As IVU’s new interim Executive Director, I am thrilled and honored to join the IVU team that has been providing quality urologic care and education worldwide for over 25 years. My first involvement with IVU was in 2008 when I went on a trip to Kumasi, Ghana as a Pediatric Urology Fellow. Needless to say, that trip changed the trajectory of my career. Subsequent IVU workshops in Uganda and Rwanda solidified my belief that building sustainable medical education and training programs will help address a major cause of extreme poverty worldwide – the lack of access to quality healthcare. Fast forward to 2020, and I am eager to help IVU launch into its next 25 years and beyond.
IVU is not just one person, but rather, a group of dedicated like-minded people collaborating and bringing about productive change. My goals during this interim appointment are to focus on IVU’s programs and operations, strategic planning, development, and global partner relations.
As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens after you make your plans,” and although COVID-19 has presented its challenges to us all, IVU has been able to quickly pivot and continue its core mission by moving to a virtual platform successfully. We have expanded our Virtual Visiting Professor (VVP) program and have launched peer to peer consultation services to our international partners and sites. We are in constant contact with our international partners and are providing them with the support they need as we all try to navigate these difficult times. As we look forward to 2021 and anxiously await our ability to travel and reconnect in person with our international partners and sites, we are taking the time to do some internal reflection and housekeeping as an organization.
I am very excited for what the future holds for IVU as we continue our mission of providing quality urologic medical care and surgical education and training to physicians, nurses and healthcare providers around the world. With each person we train, we have the potential to reach hundreds if not thousands of children and adults in need. We haven’t been able to do this work alone. It is because of 25 years of generous support and committed volunteers, that we have been able to build these connections and programs. We hope you come with us on our journey as we embark on the next 25 years.
Danielle D. Sweeney, MD, FAAP
Interim Executive Director