Expanding Specialties & Continued Growth at University Hospitals Urology Institute
November 28, 2022
Innovations in Urology | Fall 2022
University Hospitals Urology Institute has been growing exponentially over the past four years, both regionally and in all specialty areas, with nearly 50 providers now. This summer, the UH Urology Institute further expanded its robust program with the addition of three providers who have deep expertise in their respective specialty areas.
Urologic Oncology/UH Cutler Center for Men | Randy Vince, MD, MS
Hailing most recently from Michigan, but historically from Baltimore, Randy Vince, MD, MS joins UH after completing a prestigious Society of Urologic Oncology, three-year fellowship at the University of Michigan. Before Michigan Medicine, Dr. Vince completed his urology residency with Virginia Commonwealth University and obtained his medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Dr. Vince also has a master’s degree in computational bioinformatics, with research interest in epigenetics and health disparities.
Dr. Vince comes to UH as the inaugural Minority Men’s Health Director with UH Cutler Center for Men – a visionary approach to men’s health and wellness. He’ll spend dedicated time conducting outreach in the community to establish relationships and trust in underserved communities and will see patients at Otis Moss Jr. Health Center and UH Seidman Cancer Center. Dr. Vince says he recognized that Cleveland has many of the same disparities he’s seen in other cities he’s lived in, including Baltimore, Detroit and Richmond.
“Dr. Vince has a commitment to care for underserved populations,” says Lee Ponsky, MD, FACS, Professor and Chairman, UH Urology Institute. “It’s also a strong area of research for him and he’s already published a paper in JAMA and co-authored a paper in the NEJM.”
In several of his publications, Dr. Vince speaks openly of his journey from childhood into medicine. Early in life, Dr. Vince witnessed societal problems like poverty, food insecurity, drugs and violence, which he attributes to helping him see “both sides of the tracks.” After graduating from medical school with a class of predominantly white students, Dr. Vince decided to pursue a specialty that historically lacks racial diversity. The combination of his life, educational and medical experience has given him a first-hand view of the insufficient attention given to disparities in all aspects.
“What was unique for me at UH was the leadership buy-in,” he says. “UH wants to attack the systems that cause disparities and this aligns with my career goals. This is an opportunity to use my social capital as a physician to draw light on health disparities and design initiatives to address them. Health disparities are really a small representation of disparities across society.”
Dr. Ponsky says, “Dr. Vince was highly sought after and we’re extremely excited he chose to join our team in urologic oncology. He’ll be leading many clinical and academic efforts in minority health at the enterprise level and will no doubt help us answer questions about how we can do better serving this population and reducing health disparities.”
Reconstructive Urology/LGBTQ+ & Gender Care | Kirtishri Mishra, MD
Kirtishri Mishra, MD was a proud student of Case Western Reserve University. After completing his urology residency at UH Cleveland Medical Center, he obtained a highly competitive fellowship at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York with a specific focus in robotic reconstructive urology. Approximately one year later, Dr. Mishra is returning to University Hospitals to hone his craft.
University Hospitals is the proud home of the only comprehensive gender affirmation program in the region: UH LGBTQ+ & Gender Care, housed within its Urology Institute. The program performs more than 100 primary genitoplasties (vaginoplasty, metoidioplasty and phalloplasty) and approximately 50 revision surgeries per year.
Dr. Mishra will become a crucial part of the Gender Care team, enhancing the physical and emotional well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals by providing a wide range of coordinated services that promote health and wellness, eliminating the health care disparities experienced by this population, participating in research and promoting education related to gender and sexual diversity.
“Dr. Mishra was a prolific researcher during his residency,” Dr. Ponsky says. “Among other research topics, he has a particular interest in looking at the role of an individual’s microbiome. He’ll be spending time at UH and MetroHealth Medical Center and will have dedicated research time to expand our knowledge of how the microbiome affects disease and treatment – especially in the area of reconstructive urology in patients with scar tissue and strictures. He is an exciting addition to the UH LGBTQ+ & Gender Care team.”
Pediatric Urology | John “Jack” Weaver, MD
An Ohio native, John “Jack” Weaver, MD, obtained both his undergraduate and medical degrees at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Weaver completed a urology residency at Washington University in St. Louis, then pursued fellowship training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the top pediatric urology fellowships in the country. During this time, he also received a Master of Science degree in Translational Research with a concentration in bioinformatics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
“Dr. Weaver’s research specialty involves using artificial intelligence (AI) through imaging technology and databases to improve decision making and improve outcomes for UH’s pediatric urology population,” Dr. Ponsky says. “With his colleagues Lynn Woo, MD, and Jessica Hannick, MD, MSc, at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, they’re building a strong pediatric program in Northeast Ohio, serving patients on both the east and west side of Cleveland and those at Metro Health Medical Center. We are really excited to have Jack also lead a strong research program.”
Dr. Weaver’s research will focus on applying bioinformatics and computational methods to the study of pediatric urologic diseases with the goal of improving patient outcomes. He has received several research awards thus far, including a Thrasher Research Foundation Early Career Award for work on the genetic analysis of two bladder exstrophy populations, and a Gerber Foundation Grant for the genetic analysis of patients with posterior urethral valves. He holds an award from the NIH for his work in machine learning, using video-urodynamics to predict renal outcomes in patients with spina bifida and an internal CHIP Foerderer Award for examining imaging studies for children with antenatal hydronephrosis.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the UH Urology Institute,” Dr. Weaver says. “I’m originally from Northeast Ohio and came back to practice pediatric urology and help develop a strong pediatric urology research hub at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. UH Urology Institute, in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University, provides me with tremendous resources that will allow me to conduct high-impact, translational research.”
“Dr. Weaver had a lot of options,” Dr. Ponsky says. “I’m glad he chose to come to UH and Case Western Reserve University as an assistant professor of urology.”
Building a World-Class Clinical and Academic Urology Program
“Over the past four years, we’ve been building the Urology Institute into a strong, multifaceted and specialized clinical and academic program,” Dr. Ponsky notes. “We want to be strategic and purposeful in the quality and expertise of our recruits to ensure we have the kind of clinicians you’d want caring for your family and who also ask the hard questions so we can better serve patients and make contributions in the field of urology.”
UH Urology Institute has expertise in all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, pediatric urology, reconstructive urology, female pelvic medicine, endourology, female sexual health, male reproductive health and LGBTQ+ & Gender Care.
“All UH Urology Institute divisions were built with the idea that we will meet patients where they are in the community and provide good clinical care,” Dr. Ponsky says. “We also want to ensure we have good physician scientists pushing the research envelope as well.”
Through University Hospitals relationship with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the UH Urology Institute is also home to several world-class graduate medical education opportunities. Programs include a Urology Residency, a Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship and the new GURS-verified Reconstructive Urology & Gender Affirmation Surgery Fellowship.
Keep tabs on the growing UH Urology Institute through its site for Medical Professionals.
For more information about the UH Urology Institute, call Dr. Ponsky at 216-844-4831.
Lee Ponsky, MD, FACS
Professor & Chairman, University Hospitals Urology Institute
Leo & Charlotte Goldberg Chair in Advanced Surgical Therapies
Master Clinician in Urologic Oncology
Executive Director, UH Cutler Center for Men
Distinguished Physician University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine