2021 in Review
2021 was an interesting year. As we continued to navigate the ongoing COVID pandemic and adapt to a new “normal”, there were a number of challenges we as a team had to overcome in order to continue delivering the best care possible to our patients. Despite these obstacles, our team achieved so much in this last year, which serves as a testament to their determination and passion for the work they do here at UCA. Here are just a few of the many accomplishments that UCA has achieved in 2021:
Patient Navigation Services
Patient-centered care is who we are – this approach influences every single decision we make regarding our care pathways and treatment protocols. Despite the many challenges the pandemic has thrown at us the Patient Navigation team has worked tirelessly to implement additional improvements to the program in order to ensure our prostate cancer patients received the highest standard of care possible.
This past fall, UCA was recognized as a Center of Excellence in Evidence Based Patient Care Delivery at the UroGPO National Conference. UroGPO is the first and largest urology-specific group purchasing organization (GPO) in America, comprising more than 650 of the largest independent urology practices across the country. UCA was honored to be recognized as one of the top performing groups in the country in terms of low patient attrition, high protocol adherence, and timely cancer treatment with appropriate medications.
In addition to Prostate Cancer and Overactive Bladder, we also added Patient Navigation to improve our treatment of BPH patients. Through appropriate education and navigation, our goal is to help men with enlarged prostate issues reach their goals of managing or stopping symptoms and improving quality of life. We have a defined patient care pathway that is followed to ensure our patients reach this goal.
New Physicians to the UCA Family
This year, we had the pleasure of adding Dr. David Qi to UCA family in February. Dr. Qi is a Reconstructive Urologist who practices at Grandview and Homewood. In December, the Van Scott Cancer Center welcomed Dr. Mollie deShazo, Medical Oncologist who specializes in genitourinary cancer treatment. Dr. deShazo is board-certified in Medical Oncology and joins UCA from UAB’s Division of Oncology where she has practiced for over twenty years. With our merger with Cullman Urology, we welcomed Dr. Rodney Sanders and Dr. Nick Braswell to the team. In addition, we are excited to announce the upcoming arrival of our new Urogynecologist, Dr. Megan Cramer and Urologist, Dr. Zachary Glaser in fall 2022. Dr. Cramer will join the team at the UCA Women’s Center and Dr. Glaser will practice primarily out of the Cullman Office.
EMR System Conversion to Allscripts
In August, UCA partnered with Allscripts to successfully transition to a new Electronic Medical Record system. The EMR system was developed specifically to meet the needs of our patients and providers, resulting in an effective and efficient EMR software suited for our practice. The new system offers secure, easy access to personal health records, insurance information, and billing records. Patients can also use this system to confidentially communicate with their provider as needed.
The Clinical Research department at UCA plays a vital role in the development of treatment options for our patients. The research team specializes in a variety of urological fields, allowing them to expertly conduct studies on a spectrum of conditions such as bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and urinary tract infections. Last July, the Clinical Research department welcomed a new Research Director, Meredith Sharpton, PA-C. Sharpton has been a valuable member of the UCA team for over a decade, and we look forward to seeing the department grow under her leadership.
New Clinic Locations
2021 was a big year in terms of our continued clinic expansion. We launched the vision and officially began construction of a new UCA Men’s Clinic in the Homewood Plaza, which is set to open early 2022. At the beginning of January, Cullman Urology officially became Urology Center of Alabama, expanding UCA’s footprint to over 47 providers and 16 locations across Alabama.
As you can see, it’s been quite a year, and I am excited to see where 2022 takes each and every one of us as we head into the next chapter of the UCA journey.