Since she became the Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology in 2019, Kirsten Green, MD, says UVA has doubled the number of urologic surgeons and oncologists and “offers every imaginable approach” to prostate cancer care while continuing to investigate new treatments. For example, Timothy Showalter, MD, and Christopher Luminais, MD, are leading experts in a precise form of high-dose radiation therapy—only a few hospitals offer it—and Robert Dreicer, MD, is a pioneer in urologic medical oncology and “brings every important clinical trial to UVA,” says Greene,
The Department of Urology also hired more faculty in disciplines that support prostate cancer patients before and after treatment, including specialists in continence recovery and sexual health rehabilitation and reconstruction. For example, UVA urologist Ryan Smith, MD, recently finished a clinical trial using low-intensity shockwave therapy to promote blood vessel growth and tissue repair in men with post-treatment erectile dysfunction. This technology is now available for patients.
To grow its training program, UVA added an additional urology residency spot, bringing the total to three, and a new urology oncology fellowship. Meanwhile, urologic oncologist Tracy Downs, MD, UVA Health’s first Chief Diversity & Community Engagement Officer and the School of Medicine’s Senior Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, leads many community outreach and education events, especially targeting historically underserved groups. In June, Downs and Greene led a free webinar, “Prostate Cancer From Diagnosis to Recovery.” The live event was attended by 982 people representing 40 states and 17 countries.
Green says private support has been vital to the department’s growth—whether in the form of a significant philanthropic gift or the incremental proceeds of the Bill Steers Four Miler—a long-standing Charlottesville footrace started by and named in honor of the beloved former chair of the Department of Urology who passed away from cancer in 2015.
Read the complete story in UVA Health Development’s publication Investing in Hope.