  • Rodrigo Donalisio da Silva, MD, University of Colorado Denver Health
  • Rose Khavari, MD, Houston Methodist Hospital
  • Kelly Stratton, MD, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Western Section

  • Tom Chi, MD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Brian Duty, MD, MBA, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Polina Reyblat, MD, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center

Mentors of the Leadership Class

  • Arthur L. Burnett, MD, MBA, FACS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • S. Larry Goldenberg, CM, OBC, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS, University of British Columbia
  • Kathleen Kobashi, MD, FACS, Virginia Mason Medical Center
  • Richard Memo, MD, NEO Urology Associates, Inc.
  • Craig Peters, MD, FAAP, FACS, Children’s Health, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Linda Shortliffe, MD, Stanford University

These future leaders will have a lasting impact on the AUA and urology, and I have no doubt they will do great things. The 2023–2024 AUA Leadership Program application period will open in the summer of 2022. Learn more about the program at

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