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Integration, Location, Innovation: The Fox Chase-Temple Urologic Institute Leads the Way in Care

The Urologic Institute's Executive Management Team, from left to right: Drs. Jay Simhan, Alexander Kutikov, Robert Uzzo, Jack H. Mydlo, and Daniel D. Eun.
The Urologic Institute's Executive Management Team, from left to right: Drs. Jay Simhan, Alexander Kutikov, Robert Uzzo, Jack H. Mydlo, and Daniel D. Eun.
The Urologic Institute's Executive Management Team, from left to right: Drs. Jay Simhan, Alexander Kutikov, Robert Uzzo, Jack H. Mydlo, and Daniel D. Eun.


At Temple Health, we’re no stranger to firsts—whether that means performing a pioneering surgery, opening a new type of facility, or offering a groundbreaking treatment. That’s why it’s no surprise that we’re also leading the way in Urology care, reinforced by the recent launch of the Fox Chase-Temple Urologic Institute. 

“With the Institute, our Urology patients see a provider in the sub-specialty they need, in a location that’s convenient for them,” says Jay Simhan, MD, FACS, who is a member of the Institute’s Executive Management Team, as well as Vice Chair for the Department of Urology at Fox Chase and Fellowship Director of the Reconstructive and Prosthetic Urology Fellowship Program at Fox Chase. 

“That sounds straightforward, but no other Health System in the area has figured out how to do it,” he continues. “Our goal was to bring together physicians that are recognized not only within Urology, but their specific Urologic sub-specialty. At the same time, we wanted to be accessible to patients in their communities, so they could see the right provider for the right diagnosis.” 

It's About Integration 

The Urologic Institute was founded in large part due to the efforts of Robert Uzzo, MD, MBA, FACS, who is the Institute’s inaugural Executive Director, as well as President and CEO of Fox Chase, Temple Health’s Executive Vice President for Cancer Services, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Cancer Research, and the G. Willing “Wing” Pepper Chair in Cancer Research. Initially, Dr. Uzzo focused on hiring Urologists with sub-specialties that weren’t fully represented within Temple Health, and beginning to integrate Urology services across the Health System. As a result, patients could now be sure they would be able to see a clinician with expertise in their highly-specific issue, and it became much easier for Temple Health Urologists to consult with their colleagues. 

“We’re no longer working in silos,” explains Jack H. Mydlo, MD, MBA, FACS, who is Chair of the Department of Urology at Temple University Hospital, as well as a member of the Institute’s Executive Management Team. “If we have a question, it’s now much easier to just pick up the phone and ask another physician, ‘Hey, what’s the best way to go about this?’ or ‘What do you recommend?’ Because, as much experience as each of us has, there’s always someone that has a little bit more, so it’s very helpful to be able to collaborate. That raises the standard of treatment across all of our hospitals, because we all get better—and it improves care for our patients.” 

This collaboration, as well as the increased number of physicians, has also improved care by making it much easier to refer patients to other sub-specialists when another issue arises. “Let’s say there’s a prostate care patient who comes to us, who then turns out to also have some functional issues,” says Alexander Kutikov, MD, FACS, Chair of the Department of Urology and Roberta R. Scheller Chair in Urologic Oncology at Fox Chase, and another Executive Management Team member. “We have the expertise to get them treated for their cancer, and now we also have a sub-specialist just down the hall who knows everything about all the functional side effects prostate cancer can cause.”

 “It goes the other way, too,” Dr. Kutikov continues. “Someone might come in for kidney stones, but if they have a family history of prostate cancer, we can get them appropriately screened and diagnosed, and the Institute lowers the barrier for them to see a Urologic Oncologist. Before the Institute was founded, a patient might have seen a clinician who was either a generalist or had deep expertise in one sub-specialty but not another. Now, for each issue you may have, you can see a provider with the deepest level of expertise.”

And Location 

In addition to being paired with the sub-specialists they need, Urology patients will also notice that there are more locations available for them to receive treatment. “Before the Institute, patients would visit only one or two locations for their Urologic care, but now, that number has really gone up,” says Dr. Simhan. “We have over 30 care providers at locations throughout the Philadelphia area, including very busy and active sites at Ft. Washington, Temple Health-Chestnut Hill Hospital, Center City, Fox Chase, and Temple University Hospital-Main Campus.” 

On April 8, the Urologic Institute added an additional site with the official opening of Fox Chase’s Voorhees, New Jersey location. “With roughly 20% of our patients coming from New Jersey, we are very excited to offer our brand of compassionate care closer to their homes,” says Dr. Uzzo. This location features multiple services in urologic oncology, with providers in prostate, kidney, bladder, testicular, penile, ureteral, and urethral cancers and adrenal mass. Providers will also treat patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, hematuria, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, and urethral stricture. 

The Urologic Institute’s multiple locations not only make it more convenient for patients to receive care, but also provide them with more options for different types of treatment. “Let’s say there’s a procedure that a patient wants that we don’t do at TUH-Main Campus,” explains Dr. Mydlo. “Now, we can easily send them to a site where it’s performed. It’s all about giving patients the accessibility that comes with having multiple options for care.” 

Patients also have greater access to resources from across the Health System. “The Institute really taps into the capabilities of the entire enterprise,” Dr. Kutikov says. “Patients now have access to opportunities that were once available only at specific locations, such as participating in state-of-the-art clinical trials, and receiving targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and advanced radiation and medical oncology treatments. Additionally, they can consult with experts from a variety of clinical departments.” 

Plus, Innovation 

This is something Drs. Kutikov and Simhan have already seen in their practices. “I just had a case with a quadriplegic woman who had a lot of issues with chronic urinary tract infections,” Dr. Kutikov says. “One of her kidneys had a large stone that, because of her urinary diversion, was not reachable through scopes. She was having another intra-abdominal procedure, and since I routinely take out parts of cancer patients’ kidneys, I became involved in her care to help remove a piece of her kidney where a stone was impacted. That’s something that would have been very difficult to coordinate outside of the Institute’s infrastructure, and now, her urinary tract infections will hopefully resolve.” 

“This is the kind of problem-solving that we can do, thanks to the Institute,” Dr. Simhan says. “I say it often: patients don’t come in with an issue straight from the medical textbooks. Their problem is unique to them, and those problems often require innovative solutions. The Institute brings together some of the best clinicians in each sub-specialty of Urology, so we can collaborate to find the answers patients need.” 

This out-of-the-box thinking is only compounded by the fact that Temple Urology is known worldwide as a center of innovation. “We’re a leader in robotic and minimally invasive reconstructive techniques,” explains Daniel D. Eun, MD, who is a member of the Institute’s Executive Management Team, as well as the Director of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s Robotic Urologic Surgery Clinical Fellowship Program, the Chief of Robotic Surgery at Temple University Hospital, and the Director of Minimally Invasive Robotic Urologic Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery at Temple University Hospital. 

“There are multiple surgical techniques that have been invented here, and we probably do the highest number of ureter reconstructions in the world,” Dr. Eun continues. “We do some of the most complicated work that’s been referred to us from all over the U.S. and from other countries. That’s one of the things that makes me really proud to be a part of the Urologic Institute: that not only do we have a lot of expertise in cancer treatment and classical reconstructive techniques, but we also have a lot of breadth and depth in advanced and innovative minimally invasive procedures, many of which have been pioneered here at Temple.” 

Put this way, it’s easy to see why the Institute is so revolutionary—and why Dr. Mydlo believes it can be a model for the rest of the Health System. “I think we can really be a template for innovation, integration, and improving patient access,” he says. “It shows how you can combine the expertise of the very best specialists for a unified approach that provides the highest-quality patient care.”