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AUA Announces Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
This member-led initiative will guide the AUA in advancing diversity and inclusion in urology

BALTIMORE, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Urological Association (AUA) Board of Directors has unanimously approved the creation of the AUA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Task Force, which aims to identify specific and actionable steps for how the AUA can advocate for, and foster, a diverse and inclusive environment within the association, as well as the global urology community. 

With more than 24,000 members worldwide, the AUA remains committed to standing against all forms of hatred, violence and racial discrimination. This holds true in the actions we take and in the words we speak. 

"The AUA Board of Directors shares the concerns of our members and patients regarding the inequalities existing within our society," said Scott K. Swanson, MD, AUA Board President. "Increasing our commitment to diversity and inclusion is key to ensuring future success for both the AUA and the specialty of urology, and I look forward to the Task Force's recommendations on education, research and advocacy-related initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion within these settings."

The AUA D&I Task Force will be chaired by Tracy M. Downs, MD, Urologist and Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, where he also serves as Director of Medical Student Clerkships in Urology.

In addition to Dr. Downs, the Task Force will be comprised of the following 12 members:

  1. Arthur L. Burnett, II, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  2. Sam S. Chang, MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  3. Benjamin J. Davies, MD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Geolani W. Dy, MD, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
  5. Kirsten Greene, MD, University of Virginia Health, Charlottesville, VA
  6. Tomas L. Griebling, MD, MPH, FACS, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
  7. Yahir Santiago-Lastra, MD, UC San Diego Health, San Diego, CA
  8. Linda L. McIntire, MD, Alexa Lutz Veterans Administration Medical Center, Saginaw, MI
  9. Efe (Chantal) Ghanney Simons, MD, UCLA Health, Hollywood, CA
  10. Simone Thavaseelan, MD, Brown University, Providence, RI
  11. Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD, JD, Children's Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, CO
  12. Hadley Wood, MD, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

"I am honored to lead this initiative on behalf of the AUA," said Downs. "I am encouraged by the steps the AUA is taking to address D&I challenges within urology while also advocating for real change and sustainable solutions to advance the specialty in a comprehensive way. Given the challenges we continue to face as a society, fostering a culture that is welcoming and inclusive to students, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians and patients is of the utmost importance."

The Task Force is positioned to promote synergy and alignment with the Urology Care Foundation's developing diversity initiatives which fall within the scope of its mission.

The Task Force will begin its work this winter and will conclude with a final report to the AUA Board in February 2022.

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 24,000 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 care policy. For more information, visit: www.AUAnet.org.


Christine Frey, AUA

443-909-0839, cfrey@auanet.org

SOURCE American Urological Association