Spring 2015 Newsletter

Thank you to the Membership for providing me with the office of President of the Mid-Atlantic Section. It has already been a productive year since our last Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland and there is still much to do.

Our second joint meeting with the New England Section has been in the planning stages since before our Section’s own previous program in the fall. It has been a privilege for me to work with Dr. Peter Tiffany of the NE-AUA as we oversee the 2015 scientific and social event arrangements to be held at the Atlantis this coming October. The joint meeting information is as follows:

2015 Joint Annual Meeting with the New England Section, AUA
October 22-24, 2015
Atlantis Hotel
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Conference website

Thanks to the efforts of our program Co-Chairs, Drs. Thomas Guzzo and Tracy Krupski, as well as their counterparts in New England, Drs. Lisa Beaule and David Wang, the scientific session in the Bahamas will be engaging and comprehensive. My compliments to them and the rest of the joint Program Committee on their hard work to date. Please take time to review the preliminary program. You will see there is a multitude of interesting topics being addressed.

Considering the beautiful location of our joint meeting there will automatically be a most memorable social program and Peter and I are taking advantage of this! Our plan is to hold these events outdoors as much as possible and you will not be disappointed.

Items on the Board of Directors agenda this year have included the enhancement of our offerings to Advanced Practice Providers and I am pleased to report that their new committee for the Section just held their first conference call. In addition, the Section leadership has showed its continued support for the Urology Care Foundation and also sponsored a table at their recent fundraising dinner during the AUA programming in New Orleans. The Section’s support of the International Volunteers in Urology (IVUMed) continues annually, and your contributions toward our funding for that as well as the Schellhammer Lectureship is most appreciated. I am also pleased to report that our Section’s second annual Residents Day in Washington, DC this past March was another successful one for our younger colleagues.

Our remaining work during these months leading up to the events at the Atlantis will be most exciting and memorable for me. I would like to again express my appreciation for this opportunity to lead the Section in 2014-2015. I look forward to seeing you in the Bahamas this October.

As Section Secretary, I have the privilege to be very involved with the MAAUA’s business matters and educational initiatives in addition to serving as the Section liaison to the AUA Section Secretaries Committee. I am happy to report that the Section continues to maintain steady membership figures and our annual meetings continue to provide cutting edge, innovative content which supports increasing urologist, as well as allied health and APP, participation each year. As we all know, these are challenging times in the healthcare field, and urology has its specific set of challenges. The Mid-Atlantic Section continues to stay on top of changes to the specialty of urology from a societal perspective.
Hello! I hope everyone survived this winter in the Mid-Atlantic region, although we certainly fared better than our friends in Boston! I would like to congratulate Dr. Stan Zaslau on a successful Presidency last year. Stan was an energetic and enthusiastic leader for the section, and 2014 was a great year under his leadership. With his and Dr. Jay Raman’s planning, our annual regional meeting was a huge success in Baltimore. We saw an excellent scientific program, energetic participation and attendance by our members, and a well-received, inaugural advanced practice provider program.

With the current state of healthcare, governmental regulation changes, etc. upon us and in the pipeline, this year was an important year to have Sectional representation at the AUA/AACU Urology Joint Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. Again, the leadership felt it important to ensure that the young urologists within our region be engaged and involved with the JAC and in 2015 sponsored a trainee from the MAAUA to attend – Dr. Jack Zuckerman, a fellow at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Zuckerman attended the conference in DC in addition to many members of the Section including Dr. Mark Edney, Section Representative to the MAAUA Health Policy Council. Since the MAAUA trainee sponsorship program has been so successful for the past few years, the Board of Directors hopes to build on success to date in the future.

Keeping with the thread of young urologist engagement, we know that with an aging population it is incredibly important to foster young urologists and their interest in our organization and the AUA. In 2014 the Mid-Atlantic Section debuted a new resident program at AUA headquarters in Linthicum, Maryland. Building on the success of that first year, the 2015 resident program was held in Washington, DC in close conjunction with the JAC. Under the leadership and organization of Dr. Kurt McCammon, the 2015 one day program was very well received with 50 residents and a great faculty. In 2016, the program will be back at AUA headquarters, and the Board plans to involve the Sectional residents committee in planning and also incorporate more practical, “business of urology” content for practicing urologists.

Another important initiative undertaken by our Section has been the Paul Schellhammer Lecture in Urologic Oncology, initially endowed by the Dendreon Corporation. It is now in its 4th year, and the Section membership as well as EVMS alumni have demonstrated outstanding support through very generous donations. As you see on your annual dues statement, we continue to solicit funds, with the hope to endow this lectureship in perpetuity. I thank the Dendreon Corporation and the individual donors, and I hope we can maintain the momentum in our Section to fully fund this important endeavor. Please also consider making a small donation to the MAAUA IVUMed resident fund. With additional support from the Section membership, the leadership hopes to be able to fund additional resident participants in their missions to underserved areas around the world.

To be sure that our Section is in-line with the AUA in terms of governance, MAAUA will be proposing a number of by-law amendments for ratification in the fall. Amendments will add language to address sanctions if an active member fails to become recertified by the ABU, and language to reflect Sectional representative to the AUA Board of Directors be vetted and subject to review of judicial and ethical issues. Importantly, in line with the AUA, the section will be creating new membership categories for allied health providers and advance practice providers (nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants). The role of APP in Urology continues to grow, and the AUA and the Mid-Atlantic section hopes to include APP in membership and educational activities. Additionally, the Mid-Atlantic Board created a new sectional committee for APPs, to encourage them to join the section, as well as take advantage of opportunities for networking and become involved with educational content for the annual meeting. The inaugural committee members include Anne Calvaresi, MSN, CRNP (Thomas Jefferson University), Diane Newman, DNP, FAAN, BCB-PMD (University of Pennsylvania) and Courtney Anderson, MPA, PA-C (EVMS).

The section continues to be recognized by AUA for its efforts and outreach with Osteopathic Urology Physicians in practice and in training. As the AUA and AOA move closer, with the pending alignment of urology residencies under ACGME (both allopathic and osteopathic),I hope we can all engage our Osteopathic colleagues who may not be aware or involved in the Mid-Atlantic section to consider joining the AUA.

Finally, the Mid-Atlantic board has created a new policy for email survey requests. The process is outlined below. This policy ensures that each survey is vetted and provides value.

  • Members requesting their survey be sent to the membership prove they have IRB approval, or exemption
  • The President and Secretary will receive the survey request from administrative staff and select members of the Section for peer review/suggested enhancements based on survey subject matter and member specialty
  • If approved for dissemination, the survey will be sent to the Section members once by the administrative office; no names or contact information will be provided to those requesting survey dissemination
  • It is encouraged that studies based on surveys be submitted to a Mid-Atlantic Section annual meeting in the future.

I look forward to seeing many Section members at the joint meeting with the New England Section in the Bahamas this October. Thank you for the privilege to serve as your Section Secretary.

Edouard J. Trabulsi, MD 

Total assets for the MA-AUA as of December 31, 2014 were \$170,134 and now consists of funds entirely in the checking account for that side of the organization. As of March 2015, the total assets figure had reached \$191,738 with \$20,275 in receipts and \$821 in expenses to date resulting in a surplus of \$19,454 for the 501c6 as of the end of the first quarter in 2015.
I am pleased to report that the Section closed its 2014 fiscal year in good financial shape, and things look strong so far in 2015. I would like to remind the Membership that the organization consists of two corporations financially; the 501(c)6 or the Mid-Atlantic Section of the AUA (MA-AUA), and the 501(c)3 titled the MA-AUA Education Fund (MAEF).

Total assets for the MAEF as of the end of the 2014 fiscal year were \$1,168,731 and consisted of \$103,408 in the checking account, \$994,069 in our main investment portfolio with Vanguard, and another \$71,254 with Vanguard from the Schellhammer Lectureship funds. As of March 2015 the total assets were \$1,109,262 with \$9,100 in receipts to date. Expenses were \$77,095 with most of the revenue for the joint Annual Meeting yet to be received.

Our regular dues notices promote contributions to support the Schellhammer funds and the leadership’s goal is to endow this lectureship in perpetuity. The dues notices also allow for members to make contributions toward the Section’s International Volunteers in Urology (IVUMed) scholarships. I encourage all of our colleagues to make contributions toward these important initiatives that impact urology on the Section, national, and international levels.

Thank you all again and I look forward to seeing you in the Bahamas for the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting with the New England Section. Be sure to register today.

Michael D. Fabrizio, MD 

The AUA remains in excellent financial condition with stable revenues from investment and its meeting activities. The investments in growing efforts including education, science and quality, advocacy, and international outreach and education remain vigorous and are evolving steadily. Significant leadership changes have been undertaken in the last 6 months with a new Editor of the Journal of Urology being named, with Jay Smith taking over from Bill Steers who tragically died just before the annual meeting. The new Chair of Education, Victor Nitti began his term as of the Annual Meeting, as did the new chair of Research, Dr. Aria Olumi. A new position of Chair of Global Initiatives has been created and will be held by Dr. Indibir Gill who will guide the AUA in its growing and dynamic programs for international outreach, education and engagement. Our international members constitute a vibrant part of our organization and contribute significantly to the character and viability of the annual meeting.
The spring meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Urological Association was held during the Annual Meeting of the AUA in New Orleans. In addition to reviewing the annual activities of the AUA and its financial position, the Board dealt with several important issues with direct member impact.

As part of the continuing effort to maintain and enhance quality, two new guidelines have been approved and released at the Annual Meeting. These are the Peyronie’s and the Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Guidelines: http://www.auanet.org/education/aua-guidelines.cfm. AUA Guidelines currently under development include surgical management of Stone, Urethral Stricture, Stress Urinary Incontinence, localized Prostate Cancer, Bladder Cancer, and Erectile Dysfunction. Several other topics are under development for eventual Guideline creation.

AUA Census
Important new directions for the AUA include the AUA Census, which yielded its first look at the nature of the urological workforce and its likely future directions, released as the “The State of the Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States” at the Annual Meeting. The preliminary report is available, and provides a look at where our profession is today and where it might be going with regard to numbers of urologists and their future plans.

AQUA Registry
Also recently gaining traction is the AUA Quality (AQUA) Registry, an effort to develop the infrastructure to efficiently access data on clinical outcomes and care patterns throughout the US. This potential boon for researchers is available to registered AUA users and will provide data of increasing value to academic and community practitioners alike. Already, 50 practices have signed up to participate and contribute clinical data.

Urology Care Foundation
Support for research continues to grow rapidly and is being supported by the Urology Care Foundation through multiple types of grants and awards. New commitments to research scholars of \$12.5 million through matching grants have raised the total number of research fellowships to 14 awards in 2015. This also reflected a 37% increase in applications from 2014. Other mechanisms of support for future investigators who will contribute to how we practice urology are being supported as well, including the Rising Star program, medical student summer scholarships, workshops on grant writing, as well as various educational programs. The UCF Gala during the Annual Meeting was held at the World War II Museum and raised \$170,000. This event will be repeated every other year.

Annual Meeting Revenues
While the AUA is strong financially, shrinking revenues from corporate sponsorship is painfully evident. The impact on Annual Meeting revenues and therefore on operating resources for the organization is becoming more evident. Despite aggressive activity by the AUA to maintain support, the reality is that corporate support is likely to decline over the next few years. This change will potentially impact all members and will likely strain the AUA’s ability to provide the level of educational resources currently available, as well as maintaining a level of financial security to maintain function in the event of abrupt reductions in revenue. Various options are being considered to ensure ongoing support for the many programs of the AUA.

Advocacy continues to be a critical aspect of the AUA’s role, and this was seen clearly in the recent passage of the SGR “fix”, that has been pushed for the last 20 years. Following the educational Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC) on Capitol Hill in March, many of us spent the day on the Hill talking with representatives, senators and their aides about critical issues for medicine and urology. It was uniquely satisfying to see that the SGR issue was finally resolved in a few weeks after this effort. Many other topics remain as priorities for ongoing efforts to support more effective interaction of government and medicine, including the processes of the USPSTF and PSA screening, Graduate Medical Education, and ICD-10. The AUA will continue to devote significant resources (approximately \$6 million/ year) to advocacy efforts in conjunction with the AACU and UROPAC. The relationship with the AACU and UROPAC will evolve over the next years to foster more efficiency and further enhance our effectiveness with governmental agencies. 

Dear colleagues:

We are excited to announce that the Mid-Atlantic Section will soon adopt membership categories for allied health providers and advanced practice providers (APP) by amending the by-laws in October. This means that the technicians, urology nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners that currently round out the urology team will be eligible to become contributing members of the Section! In addition to membership, under the direction of the Mid-Atlantic leadership, we have been asked to spearhead a sectional APP committee to engage the community and educate our region’s allied health providers, APPs and urologists on areas and issues of collaboration. In doing so, our committee will regularly contribute to the MAAUA newsletter, work with the program committee to develop practical programming, and report to the Board of Directions on issues of importance.

Please communicate the news of Sectional allied health and APP membership to your urology colleagues. If nurses, technicians, PAs or NPs within your network are interested in being contacted now about membership, please ask they sign up at www.urologymanagement.org/maaua. We look forward to sharing more information regarding membership, our committee, education, and opportunities for APPs to become more involved in the Section in the near future.

Courtney Anderson, MPA, PA-C
Anne Calvaresi, CRNP
Diane Newman, DNP, FAAN, BCB-PMD 

I had the privilege of attending the 2015 Joint Advocacy Conference this year in Washington, D.C. As the meeting approached, I was unsure what to expect, as I had never participated in an advocacy meeting similar to this. I previously visited Capital Hill as a child, but never for the purpose of discussing real issues with elected officials. Now reflecting back on the JAC meeting, the experience was both inspiring and educational.

During the short three day meeting I had the opportunity to meet and interact with urologists from across the United States, including several members of the AUA board who are directly involved in the AUA’s efforts to improve health care policy. I had several discussions with academicians from different institutions and learn how they all approach research funding, resident training and other common challenges with regard to academic urology. These conversations will prove invaluable as I complete my fellowship and begin the next phase of my urology career.

Finally, my time on Capital Hill was invaluable. I had a chance to listen to senators from several states and interact with innumerable legislative staff members with regard to health care policy. These hard working men and women were receptive to our message and seemed to genuinely appreciate our insight. This experience not only helped to advocate for continued urologic excellence in the U.S., but also inspired me to continue to participate in policy discussions in the future.

Jack M Zuckerman