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Volunteer Leaders Enjoy Unique Hands-on Experience

December 9, 2019 by Karen Hattrup

James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute board members take part in Live the Mission event

It’s one thing to hear a doctor describe how robotic surgery works — but getting to witness it live and then use the robot yourself? That’s an entirely different type of education.

In November, members of The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute Advisory Board took part in Live the Mission, a hands-on program that allowed them to see the work of the Brady in a new and inspiring way.

Members of The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute Advisory Board gather for a group photo
Brady Institute board members could participate in surgical training, speak with researchers, and tour the pathology lab.

Live the Mission is an exclusive event in which Johns Hopkins faculty and staff provide highly personalized interactions and up-close experiences to groups of valued donors and volunteers. It’s a unique opportunity for those who give their time, resources, and expertise, providing them with a chance to learn directly from clinician-scientists and researchers about the work their partnership makes possible.

The first Live the Mission event was in 2015, and since then there have been a total of thirteen programs covering areas such as neurology, pediatric oncology, and the Wilmer Eye Institute.  November’s visit marked the first time a Live the Mission event took place at the Brady. More than twenty attended — primarily board members, along with other donors and friends.

“I loved seeing and working on the robotic equipment,” one attendee said. “We hear so much about these things but never really see what they look like. If only I was younger, it would inspire me to go into medicine, but now I will just remain a medical groupie and a staunch advocate and supporter of the work.”

Participants could choose from different tour options depending on their interest. Some watched a Brady surgeon perform a live radical prostatectomy using robotic surgical techniques, after which they had a hands-on training experience on the da Vinci Robot by Brady residents. Others spoke with faculty and trainees about the pediatric urology research priorities and clinical practices. There was also a lab tour on which they could see cancer cells in action and listen to researchers describe how their work is transforming patient care and outcomes. The event concluded with a mock tumor board, providing all attendees with an opportunity to see how a multidisciplinary team of clinician-scientists discuss individual cancer cases to determine the best care plans and treatment options.

While the event was meaningful for the individuals who took part, it was also a chance for board members to connect with one another and get a better understanding of what they as a group help Johns Hopkins to accomplish.

“Live the Mission was an exciting new event for us,” said Chris Evensen, co-chair of the Brady Advisory Board.  “We were transfixed by watching the surgery, fascinated to hear how prostate cancer would be identified and graded, and riveted when we visited the Johns Hopkins Capacity Command Center to see how the hospital resources are assigned in real-time. The entire day was mesmerizing; so much interest and many great questions from our members. This day really helped immerse the board in the work. Everyone wanted to see more!”

Topics: Faculty and Staff, Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine