Who We Are

Our Mission


IVU is committed to making quality urological care available worldwide. In fulfilling this mission, IVU provides medical and surgical education to physicians and nurses and treatment to thousands of children and adults.

Teach One, Reach Many. IVU’s motto reflects the impact that each of our volunteers and donors has on the world. We provide world-class medical and surgical training to physicians and nurses in low-resource areas of the world. In doing so, we help address a major cause of extreme poverty—lack of access to quality healthcare.

Each person we train has the potential to reach hundreds, even thousands, of children and adults in need. That is the power of your support. Together, we build something that continues beyond the bounds of each individual’s efforts.

Every patient we reach gains the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. And by striving to build sustainable surgical teaching programs, your impact is magnified exponentially.

We teach individual providers. We serve individual patients. With your help, we build a global network that reaches thousands of providers and patients. In the end, no one will be denied access to the expert care that we often take for granted.




IVU was founded in 1995 to address the global shortage of urological care and training in low-resource areas of the world.

IVU’s founder, Dr. Catherine deVries, was invited in 1992 by the plastic surgery group ReSurge International (then Interplast) to help with the tremendous need for pediatric urological care they had witnessed in Honduras. Dr. deVries worked with Honduran plastic surgeons, urologists, and pediatric surgeons to begin formulating IVU’s Teach One, Reach Many model.

In 1994, Dr. deVries expanded urology training efforts to Vietnam, and over the years, local urologists in Ho Chi Minh City progressed from performing fewer than 80 surgeries per year to over 1500 each year while also training more surgeons in pediatric urology.

Building upon the visionary efforts of Dr. deVries, IVU has now worked in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America serving thousands of children and adults in need of life-changing care while training hundreds of doctors and nurses each year. Dedicated medical professionals donate their time and travel expenses to help us build sustainable surgical training programs worldwide.

In 2005, IVU celebrated its 10th  anniversary by conducting six surgical training workshops. As we approach our 25th anniversary, we now conduct 25-30 workshops each year. The generous support of our volunteers and donors make it all possible.