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Fall 2019 | State of the UH Urology Institute


A message from Lee Ponsky, MD, FACS, Chair

Innovations in Urology | Fall 2019

Lee Ponsky, MD Lee Ponsky, MD

University Hospitals Urology Institute is embracing a new beginning. We have a wonderful history, led by great leaders throughout the years. Now, thanks to the commitment and resources of University Hospitals, we are growing as an institute academically, clinically and geographically. 

During the past 18 months, our department has more than doubled in size. We are excited to welcome a wealth of new providers who are the next generation of urologic leaders — outstanding doctors, surgeons, researchers and advanced practice professionals. These individuals are not only the technically skilled experts you want taking care of your friends and family, but they are also great people you would want to join for dinner.

I am excited about the future of urologic care, research and innovation we are offering to Northeast Ohio and beyond. I welcome and introduce the newest members of our team.


Aram Loeb, MD
Dr. Loeb completed a fellowship in male sexual dysfunction at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He has special interest in male infertility, testosterone management, Peyronie’s disease, and prosthetics. He is working, along with Nannan Thirumavalavan, MD, to provide expert comprehensive reproductive and sexual healthcare for men throughout our community.

Jason Jankowski, MD
Dr. Jankowski returned to UH Urology Institute last year. After finishing his residency at UH, he completed a fellowship in robotic surgery at City of Hope cancer center in Los Angeles before working for several years in private practice in Columbus, Ohio. He has expertise in both robotics and urologic oncology. We are excited to have Dr. Jankowski head our robotics program at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center.

Joseph Henderson, MD
Dr. Henderson joined UH Urology Institute last year. With a focus on female urology and voiding dysfunction, pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, he completed a combined gynecology/urology fellowship in female pelvic surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and fosters a multidisciplinary approach to treat women with incontinence and pelvic prolapse.

Britt Conroy, MD, PhD, JD, MS
With a background in family practice, Dr. Conroy joins UH Urology Institute as Director of Clinical Research. She brings a wealth of expertise in grant writing, clinical trials and inpatient medical management. She will also be leading the charge in our Parallel Paths program, laying the infrastructure for a comprehensive research core that will enable our physicians to be productive both clinically and academically. 

Nannan Thirumavalavan, MD
Dr. Thirumavalavan joins us as Chief of Male Reproductive and Sexual Health. He completed a prestigious fellowship in male reproductive medicine and surgery at Baylor University. In addition to leading our efforts to offer excellent care in male sexual medicine and infertility, he also has a passion for connecting men to comprehensive health and wellness care and is partnering with Dr. Loeb to offer innovative treatment for men’s sexual dysfunction.

Jessica Hannick, MD, MSc 
Dr. Hannick comes to us from The Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Joining Lynn Woo, MD, Interim Chief of Pediatric Urology and Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Hannick will be providing comprehensive pediatric urology care on the main campus and at our regional locations throughout the community, as well as providing coverage for pediatric patients in need of urology care at MetroHealth. Additionally, she is interested in outcomes research and quality initiatives.

Adam Calaway, MD, MPH
Dr. Calaway has highly specialized training in urologic cancer care. He recently completed a urology oncology fellowship at Indiana University, renowned for its excellent outcomes in treating testicular cancer. In addition to his expertise in testis cancer surgery, Dr. Calaway has an interest in public health epidemiology, health disparities and risk mitigation.

Shubham Gupta, MD
Dr. Gupta joins UH Urology Institute from Chandler Medical Center at the University of Kentucky. While there, he was recognized two years in a row for excellence in teaching. Prior to that, he completed a fellowship in reconstructive urology and genitourinary cancer survivorship at Duke University. In addition to serving as Chief of Reconstructive Urology at UH, he is Director of the newly formed Gender and Sexual Diversity Services. While establishing Ohio’s first comprehensive, multidisciplinary program in gender affirmation care, Dr. Gupta will also be offering cancer survivorship surgery and urethral reconstruction.

Debby Chuang, MD 
Another past UH Urology Institute resident, Dr. Chuang is returning after building a robust clinical practice in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Joining us as Chief of Urology at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, Dr. Chuang is an excellent surgeon and physician, and we are excited to have her take the lead in expanding our urology services on Cleveland’s East Side.


Jonathan (Yoni) Shoag, MD, PhD
Dr. Shoag is an up-and-coming academic oncologic surgeon, currently completing an oncology fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine. Recruiting Dr. Shoag to join the UH Urology Institute was compared to “getting Lebron James early in the draft.” Dr. Shoag has already received national level funding for his research initiatives, including the extremely prestigious Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award, for “harnessing clinical data to identify new prostate cancer therapeutics.” He will be a strong addition to our clinical urologic oncology program as well as the research arm of our institute.

Kyle Scarberry, MD
Dr. Scarberry completed his residency this past June in our department and is currently completing a fellowship in reconstructive urology at Wake Forest University. When he returns to the UH Urology Institute in July 2020, he will join Dr. Gupta in developing our groundbreaking reconstructive urology program.

Michael Zell, MD
Dr. Zell is currently completing a residency at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After graduation, he will join us at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. In addition to general urology, his expertise includes benign prostate HoLEP procedure, a minimally invasive prostate treatment procedure.

Rashed Ghandour, MD
Dr. Ghandour is completing a urologic oncology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern and will join us next July at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, a campus of UH Regional Hospitals. He has specialty training and research interests in urologic oncology but also looks forward to expanding general urology in the Geauga region.


William Stout, PA
Stout is a military veteran and also has many years of experience managing inpatient and outpatient urology patients. He is taking on a leadership role within the UH system, training other advanced practice professionals in urology to expand patient access to expert care. Coverage will include outpatient clinics, inpatient consults and urology-related emergency department visits at our regional medical centers. With Stout’s vast experience as a clinician and educator, we are excited to be able to train providers and expand our coverage throughout the region.

Anna Myers, NP
With years of experience in general and female urology, Myers will be expanding our services on the West Side at University Hospitals Parma and St. John medical centers. Myers has a particular interest in female sexual medicine. We are excited to have her take the lead in offering our patients and community this service that is too often overlooked. 

Courtney Behmlander, NP
Behmlander just joined us in September, having previously trained at UH in the emergency department and urology. She is extremely knowledgeable, and we are excited to have her provide excellent general urology care to patients in our surrounding communities.


Directed by Dr. Lynn Woo, the University Hospitals Urology Residency Program is renowned for producing more department chairs through the years than any other urology program in the United States. The program continues to thrive, graduating physicians who are sought after in private practice and academia and recruited to top fellowship programs around the country. 

Here is what third-year resident Danly Omil-Lima, MD, recently had to say:

“As a urologist and surgeon in training, the opportunities we have at University Hospitals are incredible. There is a strong commitment to mentorship, and we are able to work with pioneering specialists on cutting-edge procedures and therapies. The care provided to our patients is on par with any other top medical center in the world.”


Adonis Hijaz, MD, Vice Chair of Academics and Research and Director of Female Pelvic Medicine & Surgery for UH Urology Institute, and Professor at the School of Medicine, was recently awarded the highly prestigious Lester Persky Endowed Professorship in Urology.

A P20 grant application to study gender and ethnic disparities in bladder cancer outcomes received $50,000 in National Institutes of Health funding for a pilot project. The idea was originated by PGY5 urology resident Laura Bukavina, MD, and is a collaboration between UH and the School of Medicine. “Our team came together to design a proposal that was well-received,” says Dr. Hijaz. “This was the first project developed within our robust Parallel Path research initiative, established to support our physicians in pursuing significant research questions while continuing to be clinically productive.”

PGY5 resident Kirtishri Mishra, MD, was selected from more than 30 applicants to receive the 2019 NCS Health Policy Young Investigator Award from the North Central Section of the American Urologic Association.

Abstracts must address socioeconomic matters related to the field of urology.

To refer a patient to UH Urology Institute, call 216-553-1595 or contact Dr. Ponsky at Lee.Ponsky@UHhospitals.org.