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Generosity of Many Establishes Bracken Endowed Chair in Surgical Urology


The $1.5 million endowment is named after Dr. R. Bruce Bracken, a long-time professor in the UC Department of Surgery, and his wife, Barbara, who also served on the department's staff for many years.

Date: 10/4/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Richard Puff
Phone: 558-4553

UC ingot  
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine has established the R. Bruce and Barbara Bracken Endowed Chair in Surgical Urology.

The $1.5 million endowment is named after R. Bruce Bracken, MD, a long-time professor in the UC Department of Surgery, and his wife, Barbara, who also served on the department's staff for many years. Both made a significant gift to lead this effort and were joined by many of Bracken's grateful patients, friends and trainees.

"With this initiative, the Brackens and donors have made an investment in the future of urologic care and research at UC," said William Ball, MD, senior vice president for health affairs and dean of the UC College of Medicine. "Endowed chairs allow us to recruit the highest level of researchers and faculty leaders to our programs. We are grateful to the Brackens and proud to call Dr. Bracken one of our own." 

Bracken served as chief of urology for 15 years at the UC College of Medicine, overseeing a division that has been ranked among the top 50 urology programs in the United States. As a urologic oncologist, he has led more than 70 clinical trials, many on prostate cancer treatment. At 75, he still sees more than 3,000 patients annually and performs five to 10 surgeries a week.

Trained as a nurse, Barbara Bracken worked with Bruce in the UC Division of Urology for 19 years serving as a research study coordinator. Both felt strongly about giving back to the program in which they had spent decades of their careers.

"Dr. Bracken brought modern urologic cancer surgery to Cincinnati," said Michael Edwards, MD, Christian R. Holmes Professor and chair of the UC Department of Surgery. "He has spent his career advocating for the best patient care, leading lifesaving research and creating a top-notch resident training program. Through his leadership, and now, through his generosity, we will continue to grow and thrive as a department."

Bracken said he and his wife particularly care about ensuring a solid footing for the division as it looks to grow and expand. 

"Endowed chairs absolutely help to recruit faculty members—a chair is an honor," he said. "As we work to maintain and improve our already-established national ranking, Barbara and I felt that this is the best way for us to give back. We would hope it would lead to additional endowed chairs in the future." 

The Bracken Chair will be the seventh in the UC Department of Surgery. Endowed chairs are critical to the success of academic departments and the academic health center, allowing for the recruitment of expert faculty physicians to the University of Cincinnati and UC Health.  

"With the creation of the R. Bruce and Barbara Bracken Endowed Chair in Surgical Urology, the Brackens are ensuring the future of the high-quality teaching and research that happens every day at UC," said UC President Neville Pinto. "It is a testament to their dedication to medicine, and to their vision for urological research and care in Cincinnati."