Gifts to The Ohio State University Department of Urology help further our goal of continuously being recognized as a leader in patient care, education and research.  
Giving Opportunities

Giving Opportunities

Urology Education Fund

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This fund is used for teaching and for partial funding of research projects in the Department of Urology.

Urology Growth and Excellence Fund

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For special initiatives in the Department of Urology, such as new education, outreach and reputation efforts and other activities to advance its mission and growth in research, education and patient care.

Bladder Cancer Research Fund

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This fund was established Nov. 22, 2006, to support bladder cancer research as directed by Dr. Kamal Pohar.

Endourologic Urology Surgery Research and Education Fund

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Dr. Bodo Knudsen - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in endourologic urology surgery for work of Dr. Bodo Knudsen (or successor).

Henry A. Wise II, MD, Chair in Urology

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This fund was established Feb. 2, 2007, with gifts from the University Urology Education and Research Foundation, Inc., and friends of the Department of Urology with support from the College of Medicine. Income supports an endowed professorship position in the Department of Urology in support of a nationally recognized urology faculty member undertaking clinical, educational and research activities in the field of urology.

In April 2016, the professorship became the Henry A. Wise II, MD, Chair in Urology.

We are honored by the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Wise.

The Henry A. Wise II, MD, Endowed Professorship Fund was established in February 2007. Gifts were received from the Urology Education and Research Foundation Inc and friends of the Department of Urology, with support from the College of Medicine. This fund was given in honor of Henry A. Wise II, MD. Dr. Wise is currently a clinical professor emeritus and has held the positions of assistant professor, associate professor, division director and clinical professor in Urology from 1972 through 2000.

It is only fitting that the first Wise Professor should be a urologist whose area of expertise is management of kidney stones. Dr. Bodo Knudsen is an associate professor, director of the OSU Comprehensive Kidney Stone Program, medical director of the Health System Outpatient Urology Services and vice chair of clinical affairs in the Department of Urology. He is currently the interim chair of the department and residency director. He has authored 42 abstracts, six chapters, 37 conference papers and proceedings, 58 journal articles and more than 100 scholarly presentations. He has served as editor or reviewer on 10 journals. He has been an adviser in the Medical Student Learning Communities since 2009. His installation as the Henry A. Wise II, MD, Professor has been well-earned.

Henry A. Wise II, MD took part in an interview in the winter of 2010. Here are a few excerpts from his comments:

"The funds that we generate for the Wise chair hopefully someday will be used to better serve the community by having better and better urologists to put into it.

"When I donated the initial part of the funds for the endowed professor and chair, I hoped that they would be used to support a person for urologic oncology. My thought at the time was that there should be at least two or three chairs in urology. I think that’s the key to having a really good department. It would be great if enough funding were in place to make it so that the faculty was not encumbered by constantly trying to get a university salary or trying to see a thousand patients a day to make their income. I think that’s what a chair should be used for -- to supply some extra funds that will allow the faculty person some free time.

"In any case, I hope that others will donate funds so that this chair will become fully funded."

Minimally-Invasive/Robotic Urologic Surgery Research and Education Fund

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Dr. Geoffrey Box - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in minimally invasive/robotic urologic surgery for work of Dr. Geoffrey Box (or successor).

Office of Urologic Education Support Fund

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Supports ongoing programs and special initiatives of the Office of Urologic Education focused on physician/surgeon training; experiential learning; virtual/wet lab surgical simulations; state-of-art clinical care; local, national, global outreach and other activities to advance the mission of department of urology.

Oncologic and Molecular Urology/Robotic Surgery Research and Education Fund

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Dr. Ahmad Shabsigh - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in oncologic or molecular urology and robotic surgery for work of Dr. Ahmad Shabsigh (or successor).

Robotic Urologic Surgery Research and Education Fund

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This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in Robotic Urologic Surgery.

Sara Lee Youngs Memorial Fund

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This fund was established March 24, 2005, to support a bladder cancer lectureship for the Department of Urology.

A grateful patient of Dr. Robert Bahnson, Sara Lee Youngs, an international businesswoman, made a difference in the lives of many. From quiet philanthropy such as a $150 "loan" to a stranded Spanish traveler who needed money to return to the United States, to a very generous gift to support urologic cancer research, Lee was very understated and very giving. Her legacy is impacting the Department of Urology at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute every day.

"Lee made her mark here on earth in many ways during her life; if we may add another in her honor and all the while help others, we've succeeded in her primary beliefs. She always enjoyed helping others."

2016 Gary D. Steinberg, MD
        University of Chicago Medicine

2015 Sia Daneshmand, MD
       Keck Hospital of USC

2014 Bernard H. Bochner, MD
       Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

2013 Eila Skinner, MD
      Chairman, Department of Urology
      Stanford University

2012 Colin P. N. Dinney, MD, FRCP(S)  
     Chairman, Department of Urology
     University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

2011 Yves Fradet, MD, FRCSC
     Professor of Surgery
     Universite Laval

2010 Seth P. Lerner, MD
     Baylor College of Medicine
     Scott Department of Urology
     Beth and Dave Swalm Chair in Urologic Oncology

2009 Harry W. Herr, MD FACS
     Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
     Professor of Medicine Cornell University Weill Medical Center

2001 Dean F. Bajorin, MD
     Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
     Professor of Medicine Cornell University Weill Medical Center

2000 Michael A. O'Donnell, MD
     Associate Professor
     University of Iowa
     Department of Urology


The Chester C. Winter, MD, Urology Library Endowment

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This fund was established Sept. 6, 1985, with gifts from Chester C. Winter, MD, professor emeritus of Worthington, Ohio. Income supports the Department of Urology Library.

The Chester C. Winter, MD Visiting Lectureship in Urology

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This fund was established Sept. 6, 1985, by Chester C. Winter, MD, emeritus professor of urology. Income supports an annual lectureship by a visiting professor of urology or one noted in that field, and appropriate expenses for the lectureship will be defrayed from the fund.

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The Dave Longaberger Endowed Chair in Urology

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This fund was established Sept. 2, 1998, with gifts from The Longaberger Foundation of Newark, Ohio. Income supports salary and program support for the work of a distinguished urologist whose focus will include the advancement of medical knowledge through research and treatment in urological diseases with preference given to a urologist with interest in oncology.

Dave Longaberger was never one to accept limitations. He struggled through school (even repeating fifth grade three times), yet he was determined to and did graduate from high school. He stuttered badly as a young man but took a job as a door-to-door salesman to overcome it. And he began a successful business - The Longaberger Company - with a vision that customers would appreciate the handcrafted quality of the baskets his father had woven for years.

But if you had asked Dave what he considered his greatest accomplishment, the answer would have been no surprise to anyone who knew him: "What gives me the greatest pleasure is having the ability to make a difference in peoples' lives." The Longaberger Company's mission statement, "To Stimulate a Better Quality of Life," is a reflection of his proudest accomplishment.

Through Longaberger, Dave helped make a difference for thousands. The company has enabled tens of thousands of independent home consultants throughout the U.S. to start their own Longaberger businesses, being their own boss and setting their own standards for success. And the company has provided thousands of jobs to Ohioans living in Dresden, Dave's hometown, and dozens of surrounding Ohio communities.

Dave's entrepreneurial skills date back to the early 1960s, when he purchased a local diner in Dresden, complete with two booths, two tables and eight stools. Later, he acquired a defunct grocery store and reopened it so local residents wouldn't have to drive 15 miles or more to purchase a loaf of bread. Through those early business ventures, Dave discovered three key elements he said are essential for success: listening to others, having trust in others and maintaining a sense of humor.

Dave kept those three points in mind when he came up with the idea of selling baskets made the way his father, JW Longaberger, had handcrafted them 20 years earlier. It was this successful idea that ultimately gave him the ability to make a difference in the quality of life for so many.

"Subject to Change:"- "For some, change is a crisis. Well, don't let it be, because it will happen with or without you. And, it's much more enjoyable if it happens with you. Nothing remains the same. It is easy to want things to remain the same, but you have to be adaptable to change to survive."

"People appreciate personal service and high quality," Dave said. "That's what Longaberger is all about. Our associates come to your home to help you understand the unique heritage of our products, and we work hard to ensure those products are of the absolute quality."

Dave and his daughters, Tami and Rachel, formalized their commitment to touching the lives of those in need by establishing The Longaberger Foundation in 1997. The Foundation provides funding for projects and programs aimed at strengthening communities, families and individuals. It has provided leadership gifts for educational institutions and literacy efforts in Ohio as well as a number of charitable causes. Dave was known for his friendly demeanor and unpredictable sense of humor, and he encouraged others to keep a lighthearted attitude as well. "Every day should be at least 25 percent fun" is one of his most widely quoted principles.

Dave passed away on March 17, 1999. Through his vision of the future and the many initiatives he began at The Longaberger Company, his legacy continues.

Founded in 1973, The Longaberger Company is America's premier maker of handcrafted baskets and offers other quality home and lifestyle products, including pottery, wrought iron and fabric accessories. 

To learn more about the extraordinary life of Dave Longaberger, read "Longaberger: An American Success Story." Published by Harper Collins, this autobiography was launched in March 2001; or visit www.longaberger.com.

In September 1998, Ohio State received a gift of $5 million from The Longaberger Foundation, $1.5 million of which established the Dave Longaberger Endowed Chair in Urology. At the time, the chair's namesake-founder and former CEO of the successful Longaberger Company in Newark, Ohio, was recovering from surgery for a serious form of kidney cancer. Despite the devastation this prognosis had on their lives, the Longaberger family saw their good fortune having The James and the Department of Urology as resources. Their gift came as a natural expression of their gratitude.

The endowment provides salary and program support for the work of a distinguished urologist whose focus includes the advancement of medical knowledge through research and treatment in urologic diseases with preference given to urologists with interest in oncology. Dr. Robert R. Bahnson has held this position since its creation in 1998. "We are honored to have Dr. Bahnson named the first holder of the Longaberger Chair," said Longaberger Company CEO, Tami Longaberger, a former Ohio State trustee. "We have witnessed his dedication and expertise first hand. It gives us a way to say thank you, and to extend and strengthen our relationship with Ohio State."

The Ervin C. and Bonnie J. Babbert Excellence in Urology Fund

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This fund is used to provide unrestricted support to the Department of Urology for ongoing needs, enhancement of departmental programs or to foster innovation and strengthen special initiatives.

The Ervin C. and Bonnie J. Babbert Fund is in honor of these two longtime contributors and beloved friends of urology. Mr. Babbert has been a patient of Dr. Robert Bahnson's since 1998. Erv recalls that when he first met Dr. Bahnson, he wouldn't say a word. But then "we got on a roll." Mr .Babbert was referred to Dr. Bahnson by a family friend in 1998, when the physician he was seeing left town. Dr. Bahnson encouraged him to stop smoking.That was more than six surgeries ago. Bonnie had told Dr. Bahnson that she wanted to keep Erv healthy until their 50th anniversary, and he has given her that, plus an extra seven years and counting. They both appreciate the fact that Dr. Bahnson has always explained things. He always makes sure to include Bonnie in conversations about Erv's patient care. The urology staff are "like family" and "have been wonderful", the Babberts said.

With urology becoming a department and with the addition of new faculty, Mr. Babbert said that "they couldn't have picked a better guy to do it." He further stated that Dr. Bahnson "has a knack of getting good people."

Ervin and Bonnie Babbert were married at 19 and founded a company, EC Babbert, Inc, in 1960. During the early days of the company, they mainly installed septic tanks, pumps and softeners. When the City of Columbus needed concrete barriers for a downtown sports car race, EC Babbert was awarded the contract, placing the business on its road to big success.

The Babberts said that they use money from investments to support Hospice and Children's Hospital as well as their continued donations to the department of urology. "We are living well, and we would rather give to good people than hoard," Bonnie said.

The endowment fund will support program enhancement in the areas of research, medical education/training, faculty development/recruitment, and patient outreach. Since 2011, the fund has supported the Babbert Lectureship, bringing in leaders in the urologic field on an annual basis.

On Jan. 1, 2016, we lost our great friend Erv. We will always remember him fondly.

The Jack N. Taylor, MD, Urology Lectureship Fund

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This fund was established Oct. 7, 1988, with gifts from the family, colleagues, patients and friends of the late Jack Neely Taylor, MD, (B.A. '40) of Columbus, Ohio. Income supports an annual lecture or the Urology Teacher of the Year Award.


Jack N. Taylor, MD received his BA from The Ohio State University in 1940. He received his MD from Harvard in 1943. Dr. Taylor was an assistant professor at The Ohio State University from 1951 to 1960 and became an associate professor at Ohio State in 1960. He passed away in 1987. When people speak of him, the words "loyalty" and "dedication" are mentioned, but more frequently, his sense of humor and his laugh are fondly remembered. The Jack N. Taylor, MD, Urology Fund was established with gifts from his family, friends, colleagues, patients and friends, and was named the Jack N. Taylor, MD, Award.

View award recipients

The Julius Skestos and Diana Skestos Chair in Urology

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This fund was established July 10, 2008, to support a chair position in the Department of Urology of a nationally recognized urology faculty member undertaking clinical, educational and research activities in the field of urology.

The founder of Homewood Corporation, a residential building company in Columbus, Ohio, is now "retired," but didn't take it easy. His passion for helping build homes for families became a passion for helping the community at large.

George Skestos founded Homewood Corporation in 1963 and spent 25 years at the helm of the company. He retired from the firm in 1988. During his tenure as CEO, Homewood constructed more than 10,000 multi-family and approximately 16,000 single family homes. With its primary focus on residential construction, the company also engages in land development and commercial construction.

He is actively engaged in community and charitable service besides his corporate board memberships. Mr. Skestos served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University for nine years, as well as Trustees Board's representative to The Ohio State University Hospital. Formerly, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Central Benefits, Midland Insurance Company and Huntington Bancshares of Columbus. Presently, he is on The Ohio State University Hospital East Board and The Ohio State University Medical Center Business Advisory Group. He also heads the two foundations he established: IHS Foundation, which is devoted to helping the homeless, and Salem Lutheran Foundation, which provides scholarships for young men studying for ministry within the Wisconsin Synod. He also was a board member of Columbus Association for Performing Arts, and the Columbus Airport Authority.

A native of Owosso, Michigan, Mr. Skestos earned a bachelor of arts and sciences degree, a master of business administration degree and a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1954 to 1956. He has four children, George, Stephanie, Jason and Alex, and 4 grandchildren.

Mr. Skestos has been a longtime friend of the Department of Urology. A previous $500,000 gift made the successful recruitment of four new faculty members possible.

He donated $500,000 for the development of The Julius Skestos and Diana Skestos Chair Fund in Urology (Fund #480979). The $500,000 gift was matched by Ohio State University Urology, LLC. Mr. Skestos asked that the chair be named after his grandchildren, Julius and Diana Skestos, and that the fund be used to support a chair position in the Department of Urology of a nationally recognized faculty member undertaking clinical and educational activities in urology.

Dr. Kamal Pohar is such a physician. He is an associate professor with expertise in bladder cancer. He is a member of the Bladder Cancer Think Tank, which is composed of more than 100 leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates and industry representatives who meet regularly to improve bladder cancer care. He has more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and five chapters in edited books. He has had grant support from the American Cancer Society, the University Urologists Education Research Fund, the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Foundation for Urologic Disease. He was voted the Urology Teacher of the Year by residents in 2013.

The Michael D. Bloch and Janis B. Bloch Endowment in Urology

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This fund is used to provide unrestricted support to the Department of Urology for ongoing needs, program enhancement, foster innovation or strengthen initiatives

Michael Bloch, a longtime supporter of the James Cancer Hospital and The Ohio State University, had generously donated funds for the creation of the Janis B. and Michael D. Bloch Endowment Fund in Urology. The fund is designed for the unrestricted support of the department for ongoing needs, program enhancement, and to strengthen initiatives. There is now a lectureship in their name.

It is with great sadness that we note Michael's passing on May 9, 2016. He will be missed.

The Robert Bahnson, MD, Professorship in Urology Fund

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Initially established Oct. 29, 2010, with a gift made by the Walter Family Foundation in memory of Robert C. Walter, the fund was designed for unrestricted support to the Department of Urology. In June 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Walter celebrated the creation of the Robert Bahnson, MD, Professorship in Urology.

Robert D. and Peggy M. Walter made a donation to the Department of Urology for the creation of The Robert C. Walter Memorial Endowment Fund, in honor of his late father, in recognition of his triumphant handling of adversity. This inaugural gift, when it reaches the minimum funds needed, will go toward the creation of a professorship in urology. In April 2016, it became the Robert Bahnson, MD, Professorship in Urology, in recognition of Dr. Bahnson's exemplary patient care and outreach, communication, and leadership in the Department of Urology.

Urodynamic Urologic Surgery Research and Education Fund

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This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in urodynamics urologic surgery.

Urologic Oncology Research and Program

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Dr. Megan Merrill - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in malignancies of the genitourinary tract for work of Dr. Megan Merrill (or successor).

Urologic Oncology/Robotic Surgery Research and Education Fund

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Dr. David Sharp - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education and other initiatives in urologic oncology and/or robotic urologic surgery for work of Dr. David Sharp (or successor).

Urology - Men's Health Research and Education Fund

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Dr. Lawrence Jenkins - This fund supports programs, research, patient care, education/training, other initiatives in andrology or men's health, including sexual health and infertility, for work of Dr. Lawrence Jenkins (or successor).

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