Victoria Y. Bird, MD
Dr. Bird works with the University of Florida’s Equal Access Clinic Network (EACN) in Gainesville, Florida. EACN originated as a once-weekly free clinic run by a handful of medical students and a physician out of Gainesville's Salvation Army. Now, EACN is one of the most robust student-run free clinics in the nation. As a Spanish-speaking urologist, Dr. Bird has formed a niche within EACN, seeing patients with urologic concerns (kidney stones, kidney/bladder tumors, acute renal failure 2/2 obstructive BPH, UTIs, prostatitis, orchitis and hydroceles). EACN utilizes its referral options for patients who need specialized urologic procedures and/or cancer treatments, regularly enrolling them in Alachua County's WeCare program or UF Health's Fee Assistance Program, both of which can get patients in the door to a urologist at UF Health at reduced or eliminated cost. On other occasions, patients are referred to private practices in the area that can offer charity care or assist with insurance options.
Stephanie J. Kielb, MD
Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury that is often devasting to a woman’s life. It leaves her incontinent, humiliated and often shunned by her family and community, and surgery is the only cure. Dr. Kielb works with the International Organization for Women & Development and, in concert with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, IOWD conducts three missions per year to treat patients who have little or no access to fistula surgery and cannot afford travel to other fistula centers. Dr. Kielb is the mission leader for the May mission and will participate in the October mission as team urologist focusing also on teaching and research.
Ian S. Metzler, MD
Dr. Metzler works to coordinate projects in Trinidad & Tobago. As he explains, surgical workshops have been hosted in-country for many years. However, the impact is narrowly focused on a few senior urologists who assist in the OR. During the workshops, there is tremendous interest to learn from medical students, residents and faculty alike. “There is, quite literally, a line out the OR door.” Dr. Metzler is working to incorporate surgical simulation into surgical workshops to allow for a greater breadth of skills to be taught to more trainees at every level. For the first phase of this project, he has developed surgical simulation tools and a curriculum and hands-on workshop that can be performed with low-cost, reproducible kidney models.
Timothy Schuster, MD, FACS
Dr. Schuster works with Global Surgical Expedition to bring urological surgical care to patients in Belize. As he explains, the majority of citizens in Belize do not have access to private insurance and the public health system is poorly funded with limited urological care. Because the patients cannot afford to travel to nearby countries for urological surgery, they instead suffer the long-term consequences of lack of access.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery used to treat urinary problems that are caused by an enlarged prostate. Despite providing a range or urological services during past trips, TURP is one area that GSE wants to focus on building capacity to treat. GSE has been able to coordinate with the established catheter clinics at several of the regional hospitals to identify and evaluate some of these men and provide TURP surgery to them to render them catheter free. The Foundation grant will help strengthen and build capacity for sustainable care for TURP as well as help in purchasing upgraded equipment.
Amar Singh, MD, FACS
Dr. Singh’s work in India will take place at Sadbhavana Hospital, a rural underdeveloped village safety net hospital that is the sole urological care facility for impoverished farmers and the rural community in greater than a 100-mile radius. As Dr. Singh explains, “The mission of our work is focused on providing basic urological care including necessary surgeries to one of the most underserved, poor and rural communities in the state in partnership with the local healthcare team, with a strong focus on clinical education for the surgeon and their entire team."
Local surgeons who train and volunteer with the IVUmed site go on to teach and take care of several thousands of patients in their own respective communities and have done this successfully over several years. The long-term objective of this grant will be to help further develop infrastructure to establish tangible measurement of clinical outcomes and other quality measures.
Alan Yaghoubian, MD
The Jeev Sewa Santhan organization has been providing medical care and services to underserved patients in India since 1991. Dr. Yaghoubian will accompany and assist Dr. Mantu Gupta (his mentor) to rural hospitals in the Indian state of Gujarat this fall. Under the auspices of the organization, Dr. Gupta has performed hundreds of endoscopic procedures for kidney stones in India, including ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Without this surgical intervention, it is likely that each of these patients would have suffered grave consequences from their urinary stones due to delays in treatment or, in some cases, complete lack of treatment.
Kit Yuen, MD
Dr. Yuen works with the University of Rochester and the St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, which for more than 10 years has served a predominantly minority neighborhood in the heart of Rochester, New York. At Urology Clinic Nights, residents and attending urologists work with medical students to evaluate patients as a team and have the opportunity to gain exposure to cost-effective patient-centered care. Dr. Yuen hopes to improve awareness of the barriers to healthcare access and inspire young physicians to take on the challenge of addressing health inequities. The team has evaluated many patients for malignancies as well as non-oncologic diseases, and in addition to surgical procedures, provides medical treatment for patients and helps decrease the need for emergency department visits. Grant funding will help purchase equipment to provide timely diagnostic procedures.
View previous Grant Program recipients and read their trip summaries.