Latest News

Latest News

April 2018

President's Message
Gerald Sufrin, MD

As President of the Northeastern Section of the American Urological Association, I would like to invite you to attend to our 70th Annual Meeting to be held in Toronto, Canada from Thursday, October 11 through Saturday, October 13, 2018. The meeting will be held at the centrally located and historic Royal York Hotel, one of the elegant and luxurious hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company. The weather in Toronto during October is ideal and the location of our meeting provides easy access to the multiple attractions. “Fun Night” will be held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in close proximity to the Royal York and features historic exhibits as well as challenging interactive displays.

The program committee, chaired by Dr. Teresa Danforth, has ensured that state of the art education in the major domains of urology will be provided and will also include provocative offerings in emerging areas such as the impact of artificial intelligence on urology and the role of the urologist in transgender surgery. Nationally recognized speakers have been selected and the meeting has been designed using a “compressed” format which in previous years has enjoyed enthusiastic acceptance by attendees. The programming is diverse and includes podium sessions, the AUA course of choice, debates and poster sessions.

On behalf of the Northeastern Section, I would like to thank Dr. Rob Siemens and his committee for organizing last year’s extraordinary meeting in Savannah, Georgia and for ensuring that it was an unqualified success. I am confident that this year’s meeting in Toronto will at least reach that same standard.

Very Truly Yours,
Dr. Gerald Sufrin

Secretary's Update
Timothy D. Averch, MD


There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”  -Frank Herbert

Time to go out in style, as they say.  My time to harp on all of yinz (as we say in the ‘Burgh) is coming to an end with the end of my term as your Secretary, but my passion to improve our illustrious Northeastern Section has not dwindled a bit. We have so much to be proud of as an AUA Section! We have a great Board of leaders currently and into the future, and we have an engaging network of members in both academic and private practice urology. We have great research support from the Section to our wealth of investigators, we have pronounced resident involvement in our Section activities, and we throw fabulous, exceptional annual meetings on both sides of the boarder. I could not be more proud of our Section!

Could we do more? Absolutely! So help me do more… I would still like to hear from all of you on how we can make this Section stronger and more pertinent to your practice. We would all like to continue adding value. Please contact me at averchtd@upmc.ecu, twitter at @tdave or with any ideas or suggestions.

For Toronto, site of the fall meeting, here’s my final challenge to you all.  For those of you who attend regularly, bring a friend. If you come occasionally, definitely make plans to attend. If you have never attended, now’s your chance to join us at an excellent venue in a spectacular city for what is shaping up to be a great and valuable meeting. Please join us! Let’s all make this one to remember!

See you in Toronto!

Timothy D. Averch, MD

Treasurer's Update
 Kenneth Pace, MD, MSc, FRCSC


I am pleased to report that the Section had another overall positive financial year and finished 2017 with overall Net Assets of $1,936,838.

The Section’s revenue, primarily from industry support increased more than $50,000 over 2016. We are grateful to our members who attend and promote the annual meeting and to our corporate sponsors. Despite this increase, the Section experienced an operating deficit of ($16,428). Investment Activities for the year totaled $195,530 (Dividends and Interest of $69,361 and market gains of $126,169), resulting in a total $176,402 added to Net Assets for the 12-month period. We have been focused on cost-containment at the Board level, and have reduced expenditures over the last four years in ways that have not impacted on Section activities, or benefits for our members.

C-3 Entity Reclassification. The Section contracted with RSM (formerly RSM McGladrey) to formally assess structural options relating to Section’s C-3 Foundation entity. Specifically, for the 2nd year in a row, the Foundation did not meet the Public Charity Test which is required under its 509(a)1 classification within the 501(c)(3) status exemption. RSM completed its assessment in December and the Board of Directors approved the recommendation to redefine and file the Foundation to a new IRS 509(a)(2) classification. This will require amending the Articles of Incorporation to establish the C-3 as a supporting organization to the C-6. To be clear, this refiling will have no impact on Section operations or how the Section works for you. It is simply being done to better codify the intent of the Foundation to be supporting the overall Section mission, and to ensure that the Section is fully compliant as a tax-exempt organization.

Investments. The Section has approximately $1.7 million in investments which for years was invested with Merrill Lynch, but has been transferred to Vanguard. The Board of Directors approved the transfer of the portfolio to participate and essentially “piggyback” onto AUA’s large portfolio which is composed of 10 mutual funds in a 65 percent Equity and 35 percent Fixed Income allocation. Four other AUA Sections have taken advantage of this offer which requires a $1 million dollar minimum investment. Sections benefit from this arrangement by having active management of the portfolio, clear reporting and significantly low expense and advisory fees which are less than .2 percent. The Board is setting up approximately $1.1 million for the Section with Vanguard and an additional $600,000, also with Vanguard, which is owned by the 501(c)(3)Foundation.

It is an honor to serve as your Treasurer. I look forward to ensuring that the Section finances remain in excellent shape so that we can continue to support our members. If you have questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact the Section office at

Kenneth Pace, MD, MSc, FRCSC


Awards & Acknowledgements

Congratulations to Edward Messing -- Ramon Guiteras Award Recipient


Dr. Messing is the Winfield W. Scott Professor and Chairman, Department of Urology, Professor of Oncology and Pathology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, a position he has held for over 22 years, following 14 years as Professor of Surgery and Human Oncology, and Chief of Urologic Oncology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.

He has been President of the Northeastern Section and of the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO), co-leader of the GU Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and is currently co-leader of the Renal Cancer Subcommittee of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG). In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Presidential Citation from the American Urological Association for his work on bladder cancer research and urologic education.

Dr. Messing, a busy clinician and surgeon, strongly believes research is an integral part of the practice of medicine and is necessary to provide patients with the best possible care. His research interests range from basic science and translational investigations into the molecular underpinnings of cancers of the bladder, kidney and prostate, to carrying out large scale studies on screening for, preventing, and treating these cancers. He is strong believer in the value of clinical trials to guide patient management. Among the numerous clinical trials he has designed and conducted, include those of adjuvant therapies for node positive prostate cancer after prostatectomy, for resected, locally extensive renal cancer, and for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer after surgical resection.

Welcome New Board Member Bruce Jacobs


The Section would like to Welcome Dr. Bruce Jacobs to the Board of Directors. Dr. Jacobs has joined us as the U.S. Young Urologist Representative for a two-year term. We look forward to his insight and perspective for the coming years.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as a Young Urologist Representative of the Northeastern Section AUA Board of Directors.  I started attending our sectional meetings in 2006 when I was a junior Resident at the University of Pittsburgh.  I took a three-year hiatus while pursuing a fellowship in oncology, endourology and health services research at the University of Michigan, and then reunited with our section in 2013, when I joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.  In additional to clinical urology, I enjoy conducting health services research. My research interests include examining the adoption of new technologies and their implications for patient outcomes and health policy.  Look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto! 

Bruce Jacobs, MD
U.S. Young Urologist Representative

Young Investigator Research Grant Recipient 


The Section proudly continues to sponsor an annual Young Investigators Research Grant aimed at supporting start-up research programs of faculty members. Over the course of the last several years the NSAUA has been able to fund numerous innovations and has been able to contribute to the academic careers of dozens of individuals.

This year there were several excellent applications submitted and the choice was extremely difficult -- but we were pleased to announce in October that Dr. Naeem Bhojani was funded to continue his work in the area of kidney stone prevention and stone treatment outcomes.

Dr. Bhojani is an Assistant Professor at the Université de Montréal and a Urologic Surgeon at the Centre hospitalier de I’université de Montréal. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions over the course of his career including but not limited to the AUA’s Young Urologist of the Year Award for 2017 and the Best Clinical Research Project of the Quebec Urological Association 2012. In addition to his various awards and distinctions, Dr. Bhojani has been published in several journals including the Journal of Endourology, the Journal of Urology, the Canadian Urological Association Journal and the British Journal of Urology International to name a few.

Dr. Bhojani has been actively researching and identifying the best methods to deliver high value nephrolithiasis care while placing a heightened emphasis on prevention. He plans to identify and advocate for policies that encourage not only the efficient surgical management of stone disease but also the prevention and risk reduction of future kidney stones. We are so delighted in the selection this year and are excited to hear about the progression and overall outcomes of this very important research.

If you are interested in applying for the 2018 Young Investigators Research Grant please visit our website to find out more information. The application period will open in June.


Leadership Program Participants

In 2004, the AUA and its Sections launched the AUA Leadership Program to identify urologists who have demonstrated effective leadership skills within organized medicine or the community. This program seeks applicants who are driven to tackle future roles of responsibility with the AUA and the individual Sections. Every two years, there is a selection process for the next incoming class of program participants. To qualify, candidates must be American Board of Urology (or equivalent) certified urologists, 15 years or less out of training and have demonstrated leadership skills. The candidates must have an interest in developing these skills to serve their Sections and the AUA as future volunteer leaders. They must also be active members of the AUA and the NSAUA.

This year we received several strong applications from members and it was a very difficult process to make selections as all of the candidates were well qualified for this program. Candidates were scored in a variety of areas including but not limited to: research, teaching, clinical activities and their personal statements. After due diligence and deliberation the following individuals were chosen to participate in this year’s Leadership Program: Michelle Jo Semins, MD and Sero Andonian, MD.

Michelle Jo Semins, MD


Dr. Semins is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Kidney Stone Clinic at Mercy Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan and her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She then completed her residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital with additional specialty training in the field of endourology. She has a clinical research focus in kidney stones and is a past awardee of a Young Investigator Research Grant by the Northeastern Section. She was also named Young Urologist of the Year by the AUA in 2016. She is a published author of over 40 articles, over 50 abstracts, and 9 book chapters.

Sero Andonian, MD


Dr. Andonian completed a two-year Endourology fellowship at the prestigious North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System under the supervision of Dr. Louis Kavoussi and Dr. Arthur Smith. He has been on faculty at McGill University since 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Since his faculty appointment, he has been active in clinical research on Radiation Safety and assessment of endourologic skills of urology residents. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts in addition to authoring 11 book chapters. Currently, he is the Associate Editor of the Canadian Urological Association Journal and president of the Canadian Endourology Group. He will be chairing AUA’s Young Urologists Committee for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Thank you to all who submitted their applications for consideration. We encourage all eligible members to apply to for the 2020-2021 AUA Leadership Program. The application process will begin again in summer 2019 and more information about the guidelines and qualifications can be found on our website.

Advocacy Updates

AUA Advocacy Priorities for the 2018 US Legislative Session:

The AUA is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology and works on behalf of its members and their patients. AUA’s legislative priorities were developed by the Legislative Affairs Committee using input from an Association-wide survey of members and sister society leaders. This list was approved by the AUA Board of Directors in February 2018.

The legislative priorities include the following:

  • Preserve access to appropriate prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening.
  • Reform the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation process.
  • Promote medical liability reform.
  • Preserve the appropriate use of the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE) to the Stark Law.
  • Address workforce shortages in all urologic access practice environments, preserve access to appropriate and timely care, expand access to care with innovations including telemedicine, and advocate for increased GME funding and resources for urology positions.
  • Promote improvements to Meaningful Use/Electronic Health Records regulations and increase interoperability.
  • Promote urology/cancer research funding.
  • Advocate for the full continuum of care for prostate cancer survivorship.

The AUA 2018 legislative priorities will serve as a guide for the AUA's advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels, but do not limit or restrict the policy issues the AUA may consider. For additional information or to learn how to become involved visit the AUA's website.

Urologists Take the Hill

This year the Northeastern Section sent four residents in addition to other Section leaders to the 2018 AUA Advocacy Summit held in Washington D.C. in March. We were thrilled to have this number of enthusiastic applicants interested in attending and are delighted that so many Residents and Fellows are actively engaged in Public Policy Advocacy.

Roderick Clark, MD
Western University

Was there a particular speaker, topic or event during the conference that stood out and can you briefly describe the contents?

“I felt that the Capitol Hill meetings with policy makers and their staff were particularly helpful. It was very interesting to see how congressional aides run these meetings and the things they felt were important. I also had an opportunity to see a professional advocate in action and ask him questions regarding the meetings which was very helpful.”

Ilija Aleksic, MD
Albany Medical College

Would you recommend this conference to your colleagues and peers also interested in Public Policy Advocacy?“I would absolutely recommend this
conference to anyone interested in policy, getting involved, and finding out how they can make a difference on a national scale.

Michael Daneshvar, MD
State University of New York, Upstate Medical University

What information can you pass along to the section about current legislative agendas in Washington regarding Health Care Policy?

“Medicine as a whole needs the monetary support for more GME residency positions and we were active in lobbying for this cause. We also need transparency in the government regarding medical issues, especially in men’s health.”

Alexandra Rehfuss, MD
Albany Medical College


What were your expectations for this conference and did they meet the outcome?

“Going into the conference for the first time, I was not sure how much I would be able to participate as I had never done this before. Yet, thanks to the valuable session and the mentoring of seasoned attendees, I found myself advocating for more GME positions in meetings with our representatives, something I never would have imagined doing.”

 2018 History Exhibit “Erecting Giants: Medical Memoirs”prankioff.jpg

"Giants” of medicine are those men and women who add great, important and unusual contributions to our specialty. They are not necessarily forged from one achievement, but are often erected from elements of life that include education, mentors, research, teaching, training, exploration and risk. Fortunately, many of these giants (or those who knew them) were compelled to write their memoirs in the effort to teach those who follow them in time, place or practice. We consider their lessons as we advance ourselves, our patients and the future of our field. Such giants inspire us to contemplate our own urological achievements and ask, “What can I do to build the giant in me?”

For all of those attending the AUA Annual Meeting, The 2018 History Exhibit, Erecting Giants: Medical Memoirs will be on display at the 2018 AUA annual meeting in San Francisco, Booth 1449. The exhibit will then be featured prominently at the AUA Headquarters from June through November.

Kevin Pranikoff, MD, FACS


Get Involved with this Year's Meeting!

Join your Section colleagues in Toronto, Ontario this fall for the 70th Annual Meeting.  Submit your abstract now to be a part of the scientific meeting. Don't miss this exciting opportunity.

Abstract Submission Deadline: June 4, 2018
Enter the Prize Essay Contest for a chance to win cash prizes! All residents and medical students from the Section's 16 Urology Training Programs are invited to enter their best basic science or clinical research project for consideration. Awards will be presented at the President's Banquet at Annual Meeting in Toronto on Friday, October 12, 2018.

  • First Prize: $750 Cash Award
  • Second Prize: $500 Cash Award
  • Third Prize: $250 Cash Award
Deadline for the Prize Essay Contest is June 29, 2018

Submit Abstracts