From the AUA Secretary: Thank You AUA Council and Committee Leadership

By: John D. Denstedt, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS | Posted on: 03 Sep 2021

Each AUA Annual Meeting starts the term of new council and committee leadership. The significant contributions of the outgoing chairs have a long-lasting impact on the programs and initiatives of the AUA. I would like to recognize the outgoing chairs for their dedication and hard work.

Anne Calvaresi, DNP, CRMP, RNFA chaired the Urology Care Foundation Prostate Health Committee from 2019 to 2021. While serving as Chair, Anne contributed to the development of multiple industry funded projects to include 6 Prostate Cancer Caregiver podcasts and the Living Healthy Cookbook with Information about Urologic Cancers featuring celebrity chefs. She also reviewed and updated existing Web articles, patient guides and posters to align with the Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Surgical Management AUA Clinical Guideline and updated 11 existing patient education materials to align with the Advanced Prostate Cancer AUA Clinical Guideline.

Dr. Toby Chai served as the Chair of the Research Advocacy Committee from 2018 to 2021. As Chair, Dr. Chai led discussions to identify key approaches to address critical needs in research advocacy, such as institutional support for surgeon scientists. He also led the submissions of urology-relevant recommendations for National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and National Institute on Aging (NIA) strategic plans. Dr. Chai cultivated relationships with members of Congress to aid the AUA’s research advocacy efforts to protect, grow and raise awareness of urological research funding within the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Working closely with the NIH, Dr. Chai helped to place 2 surgeon scientists on NIH advisory bodies, as well as participating in strike force meetings with the NIH in conjunction with the AUA’s Annual Urology Advocacy Summit and providing responses to an array of NIH Requests for Information.

Dr. Sam Chang completed this 2-year term as Chair of the Public Media Committee. Under Dr. Chang’s leadership, the Public Media Committee responded to nearly 80 media inquiries in 2020, resulting in the AUA being featured in approximately 12,000 news articles throughout the year. Top media outlets included the Associated Press, CNN online, HealthDay, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Chang and the committee actively promoted urology-based science and news to more than 100 trade and consumer journalists via 44 one-on-one interviews and 5 press events featuring 14 abstracts during the 2020 AUA Annual Meeting, which due to COVID-19 was hosted virtually for the first time in more than a century. This digital interaction enabled the AUA to generate a reach of more than 155.6 million through press releases, webinars and social media posts for each press event.

Dr. Juan Javier-DesLoges served as Chair of the Residents and Fellows Committee (RFC) from 2020 to 2021. Dr. Javier-DesLoges increased the resident/fellow involvement in The Journal of Urology® and worked closely with the AUA Data Committee to publish a second report on domestic and international residents using AUA Census data. He also refined the data collection and publication of the Urology Residency Match. Dr. Javier-DesLoges led the 4th annual RFC Essay Contest, garnering 42 submissions from medical students, residents and fellows in the U.S. and internationally. He worked with the RFC to sponsor a panel during the AUA May Kick-off Weekend and create resident programming for the AUA Annual Meeting.

Dr. Jihad Kaouk chaired the New Technologies & Imaging Committee from 2019 to 2021. During his term, Dr. Kaouk provided expertise on the adoption of new urological technologies and assisted the AUA Office of Education in the development of an educational needs assessment survey on new technologies. He also evaluated instructional courses for the AUA Annual Meetings.

Dr. Dolores Lamb completed her 2-year term as Chair of the Research Education, Conferences and Communications Committee. Dr. Lamb served as a faculty mentor and speaker for the Early Career Investigators Workshops (ECIW) with record-high registration in 2019 (42 early career investigators and 26 faculty and speakers), and the 2020 workshop being hosted fully virtually for the first time. She also served as the course director for a new online research education course, titled “Establishing Your Independent Urology Research Lab,” and provided overall leadership to guide topic selection, recruitment of program chairs and the content development for the annual Basic Sciences Symposia for AUA2020 and AUA2021.

Dr. Aaron Milbank served as Chair of the Bylaws Committee from 2019 to 2021. Dr. Milbank clarified and simplified AUA’s standard of review for nominees submitted to serve as Section Representatives on the AUA Board during his term. He also modified the license requirement for Active and Associate members to remove the word “unlimited” from the medical license requirement, which allows licensed, practicing urologists to retain membership status and ensures their uninterrupted access to AUA educational resources and other benefits. During his term, Dr. Milbank specified that the Annual Business meeting may be held proximate to the Annual Meeting and may be held virtually upon a Board vote, standardized most council/committee member terms to 3 years (renewable once) and updated the composition of several committees.

Dr. J. Curtis Nickel completed his term as Editor of the Update Series Advisory Committee from 2018 to 2021, where he assisted with the development of 40 high quality lessons to support the life-long learning needs of AUA members. Dr. Nickel became Assistant Editor in 2012 and served on this committee overall for 17 years. During this time, he authored 9 lessons and reviewed approximately 460 manuscripts.

Dr. Victor Nitti served a 6-year term as Chair of the Education Council. Dr. Nitti grew the Urology Core Curriculum into the gold standard for resident education, initiated and developed the AUAUniversity podcast series, and spearheaded the AUA’s ongoing Future of Urologic Education initiative addressing educational content, format and access needs for the next generation of urology care providers. He also launched the AUAUniversity YouTube channel in 2019 and a brand-new Self-Assessment Study Program (SASP) app in 2020.

Dr. Aria Olumi served a 6-year term as Chair of the Research Council. During his term, Dr. Olumi increased opportunities for effective research training during residency by creating and launching the Physician Scientist Residency Training Award and restructuring the Residency Research Award programs, as well as strengthened mentoring opportunities through the creation of the Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy. He also supported the peer review of nearly 900 research grant applications and the selection of nearly 200 new research awards to support the pipeline of early career urology researchers. Dr. Olumi helped to increase the Urology Care Foundation’s research funding portfolio from $42 million to $63 million and stimulated development of urology researchers by creating and launching the first-ever curricula of online research education courses, tripling engagement in the Early-Career Investigators Workshop and creating the Methods in Clinical Urology Research Workshop.

Dr. Angie Smith completed her 2-year term as Chair of the Urology Care Foundation Bladder Health Committee. Dr. Smith updated 2 patient guides, 5 fact sheets and 3 Web articles to align with the Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer AUA Clinical Guideline, Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer AUA Guideline and Microhematuria AUA Guideline. She also updated content and designs of multiple existing patient education materials about Bladder Prolapse, Incontinence, Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), Nocturia and Pelvic Floor Strengthening. Dr. Smith contributed to the development of multiple industry funded projects to include 4 Bladder Cancer videos, 6 projects about Women’s Bladder Health and the Living Healthy Cookbook with Information about Urologic Cancers featuring celebrity chefs.

Dr. Christian Twiss was the Chair of the Judicial & Ethics Committee from 2019 to 2021. Dr. Twiss participated in reviews for member complaints for expert witness, ethics and marketing violations. He also oversaw draft revisions of the ethics modules for publication on the AUAUniversity and sponsored 5 Judicial & Ethics authored articles in AUANews.

Dr. Arthur Tarantino completed his 1-year term as the Chair of the State Advocacy Committee. Dr. Tarantino created Proclamation and Telehealth Toolkits; helped with the development of Telehealth PowerPoint, State Legislation Support Letter, AUA Telehealth Strategy and AUA Talking Points; and created the Grant Program, which provided monetary assistance to the states/sections to advocate for legislation, fund advocacy meetings and other programs which are advocacy related. He also expanded the State Advocacy Committee, adding 2 representatives from each AUA Section and ensuring diversity.

Dr. Kyle A. Richards served a 1-year term as Chair of the Young Urologists Committee. During this time, Dr. Richards oversaw a number of initiatives designed to elevate the Committee’s presence and further its mission, including the 2021 Young Urologists of the Year Awards, presented to select AUA members who have been in practice for 10 years or less in recognition of their efforts and commitment to advancing the development of fellow early career urologists; release of the 5th edition of Transitioning from Residency to Practice Manual; and AUA Inside Tract Podcast episodes on topics of relevance to early career urologists. He also assisted with the Young Urologists Forum for the 2020 AUA Virtual Experience and led a panel during the 2021 AUA May Kick-off Weekend.

Drs. Trinity Bivalaqua and Nelson Bennett served as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Priapism Guideline Panel; Drs. David Ginsberg and Stephen Kraus served as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Guideline Panel; Dr. J. Kellogg Parsons served as Chair of the BPH Guideline Panel; and Dr. Steven Campbell served as Chair of the Renal Mass Guideline Panel.

Thank you to all of our committee chairs and members, as well as the more than 500 volunteers who dedicate their time to help the AUA advance its mission of promoting the highest standards of urological clinical care through education, research and the formulation of health care policy.

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