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Kaweah Health, Keck Medicine Enhance Local Urology Services

To better serve patients in Tulare County, where a recent community needs assessment found that urology services are severely lacking, Kaweah Health and Keck Medicine of USC have collaborated to open a urology clinic in downtown Visalia.

Kaweah Health is operating the downtown Visalia clinic in coordination with Inderbir S. Gill, M.D., executive director of USC Urology, part of Keck Medicine, and chair and distinguished professor of urology at Keck School of Medicine.

The clinic, located one block west of Kaweah Health Medical Center, is providing patients in the region with access to a world-renowned urology program that is currently ranked in the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Keck Medicine urologists will practice alongside local urologists Joseph Ford, D.O., Tu-Hi Hong, M.D., and Marty Prah, M.D., to ensure that Kaweah Health Medical Center patients have improved, on-call access to care.

"Working alongside the Kaweah Health system enables us to deliver preeminent urology care at a convenient location, lowering geographical barriers to access for these patients," said Dr. Gill. "We are thrilled to work alongside our esteemed medical colleagues and our already strong local urology colleagues at Kaweah Health to expand the spectrum of available services for this community."

Urology services are in high demand in the Central Valley. A recent community needs study conducted by the Coker Group found that while there should be 11 urologists in Tulare County to adequately serve the population, there are only four. Those who have Medi-Cal, which is 55% of the population in Tulare County, have virtually no access to urology services close to home.

"We all know that urology and gastroenterology are significantly under-resourced specialties," said Kaweah Health CEO Gary Herbst. "Our patients would normally have to leave the community,"

Urology is a specialty that addresses diseases of the urinary and genital system. Urinary issues, including urinary leakage, stone disease and urologic cancer, affect both men and women in ways that can significantly impact daily life.

Common conditions for urology that a patient might experience include: urination difficulty, blood in the urine, pain in the abdomen, cancer of the kidney, urinary bladder, prostate and testis, along with difficulty conceiving a child and erectile dysfunction.


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