How You Can Help?
It takes tremendous resources to do what we do.
That's why, in 1991, a group of our patients established The Fund for Research and Progress in Urology, an endowed fund whose sole aim is to help ensure the future of discovery in the field of prostate cancer here at the Brady Urological Institute.
This institute, the world's leading center for research and discovery in prostate cancer, combines the talents of five full-time Ph.D. scientists and world-renowned surgeons and medical oncologists working with a team of postdoctoral fellows, residents in training, and technical support staff. The Brady Urological Institute is a four-story, free-standing institute of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, containing three floors of laboratories dedicated to prostate cancer research. The support necessary to maintain this mission totaled $4 million in fiscal year 1996.
Ideally the government, realizing the significance of what we're trying to do -- and what we've already accomplished -- would provide the funds necessary to continue this mission. However, today more scientists than ever are competing for support from the National Institutes of Health, even as its total available research funds are diminishing. Although the backbone of our funding -- one half ($2 million) -- comes from the NIH, these grants don't provide everything necessary for the research environment. For example, they don't pay for purchases of major equipment, some salaries, and financial stability between grant periods, so the Brady has the hard money needed to retain the most talented scientists and support personnel in the country.
Another 25 percent of our funding comes from professional fees. Our physicians receive a salary; this enables us to reinvest all extra revenue in discovery. However, with the recent dramatic changes in health care financing, the availability of funds from professional fees is disappearing. Managed-care companies are siphoning off the profit we once used to support this work and providing reimbursements that are less than it costs to provide the kind of care we give. For this reason, we can't depend on third-party reimbursements to support our work in the way they once did.
Currently, the remaining 25 percent of our research budget comes from our endowment, The Fund for Research and Progress in Urology. With the growing demand for NIH support and diminishing availability of funds from professional fees, it's increasingly important that we build this endowment to safeguard the future of our mission of research and discovery.
There is so much hope in prostate cancer -- just take a look at the stories that fill these pages. New discoveries are being made here every day. But we're all too aware that we're fighting the clock. Although the future is brighter than it has ever been, the present is still not ideal for men with advanced prostate cancer. This disease kills one man in the United States every 15 minutes. To reduce deaths from prostate cancer, we need a four-pronged approach: Prevention, early detection, effective treatment of localized disease, and better ways to contain advanced disease. Our laboratories and our clinic are aggressively exploring all of these.
Together, we can save lives. Your gift will help us beat this disease. For more information on how you can make a tax-deductible contribution to The Fund for Research and Progress in Urology of the Johns Hopkins University, please call Alison Traub, Director of Development, at (410) 614-3961.