2020 NCS Rep to the AUA BoD
NCS Representative to the AUA Board of Directors
August 11, 2020
Chandru P. Sundaram, MD, FACS, FRCS Eng
We are living in unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we adapt to the new normal our method of meeting, learning, seeing patients in the clinic as well as operating upon our patients have changed significantly.
The AUA has been phenomenal by very quickly adapting to the new reality on our behalf. The cancellation of the AUA Annual Meeting has been an enormous undertaking at great cost. To ensure that the members continue to be served all of the AUA staff have been working tirelessly. Multiple AUA meetings and courses have also been canceled or rescheduled. Information regarding COVID-19 has been disseminated to the membership with periodic newsletters, multiple podcasts, as well as the coronavirus information center on the website that continues to be updated with new links and information. There have been new open access articles from Urology Practice, a new Journal of Urology podcast, as well as American College of Surgeons and webinar links and updated PPE guidance from multiple groups.
The AUA COVID-19 Urology impact survey confirmed that two percent of all AUA members tested positive for COVID-19. As expected, the members in New Jersey and New York were more significantly affected with 14 percent and six percent positivity respectively. Sixty-five percent of urologists are worried about being infected by COVID-19 while working and 72 percent are worried that family and friends may become infected. Seventy-five percent of AUA members reported increased stress levels during the pandemic.
Highlights of the AUA Annual Meeting programs were presented online as a weekend of “AUA Live” on June 27 - 28 and selected courses are online at “AUA Summer School.” Other courses will be offered during the AUA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in 2021. The AUA Annual Meeting posters as well as podium sessions presentations will be available online soon. The videos have already been released in a systematic fashion and are available online for all AUA members.
Important leadership changes in the AUA include selection of Dr. Jay Raman as the Chair-elect of the Office of Education, Dr. Thomas Stringer as the Treasurer-elect, Dr. Steven Kaplan as the next Chair of Research, Drs. Joseph Smith and Ralph Clayman as members of the Board of Urology Care Foundation, and the retirement of Ms. Deborah Polly as a director of Publication at the AUA.
AUA's Quality Registry (AQUA), which is a national quality data registry will soon become a definitive source for advancing and informing urologic care in the United States. The AUA has entered into collaboration with Verana Health to help analyze, organize, and curate data from nearly 6,000,000 patients over 20,000,000 encounters. This collaboration will permit the building of new applications and user interfaces to advance urologic research and patient care. New guidelines that have been approved include microscopic hematuria as well as surgical management of BPH. Other guidelines have been approved and will be available in the future.
It has been my privilege to have represented our Section on the board of the AUA for the last five years. During this time, I have realized that the AUA works on our behalf on multiple levels, like few other organizations. I have also been proud to be part of our Section, which without a doubt is one of the most progressive and cohesive sections in the country. I am most grateful to Dr. Stovsky and the board of the NCS and Wendy Weiser and her team for the years of collaboration, great memories and friendship. I look forward to continuing my relationship with members and leadership of our wonderful section. The section will be strongly represented at the AUA by Dr. James Ulchaker who has already made a very positive impression on the board during the last few months. I will be seeing you soon at the NCS Virtual Annual Meeting this October. Until then be well and stay safe.