FROM THE AUA PUBLIC POLICY COUNCIL: Partners in Advocacy: Our Patients

By: Eugene Rhee, MD, MBA | Posted on: 01 Jul 2022

Connection is what drives successful advocacy. Susan McPherson once said, “Magic happens when you connect people,” and the synergy those connections creates cannot be beat. We are so lucky to have many passionate, engaged advocates amongst us at the AUA and our members understand the importance of advocating for our patients and our specialty. Today, however, I’d really like to highlight another vital advocacy partner of ours: a fantastic assortment of patient advocacy organizations.

Did you know that the AUA has more than 70 patient advocacy partners and leads multiple patient advocacy initiatives that support and enhance the AUA’s advocacy priorities? Our patient advocacy initiatives include the AUA’s Prostate Cancer and Kidney Cancer Impact Alliance, the Kidney Cancer Impact Alliance, the Bladder Health Alliance and the annual Patient Advocacy Connections Program. The patient advocacy groups the AUA allies with span all kinds of urological conditions, from cancer to pelvic organ prolapse. These partners regularly engage with us to promote improved quality and access to health care. They understand the importance of sufficient funding for urological research and reducing burdensome utilization management obstacles to care. The AUA’s advocacy magic would be lessened without our connections to these people and groups.

I’d love to tell you more about some of our patient advocacy initiatives as we have many exciting events and opportunities coming up this fall. The AUA’s Prostate Cancer Impact Alliance, in collaboration with the UCF (Urology Care Foundation), is a collaborative coalition comprised of key stakeholders within the prostate cancer community including patients, caregivers, researchers, physicians and allied health professionals. The coalition framework is designed to remove barriers to patient care and improve access to life-saving treatments. This fall, the Alliance will host its first in-person meeting in Washington, DC, including a Hill day to advocate on behalf of prostate cancer legislation. Similarly, the AUA/UCF’s Kidney Cancer Impact Alliance, another coalition of kidney cancer-impacted stakeholders, will also host their first in-person meeting in Washington, DC with a Hill day.

Every October the AUA convenes the Bladder Health Alliance for a roundtable dedicated to the promotion of Bladder Health Month in November and discussion of key legislative issues impacting bladder health conditions. During the event, participants convene to network and brainstorm about key issues impacting the bladder health community. This Alliance is comprised of more than 95 patient, physician and research advocacy organizations who work collaboratively to elevate awareness about bladder conditions and remove stigma associated with these conditions.

“The work these alliances do strengthens the overall voice of urology.”

The work these alliances do strengthens the overall voice of urology. We, as physicians, must seize opportunities to advocate alongside our patient advocacy partners and speak with 1 voice on behalf of urology.

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