The Urology Care Foundation: Why I support it

October 11, 2018

"Many people, including many practicing urologists, are unaware that over the course of the past 40 years, the Urology Care Foundation has supported more than 750 young scientists... with nearly $30 million in funding," writes Brian R. Stork, MD.

Dr. Stork, a member of the Urology Times Clinical Practice Board, is a urologist at Michigan Medicine West Shore Urology in Muskegon, MI. He is chairperson of Urology Care Foundation’s Technology and Publications Committee. Urology Times blogs present opinions, advice, and news from urologists and other urology professionals. Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Urology Times or its parent company, Informa.

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be part of a foundation. It's one of those things that's always been in the back of my mind, and on my bucket list. The funny thing is, up until a couple of years ago, I really didn't have a clear understanding of what a foundation even was.

In retrospect, my fascination with foundations goes all the way back to my childhood. At the end of some of my favorite shows on PBS, I remember seeing the foundations that sponsored them. I remember thinking how great it would be, someday, to have my name associated with something as important and positive as a foundation. I remember joking with my parents, "You'll know I've made it when I'm part of a foundation."

 

Different name, same mission

Although there are varying definitions, in general, a foundation is a nonprofit corporation, or charitable trust, that exists for the purpose of making grants for scientific, educational, or other charitable purposes. The AUA, for example, has had a trust for decades; however, over the years, the name of the trust has changed.

The official trust of the AUA began as the American Foundation for Urologic Disease. Later, the trust was renamed the AUA Foundation. Most recently, the trust has been re-branded as the Urology Care Foundation in an effort to better communicate the foundation's goals.

Our foundation receives funding from external grants, endowments, and from individual donors like you and me. What follows is a summary of the foundation’s activities and offerings.

Research funding. Many people, including many practicing urologists, are unaware that over the course of the past 40 years, the Urology Care Foundation has supported more than 750 young scientists, dedicated to preventing, diagnosing, and treating urologic conditions with nearly $30 million in funding.

Last year alone, the foundation awarded over $1.5 million in funding to 68 young researchers. The awards included six Resident Research and Rising Stars in Urology awards, 13 medical student fellowships, and 43 Research Scholar awards.

Patient education materials. The Urology Care Foundation is also a trusted source of urologic patient education materials because the foundation's materials are medically approved and align with the current clinical guidelines of the AUA. You can visit the foundation’s website, www.UrologyHealth.org, and either download the free materials or order them and have them shipped to you for free.

Over the years, the Urology Care Foundation has established one of the most dynamic physician-led patient education programs in medicine today. To date, the foundation has produced more than 180 urologic health materials ranging from simple fact sheets to detailed patient guides and informative videos.

The foundation's educational materials undergo a significant amount of vetting. Materials are written at an eighth-grade reading level. As many as six different committees are sometimes involved in reviewing the materials prior to publication. The foundation also has a growing number of educational resources available in Spanish.

With so much questionable and confusing information on the Internet today, by directing your patients to the Urology Care Foundation website, you can feel confident your patients are getting solid, trusted, and medically accurate information.

Continue to the next page for more.Print media. The foundation’s award-winning patient publication, UrologyHealth extrais the only urology-specific, patient-focused magazine in the country. The 24-page magazine is dedicated to those actively managing their urologic health and those ready to make direct, positive health changes in their lives.

Since it was launched in 2016, the magazine’s readership has continuously grown every year. I have found that the best way to get the magazine into our patients’ hands is to place it in our exam and waiting rooms.

Competing publications, such as WebMD, are reportedly found in up to 85% of physician offices in America. As urologists, we don't have any control over the type of medical information that is being printed in these publications. In the era of “Dr. Google,” if we want the public to continue to view us as the definitive source of knowledge in our field, we need to have high-quality web-based and print materials that we can provide our patients.

Digital content and social media. The foundation also has videos, podcasts, and a care blog for patients, family, and caregivers. To date, the foundation has produced 40 videos and more than 40 podcasts. In addition, the foundation has published 114 blog posts. New patient education resources are constantly being added, and updated. You can stay informed on the latest news and resources from the foundation by following them on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

 

Taking it in, paying it forward, giving back

I hope, after reading this, you will considering taking a few minutes to better familiarize yourself with the educational materials offered by the Urology Care Foundation at UrologyHealth.org.

I also hope, like me, you will consider the Urology Care Foundation in your annual giving. Urology, as a profession, has been a tremendous gift to myself and to my family. Gifting to the Urology Care Foundation is just one small way for us to give back.