Summer 2020 | UH Urology Institute Update
July 23, 2020
Leading a growth mindset
innovations in Urology | Summer 2020
The past two years have brought big changes — and bigger growth — for University Hospitals Department of Urology, says Lee Ponsky, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology at UH Cleveland Medical Center and Director of University Hospitals Urology Institute.
From adding new faculty and programs to expanding research efforts and geographic coverage, “there’s not an area our department hasn’t grown in academically or clinically,” Dr. Ponsky says.
Seven new faculty members will join UH Urology Institute in the summer and fall 2020. All will hold academic appointments at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in addition to their clinical roles.
Jonathan Shoag, MD, PhD, joins UH after completing medical school at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a urology residency and urologic-oncology fellowship at NY Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine. “As a surgeon-scientist, he is a true up-and-coming leader in urologic oncology, both in the research world as well as clinically,” Dr. Ponsky says. Dr. Shoag is the first urologist to receive the prestigious Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist award for cancer research as a fellow, and his publications include the New England Journal of Medicine.
Amihay Nevo, MD, the new UH Chief of Endourology, completed fellowships in endourology at the University of Pittsburgh and Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Nevo specializes in treating complex kidney stones — an area that the department hopes to focus on more moving forward. “We’re looking forward to building out improved access for patients with complex kidney stones in our community,” Dr. Ponsky says.
Kyle Scarberry, MD, a former UH resident, returns to UH Urology Institute as an Assistant Program Director. He will work with Shubham Gupta, MD, FACS, Division Chief of Reconstructive Urology, to develop an innovative program focused on the areas of reconstructive urology, cancer survivorship surgery and gender affirmation. Dr. Scarberry completed his fellowship in reconstructive urology at Wake Forest University.
Michael Zell, MD, will be seeing general urology patients at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center after completing his residency at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Zell has expertise in the HoLEP procedure for minimally invasive management of large prostates.
Rasheed Ghandour, MD, completed his urologic oncology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He will be seeing general urology and urologic oncology patients at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center.
Ramy Ghayda, MD, specializes in general urology and men’s health, with a special interest in social media. Dr. Ghayda will primarily treat patients at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland, Ohio, and in Cleveland.
David Sheyn, MD, will join UH Urology Institute’s Female Pelvic Medicine & Surgery Center team (which includes Adonis Hijaz, MD, Joseph Henderson, MD, and Anna Myers, NP) after completing the UH Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Sheyn has already been involved in submitting multiple nationally funded grants and has been published over 40 peer-reviewed medical articles.
New faculty, programs and expanded services drive long-term growth
Bringing on new faculty members with broad-based expertise is allowing the UH Urology Institute to serve more patients at more facilities than ever before. By adding more than 7 faculty over the past 18 months, the department has expanded to provide urology coverage at virtually all major UH medical and health centers throughout Northeast Ohio.
Additionally, UH recently launched the first and only comprehensive gender affirmation program in Northeast Ohio, spearheaded by Shubham Gupta, MD, Director of Gender and Sexual Diversity Services and Division Chief of Reconstructive Urology, University Hospitals Urology Institute.
“It’s not an insignificant portion of our population that identifies with some gender dysphoria,” he says. “We want to be the resource for these patients at any stage of their lives, whether it’s providing support utilizing hormones or if they want to explore partial or complete gender affirmation surgeries.
The multidisciplinary program extends from pediatrics to geriatrics, Dr. Ponsky says.
“In the next 20 years, we’ll have patients who identify as male developing ovarian cancer or female patients who may develop prostate cancer. These are very real issues that we need to be prepared for now — and we need to have the resources and expertise for these patients and their families.”
Meanwhile, UH Urology Institute has addressed the COVID-19 pandemic by offering virtual healthcare visits and 7-day availability for appointments, including evening hours. Department leadership is also exploring new platforms to communicate with patients — such as using two-way texting to share pre-op/post-op care instructions and having patients fill out forms digitally instead of in their doctor’s office.
“This is an opportunity for us to expand patients’ access to their health care providers,” Dr. Ponsky says. “We want patients to know that we are here and that we will do everything we can to ensure they are seen quickly and safely.”