November 2023 | Volume 19, Issue 10

Notable and Newsworthy

Dr. Daniel Shapiro was invited by the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) to their invitation only "Think Tank". The KCA Think Tank was initiated in 2019 with a singular purpose: to provide a platform for accomplished thought leaders across various specialties to converge and share their expertise and visionary insights within the field of Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC).

Dr. Shapiro was also selected to present the top papers of the year at this year's Kidney Cancer Association annual meeting, held earlier this month in Nashville.

Dr. Margaret Knoedler has been named a 2023 Castle Connolly Rising Star. Rising Stars are physicians earlier in their career who meet most Top Doctor criteria and are eligible to be selected as Top Doctors once they reach a minimum number of years in practice. Castle Connolly Top Doctors are peer-nominated and thoroughly vetted by a physician-led research team. They represent the top 7% of all U.S. practicing physicians, embodying excellence in clinical care and interpersonal skills.

Dr. Kristina Penniston, has been selected to serve on the American Urological Association (AUA) Medical and Surgical Management of Kidney Stones Guideline Panel. Notably, Dr. Penniston is the only PhD and Registered Dietician Nutritionist member of this panel.

Dr. Penniston was also invited to serve as faculty for a half-day course on the medical management of kidney stones at the 2024 National Kidney Foundation Meeting. Dr. Penniston will explain the various mechanisms for how diet influences kidney stone formation and growth, how to identify dietary risk factors, and strategies for personalizing dietary interventions for stone prevention.

Dr. Sarah McAchran, along with colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, hosted another successful community talk, "Break Free from Pelvic Floor Disorders" with 220 people in attendance. This community education series allows the public to hear about the latest research, trends, and treatment options, as well as encourages questions and discussions.

Dr. Kyle Richards has been selected to serve on the American Urological Association (AUA) Leadership and Business Education Committee. This committee advises the Education Council and initiates the development of leadership and business-related education and resources for use by the AUA's Leadership Program and AUA members.

Drs. Ali Antar, Emily Davidson, Margaret Knoedler, and Kristina Penniston won the best poster award at the North Central Section (NCS) of the American Urological Association annual meeting for their poster "In Vitro Comparison of Lumenis Pulse P120 with Moses and Soltive Super Pulsed Thulium Laser Fragmentation Efficiencies and Thermal Dynamics".

Dr. Stephen Nakada has been appointed to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) Board. The UWHCA board governs all of UW Health and consists of sixteen members - six nominated by the Governor of Wisconsin and confirmed by the Wisconsin Senate, two co-chairs of the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance, three members of the UW System Board of Regents, the UW-Madison Chancellor, the UW SMPH Dean, a UW SMPH Department Chair appointed by the Chancellor, a faculty member of a UW-Madison health professions school other than SMPH, and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Additionally, Dr. Nakada led an American Urological Association (AUA) committee tasked to assess the stakeholders and future of Genitourinary Reconstruction, specifically as it relates to the Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons and Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction subspecialty societies this month at the AUA headquarters. Dr. Nakada served in this role as part of his duties on the Executive Committee of the AUA.

A Medical Mission to Beirut

Last month, Pediatric Urology Division Chief, Walid Farhat, MD, FAAP, FACS, FRCSC traveled to Beirut, Lebanon on a medical mission as part of a UW SMPH Global Surgery initiative. We are grateful to Dr. Farhat for taking the time to share this account of his experience.

In a heartfelt and impactful two-week medical mission from Oct. 2-14, I journeyed to Beirut, Lebanon, with a commitment to providing critical medical care and education in the field of pediatric urology. My mission took place in two renowned hospitals, the American University of Beirut and Hotel Dieu Hospitals, both integral to the city’s healthcare landscape.

Nestled on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline, Beirut is not only the country’s capital but also its largest city. It boasts a rich history and a vibrant atmosphere, with a diverse population, including a significant number of refugees from surrounding nations. As of my visit in 2023, Beirut was home to approximately 2.4 million people, making it one of the most densely populated urban centers in the region.

Despite its historical charm and allure, contemporary Beirut faces significant challenges marked by economic and political crises. The city, once celebrated as the ‘Paris of the Middle East,’ grapples with issues that have had profound implications for its healthcare system and the well-being of its inhabitants. Economic instability and political unrest have, at times, strained healthcare infrastructure and resources, underlining the urgent need for medical missions and educational support.

During my mission, I had the privilege of performing a variety of complex surgical procedures, each aimed at improving the lives of patients in need:

  • Hypospadias Repair: Surgical interventions to correct hypospadias, a congenital condition where the urethral opening is not at the tip of the penis but rather on the underside.

  • Urethrostomies: Procedures creating artificial openings in the urethra, often necessary for patients with specific medical conditions such as strictures or obstructions.

  • Botox Injections: Administered to address medical conditions benefiting from the muscle-relaxing effects of botulinum toxin, such as in the treatment of urinary incontinence or overactive bladder.

  • Cystoscopy: A diagnostic procedure involving the insertion of a thin tube equipped with a camera into the bladder, enabling visual inspection and diagnosis of bladder-related issues.

  • Pyeloplasty: A surgical repair of the renal pelvis, primarily addressing obstructions or narrowing in the ureteropelvic junction.

  • Pyelolithotomy: A procedure focused on the removal of kidney stones from the renal pelvis or kidney, addressing conditions like nephrolithiasis.

My mission extended beyond immediate patient care to encompass a commitment to nurturing education and fostering long-term growth. This included two lectures to enrich the medical knowledge and competence of the local medical community, particularly in the realm of pediatric urology. My first lecture underscored the paramount importance of Education and Competency in the surgical field, advocating for a culture of continual learning and improvement. My second lecture delved into the intricacies of Kidney Transplantation in Children, enhancing their capacity to address complex medical challenges.

During my visit, I actively engaged with residents and medical students, and even recruited some to participate remotely in research projects. This collaborative approach aimed to ensure that the knowledge and skills imparted during the mission would leave a lasting and positive imprint on healthcare in Beirut, persevering against the economic and political challenges faced by the city. 

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