LINTHICUM, MD, October 6, 2016 – The American Urological Association (AUA) and the Urology Care Foundation, together with the Bladder Health Alliance – a coalition of groups representing physicians, patients and veterans – today applauded Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) for introducing Senate Resolution 604, a measure supporting the designation of November 2016 as “National Bladder Health Month” in the United States. “The introduction of this resolution by Sen. Kirk is an important step in increasing awareness of bladder conditions,” said Dr. Jim Ulchaker, chair of the AUA’s Legislative Affairs Committee. “Awareness is one of the first steps toward reducing the stigma associated with bladder conditions and empowering providers and patients to discuss bladder health.” Millions of Americans suffer from a variety of bladder health conditions, including urinary incontinence, overactive and underactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, nocturia, bladder cancer, urotrauma and neurogenic bladder. These diseases impact health and quality of life, and result in significant health costs (estimated to be more than $70 billion per year). Medical and behavioral research to better understand and maintain bladder health and to treat bladder conditions is critically needed yet is underfunded compared to other health research. “Tens of thousands of people from Illinois, struggle with the impacts of poor bladder health,” said Senator Kirk. "These conditions have been linked to a number of side effects like depression, decreased physical activity and hospitalizations, particularly women and veterans. It is vitally important that we discuss these serious conditions with great openness and transparency. I also hope we will continue to invest in the research needed to better understand and treat the various bladder ailments that exist today." “We look forward to working with the Senate on this important initiative when they reconvene later this year,” Dr. Ulchaker said. For more information about bladder health or S. Res. 604, please contact the AUA Communications office by calling 410-689-3932 or sending email to communications@AUAnet.org. Members of the Bladder Health Alliance: Alliance for Aging Research; American Geriatric Society’s Health in Aging Foundation; American Urogynecologic Society; American Urological Association; Association for the Bladder Extrophy Community; Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support; Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network; Blue Thong Society; Chesapeake Urology Associates; HealthyWomen; International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health; Interstitial Cystitis Association; Men’s Health Network; Multiple Sclerosis Association of America; Multiple Sclerosis Foundation; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; National Association for Continence; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; Simon Foundation for Continence; Society for Women’s Health Research; Spina Bifida Association; SUFU - Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction; United Spinal Association; Urological Association of Physician Assistants; Urology Care Foundation; Veterans Health Council; Women’s Health Foundation; and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN). About the American Urological Association Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 22,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy. About the Urology Care Foundation The Urology Care Foundation is the world's leading nonprofit urological health foundation and the official foundation of the American Urological Association. We partner with physicians, researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, families and the public to support and improve the prevention, detection and treatment of urological diseases through research and education. To learn more about the Urology Care Foundation and its programs visit: www.UrologyHealth.org.