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American Urological Association Announces Recipients of Inaugural Data Grants
Awards to support population-based, data-driven research in urology

Baltimore, MD, January 20, 2015 —The American Urological Association (AUA) is pleased to announce Bradley Erickson, MD, assistant professor of urology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, and Mitchell Sokoloff, MD, professor and founding chair of the Department of Urology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA, as the  first recipients of AUA’s Data Grant Awards. Each recipient was awarded a one-year grant, providing up to $50,000 for population-based, data-driven projects that fill knowledge gaps in urology.

“The AUA data grant program supports evidence-based studies on urologic care delivery, workforce development and health policy,” said J. Quentin Clemens, MD, chair of the AUA Data Committee. “The AUA’s support of efforts to examine data in electronic health records and government healthcare databases will describe urologists’ practice patterns and improve patient outcomes.”

Dr. Erickson will evaluate the impact of outreach clinics and physician extenders on the quality of urologic care in rural communities in the United States. He plans to measure the impact of specialty outreach clinics on patients’ access to urology care and examine the feasibility of employing mid-level providers to address urologist shortages. Additionally, he will use high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer as a tracer condition to assess if greater access to urologic care improves the quality of care.

Dr. Sokoloff will study how U.S. primary care providers’ use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer has evolved, using time periods defined by the publication of prostate cancer screening trials and changes to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force guidelines. He will also assess the rate at which patients between the ages of 55-69 and high-risk patients (such as African Americans or those with a family history of prostate cancer) receive PSA screening and how primary care providers follow up on elevated PSA test values.

“The investigators and their teams are abundantly qualified to perform this work,” said David Miller, chair of the AUA Data Grant Review Panel. “We are optimistic this research will significantly contribute to urologists’ understanding of the urologic care workforce as well as the impact of the adoption of PSA screening guidelines.”

Dr. Erickson received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Creighton University, Omaha, NE, and his MD from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa, NE. He completed his residency in urology and general surgery at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and a fellowship in trauma and reconstructive urology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at a wide range of regional, national and international meetings. His research interests include urologic trauma and reconstruction surgical outcomes, lower urinary tract dysfunction and healthcare disparities, with an emphasis on rural healthcare.

Dr. Sokoloff earned his Bachelor of Arts and MD degrees from Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He completed a residency in urology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, and a fellowship in molecular urology and therapeutics at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Dr. Sokoloff is board certified in urology, with expertise in the management of high-risk, locally advanced and recurrent prostate, kidney and testicular cancer. He is the author or co-author of more than forty peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters and abstracts and has presented at a wide range of regional, national and international meetings.

The AUA Data Grants were established by the AUA Board of Directors in 2014.The AUA Data Committee, which oversees the AUA Data grant program, prioritizes studies that mine large datasets, inform health policy and leverage AUA data resources, such as analytical support and AUA-maintained databases. AUA has allocated $100,000 to fund two-to-four projects each year. All AUA members are eligible to apply.

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 21,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA