In the News 

Vanguard Urologic Institute joins Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

September 4, 2012

Memorial Hermann has acquired Vanguard Urologic Institute, a group comprised of physicians nationally known for contributing to advances in urologic medicine and prostate cancer through published articles, research studies and innovative new treatments.

“Vanguard Urologic Institute is excited to join Memorial Hermann Healthcare System,” said Kevin Slawin, M.D., Founder and Director of Vanguard Urologic Institute and Director of Urology at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center.  “For us, it is the most logical choice in our evolution as an organization.  It has always been our mission to embrace new ideas and technologies in science and medicine, and our alignment with one of the most innovative and forward-thinking healthcare systems in the country will be a win-win for patients.”

From its inception in 2007, Vanguard Urologic Institute has been a leader in urologic medicine, integrating clinical research, leading-edge treatments and technologies into the daily care of patients. 

“Memorial Hermann Medical Group has been strategically leading the way in identifying talented, respected and clinically-integrated physician groups like Vanguard Urologic Institute,” said Ayse McCracken, CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group. “We are pleased to have a high-caliber group such as Vanguard join the Memorial Hermann family. This respected practice has been raising the bar and providing high-quality healthcare for many years.”

Vanguard Urologic Institute is located in the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza at 6400 Fannin, Suite 2300, Houston, TX, 77030, with a secondary location in the Memorial Hermann Southeast Medical Plaza 2 at 11920 Astoria Blvd., Suite 210, Houston, TX 77089.  Patients can reach both offices at 713.366.7800.  They will also continue to maintain a clinical research and laboratory facility in the University of Texas Professional Building at 6410 Fannin, Suite 1560, Houston, TX  77030.

About Memorial Hermann Medical Group

An affiliate of Memorial Hermann, one of the most respected health systems in the nation, Memorial Hermann Medical Group was established in 2006. Memorial Hermann Medical Group brings together many of Houston’s leading physicians under one umbrella organization. The individual and group practices that comprise Memorial Hermann Medical Group represent primary care physicians and specialists who share a common vision – to provide the highest level of quality care to their patients. Memorial Hermann Medical Group provides members with business services such as billing, collections, insurance reimbursement contracts, medical records maintenance and information technology, allowing physicians to spend more time providing exceptional patient care. The Group is governed by a physician board.

About Memorial Hermann

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and more than 20,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann’s 12 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, including a level 1 trauma center, a hospital for children and a rehabilitation hospital, eight suburban hospitals, and a second rehabilitation hospital in Katy. The system also operates three Heart & Vascular Institute locations, the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute, an air ambulance, cancer, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home.  To learn more, visit www.memorialhermann.org.

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Vanguard Urologic Institute is hosting a FREE Men's Health Seminar

July 2, 2012

Peter Hinh, M.D., and John Dodge, PA-C, MPAS will be hosting a FREE Men's Health Seminar covering Erectile Dysfunction, Enlarged Prostate and Male Stress Urinary Incontinence as well as Side Effects of Low Testosterone.  Spouses and partners are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served.  Registration starts at 6:00 p.m. and the seminar begins at 6:30 p.m.  You can choose from Monday, July 23rd held in the CES Classroom on the 1st floor of Memorial Hermann - Southeast Hospital located at 11800 Astoria Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77089 presented by Peter Hinh, M.D., or Monday, July 30th held in the Raye and Ed White Conference Center on the 19th floor of Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza located at 6400 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030.  All parking is complimentary.  In order to register, you must CALL 1 (877) 433-2873.  Space is limited so call today to reserve your seat!

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New FDA-Approved Prostate Cancer Test May Change Screening Landscape

June 25, 2012

A groundbreaking new prostate cancer screening test - approved today by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and currently available in Europe and Australia - may change the face of screening through its more accurate readings and reduction of false positive results.  Read about it here at www.drslawin.com.  

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TexUSTOO Presents the 13th Annual Dad's Day 5K Run & Walk Benefiting Prostate Cancer Education and Awareness.

May 31, 2012

TexUSTOO, a non-profit Prostate Cancer Survivor and Support group affiliated with Us TOO - the largest Prostate Cancer support group in the world, will be presenting their 13th Annual Dad's Day 5K Run & Walk which will be benefiting Prostate Cancer Education and Awareness on Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at the Wortham Center Complex in downtown Houston.  There will be a 5K timed run, a 3K family walk as well as a kid's 1K run.  For additional information, you can call (713) 880-0544 or register online at www.dadsday5k.org.  

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Annals of Internal Medicine - What the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Missed in Its Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendation.

May 22, 2012

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel that does not include urologists or cancer specialists, has just recommended against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening, stating that "screening may benefit a small number of men but will result in harm to many others".  Recognizing that prostate cancer remains the second-leading cause 0of cancer deaths in men, we, an ad hoc group that includes nationally recognized experts in the surgical and radiological treatment of prostate cancer, oncologists, preventive medicine specialists, and primary care physicians, believe that the USPSTF has underestimated the benefits and overestimated the harms of prostate cancer screening.  Therefore, we disagree with the USPSTF's recommendation.

Read the entire article here: http://m.annals.org/content/early/2012/05/21/0003-4819-157-2-201207170-00463.full

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AACU Rejects USPSTF Recommendation

May 22, 2012

The American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU), in agreement with the American Urological Association and Large Urology Group Practice Association, strongly rejects the recommendation of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to downgrade the use of PSA for early detection of prostate cancer to a "D". The key studies used by USPSTF as a basis for this recommendation are severely flawed. Some of the major flaws in the studies include: PSA testing had been performed in many of the "non-screened" control group, there was a relatively short time of follow-up with death from prostate cancer as the endpoint and lastly, no consideration was given to metastatic-free rates as an important outcome. The last point is particularly worrisome because men with metastatic prostate cancer often suffer a protracted painful course before death from the disease.

It is very disappointing that during the comment period to the USPSTF over the past several months, these deficiencies and others, though extensively outlined by experts in urologic oncology, were largely dismissed by the USPSTF.

The panel ALSO overlooked significant progress made in some areas of prostate cancer management.  In the United States, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, but due to PSA testing and cancer awareness campaigns, death from prostate cancer is declining. The 10 year survival from prostate cancer is now over 97%, up from 53% before the PSA era. Prior to PSA testing nearly 25% of men were found to have bone metastases at diagnosis. The number today is less than 5%. The USPSTF wrongly recommends PSA testing only in men presenting with prostate cancer symptoms. Unfortunately for many men this first symptom doesn't occur until late in the course of illness from painful metastatic disease.

The USPSTF contends that screening with PSA leads to unnecessary testing and overtreatment. The task force recommendation against PSA testing blatantly ignores the many studies addressing tumor behavior and patient outcomes which have helped establish appropriate clinical guidelines on prostate cancer management. These studies and guidelines have resulted in the expanded use of appropriate surveillance protocols. After shared doctor-patient decision-making, many men with low risk prostate cancer are appropriately placed on watchful waiting.

The USPSTF recommendations are misleading and harmful. They ignore the nearly 30,000 men who suffer a prolonged course of illness then die from prostate cancer each year. The recommendations do not adequately consider the high risk patients such as those with a family history of prostate cancer and our African American citizens, who as a race are at the highest risk of developing high grade cancer of the prostate. The USPSTF does not include a urologist and ignored the opinions of experts in the field. We must rebuke a recommendation that will place many men's lives in danger and set us back 20 years in our progress to save patients from suffering and dying from this disease.


About the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU): AACU was founded in 1968 and represents more than 3,000 urologists practicing in the United States.  AACU's resources are dedicated to giving a voice to our members on Capitol Hill and every state via a network of physicians committed to the preservation of quality care for their urologic patients.  

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The Vanguard Urologic Institute discusses Testosterone Replacement Therapy and its benefits.

February 21, 2012

Testosterone replacement is a topic that receives a lot of attention.  If you have seen the multitude of advertisements in print or on television, you are probably familiar with the common symptoms of testosterone deficiency.  You may wonder if this sort of therapy would be helpful for you.

Long thought to be a vanity or quality of life issue, more information is being gathered that suggests there may be significant health impacts of persistent low testosterone levels.  There have been studies demonstrating links between low testosterone and the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.  Testosterone also helps you maintain muscle mass and proper bone density.

At the Vanguard Urologic Institute, we feel the contemporary management of testosterone deficiency should occur with the focus on the overall health of the man receiving it.  Like any treatment, testosterone replacement has associated risk and must be properly monitored to ensure safety and satisfactory response.  Additionally, the patient must be adequately counseled prior to initiating therapy to have realistic expectation of its outcome.

When a man presents to the Vanguard Urologic Institute suspecting he may be suffering from a low testosterone level, we will first perform a thorough evaluation to ensure that such therapy is appropriate and indicated.  As part of the evaluation, we screen for other conditions which may produce similar symptoms.

Once the evaluation process is complete, we will meet with you to discuss our findings and recommendations.  If these include testosterone replacement therapy, we will present the various forms of treatment available.  We will also review the potential risks, benefits and alternatives to therapy.  If we discover another potential cause of your symptoms, an appropriate referral can be made to better direct management of it.

Any program of testosterone replacement therapy must include frequent follow up and monitoring.  This includes blood tests and office visits to determine how you are progressing on your treatment.  The intervals of these will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

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