Outstanding Young Alumnus, 2009

Willie Underwood, III, MD, MS, MPH
Class of 1994

Willie Underwood, III, MD, MS, MPH

Willie Underwood, III, MD, MS, MPH class of 1994, is an Assistant Member, Department of Urology and the Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research, Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY. He earned his BS degree in Biology from Morehouse College in 1988, his MD and MSci degrees from the SUNY Upstate College of Medicine in 1994 and MPH from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health in 2004. He completed his urology residency at the University of Connecticut in 2000 and completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program at the University of Michigan in 2002. He was a faculty member of the University of Michigan and Chief of the Urology Service at the Ann Arbor, MI, Veteran Affairs Hospital until 2005. He was a faculty member of the Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI before returning to New York's Roswell Park Cancer Institute, October of 2008.  

Dr. Underwood is nationally known as a urologist, health services researcher and health policy expert. He was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Harold Amos Career Development and the American Urology Association (AUA) Foundation/Astellas Rising Star in Urology Awards to study racial disparities in the treatment of prostate cancer. He has published and presented in the area of health care disparities, with a focus on racial disparities in the diagnosis, treatment and survival of prostate cancer. He has served as a spokesperson for the NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, participating in radio programs to provide cancer education, promote early detection of prostate, breast and colon cancers, and inform the public of the many programs sponsored by the Center. He also regularly discusses prostate cancer for local Buffalo radio and television. In September, 2008, he served on the panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Forum on Eliminating Health Disparities in Washington, D.C.

On behalf of the AUA, Dr. Underwood visits Capital Hill to meet with members of congress and their aides to discuss health care policy and legislation. At the state level, he provided expert testimony in 2007 to the Maryland State Finance Committee in support of Maryland Senate Bill 283 which provides prostate cancer education, early detection and treatment to poor and uninsured men in Charles County, MD which was signed into Maryland State Law that year. He works with the AUA Foundation, The National Football League's Players Care Foundation and the National Football League to provide prostate cancer education and screening to retired NFL players. He has served as Chair of the Resident & Fellow's Section of the AMA and Founding Member and Chair of Executive Committee of the Candidate Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons and Chair of the Wayne County Medical Society Legislative Committee, Detroit, MI. He currently serves as a member of the Residency Review Committee for Urology, Urology Pac Board of Trustees, and the AUA's Delegate to the AMA House of Delegates, a member of the International Volunteers in Urology Med's Board of Trustees, the AUA Foundation's Development Council and the American Urology Association's Health Policy Council.