The University of Southern California Institute of Urology hosted a special meeting the evening of February 7: "Urology Vision 2012." Inderbir S. Gill, professor and chairman of the Catherine & Joseph Aresty department of urology, executive director of the USC Institute of Urology and associate dean (clinical innovation), presented updates on the department's advancements since his arrival in 2009 and plans for the future.
Attended by more than 130 USC physicians, top administrators and staff, the event was highlighted by USC president C.L. Max Nikias' announcement of an anonymous gift of $13.3 million that will fund the USC Urology Robotics Center of Excellence and the Program for Prostate Cancer Targeting.
"Today the USC Institute of Urology is an internationally renowned powerhouse in robotic and open surgery. Tomorrow we look forward to being a cutting-edge comprehensive world leader in urology," said Nikias, announcing the gift. "Surgeries that were once considered fantasies are now a fact. Our Institute of Urology is helping redefine and reshape the field of urology."
After joining USC in April 2009, Gill quickly built his team in three months. The department currently consists of 21 faculty physicians and researchers, 18 urology residents, 10 post-graduate fellows, five physician assistants and 29 staff members. Gill emphasized that his team's focus is on cutting-edge innovation and research, developing world-class clinical programs, growing the USC clinical enterprise, and creating targeted outreach satellites.
"To be successful, you need a market differentiator. A true market differentiator implies being the world's best at a specific endeavor which also drives your economic engine. You are lucky if you have one true market differentiator," said Gill. "USC urology has two: robotic kidney & prostate cancer surgery, and open bladder cancer surgery. Additionally, we lead in epigenetics research."
In the two and a half years since Gill joined USC, the Institute of Urology has grown significantly: clinic visits increased by 35 percent, major urologic surgeries by 86 percent (cancer surgeries by 140 percent, robotic/laparoscopic surgeries by 10-fold) and inpatient admissions by 78 percent. As a result, from 2010 to 2012, annual departmental collections increased by 68 percent. Peer-reviewed publications increased by 84 percent, and in 2012, the department's NIH research funding totaled $3.3 million.
As a testament to its excellence, in 2011 the USC Institute of Urology was 2nd in the nation in NIH rankings, and 18th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report rankings.
In addition to advancing within USC, the Institute of Urology is also actively extending its services regionally, nationally and internationally. As an example, Gill is leading a group of USC urology surgeons to China next month as a sequel to their 2011 China trip, which broke new ground. Carmen A. Puliafito, Dean of the Keck School of Medicine, indicated his pleasure with progress to date, and stressed that outreach is fundamental in bringing patients to the Keck Medical Center of USC.
With the announcement of the urology gift, their up-and-coming partnerships and clinical and basic research advances, the Institute of Urology has much to look forward to. As Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and chief executive officer of USC Health, underlined, "The success of our Keck Medical Center of USC will be driven by the success of our individual clinical departments, such as this."Back