Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Urology experts hosted a national Single Port Symposium for urology residents and fellows on September 17-18, 2022, at Hekemian Auditorium on the Hackensack University Medical Center campus in Hackensack, NJ. 

The weekend-long symposium gave residents and fellows from across the U.S. - traveling from institutions including Stanford, Yale, University of California (UC)-Irvine, Cornell, UC-San Francisco, Baylor, NYU and more - an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most experienced single port urologic surgeons. The symposium was made possible by a grant from the Endourology Society and the department’s Urology Education Fund.

The symposium included expert didactic lectures and the opportunity to observe three live surgeries - a kidney, prostate and reconstruction procedure - performed using the da Vinci SP Single Port Robotic Surgical System. The da Vinci SP allows urologic surgeons to perform complex urological procedures through a single half-inch incision. All participants had access to the single port system and participated in hands-on training using hydrogel simulation models.

The symposium was hosted by Hackensack University Medical Center Department of Urology faculty members, including:

  • Michael D. Stifelman, M.D., department chair of Urology, Hackensack University Medical Center, director of Robotic Surgery at Hackensack Meridian Health, and professor and chair of Urology, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine; 
  • Mutahar Ahmed, M.D., director of the Center for Bladder Cancer, Hackensack University Medical Center, associate professor of Urology, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, and director, Robotic Fellowship Program, New Jersey Urology;
  • Mubashir Shabil Billah, M.D., attending, Hackensack University Medical Center.

Invited faculty included: 

ADD AHMED GHAZI from University Rochester 

  • Ketan Badani, M.D., director, Comprehensive Kidney Cancer Center and Reconstructive Urology and vice-chairman of Urology & Director of Robotic Operations at Mount Sinai Health System, and professor of Urology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital;
  • Sammy Elsamra, M.D., associate professor of Surgery (Urology) and chief, Section of General Urology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
  • Michael A. Palese, M.D., chairman, Sol and Margaret Berger Department of Urology at Mount Sinai Downtown/Mount Sinai Beth Israel and professor of Urology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. 

“Our goal for the symposium is to educate residents and fellows on how to use the technology and provide them with skills that enable them to teach this new technology to future urologists,” said Dr. Stifelman.


Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, was Bergen County’s first hospital founded in 1888. It was also the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center is Nationally-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. The hospital is home to the state's only nationally-ranked Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery programs, as well as the best Cardiology & Heart Surgery program. It also offers patients nationally-ranked Orthopedic care and one of the state’s premier Cancer Centers (John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center). Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as High-Performing in conditions such as Acute Kidney Failure, Heart Attack (AMI), Heart Failure, Pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes and Stroke. As well as High Performing in procedures like Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG), Colon Cancer Surgery, Lung Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery, Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement. This award-winning care is provided on a campus that is home to facilities such as the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, the children’s nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States. Hackensack University Medical Center is also home to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and is listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Our comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 175 medical/surgical beds including a 50 room Musculoskeletal Institute.