Your Comprehensive Guide to Bladder and Pelvic Health - Diane Newman

July 21, 2023

Diane Newman presents her extensive background in the field of urology and pelvic health. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Newman's journey started in 1976 with coordinating a kidney transplant program in Philadelphia. She then pivoted towards helping women with incontinence, developing a behavioral treatment program enhanced by biofeedback at the Geriatric Research Center. Dr. Newman spent a significant part of her career providing home care for frail elders and worked in nursing homes to address incontinence issues. She has also been involved with the FDA, the Agency for Healthcare Policy Research, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her career has been marked by publications, research, and patient care. Dr. Newman emphasizes her dedication to educating communities, notably through a program called 'Bladder Fitness after 50'. Dr. Newman has been focusing on research aimed at preventing urinary symptoms, advocating a proactive approach to treatment.


Diane K. Newman, DNP, ANP-BC, BCB-PMD, FAAN, Adjunct Professor of Urology in Surgery, Research Investigator Senior, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Former Co-Director of the Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, Philadelphia, PA

Read the Full Video Transcript

Diane Newman: Hello, I'm Diane Newman. I'm a continence nurse specialist and a certified registered nurse practitioner. Welcome to Awaken Pelvic Health. The information that you will find here will inform you about the problem of pelvic dysfunction and how to get back bladder and pelvic health. I hope you find this information helpful. First, I'd like to give you some information about my background and my expertise. So I want to go over some slides with you that highlight the different areas of my professional development in this area of urology, treating patients with pelvic floor dysfunction including incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, and other related problems. So really, I have over 40 years as a urology nurse specialist in different settings. I started in 1976 when I actually did coordinated kidney transplant program in Philadelphia, and I did that over the next 10 years. I then started to work with the urologist who was treating women with incontinence.

He was doing primarily surgery, and I found that there needed to be something else to add to that surgery to really improve those outcomes. And I actually learned how to develop a behavioral treatment program with biofeedback, as part of an educational program at the Geriatric Research Center, which was part of the National Institutes of Health. And I learned exactly how to apply pelvic floor muscle training using biofeedback, to men and women with lower urinary tract symptoms of incontinence, urgency, frequency, getting up at night to go to the bathroom. And I've been doing that actually since 1986. As you can see, this is the trajectory of my professional, really my professional life, starting with my working kidney transplant and then going into being a nurse specialist in home care through Philadelphia Corporation on Aging, supported by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I did that for over a 15-year period, actually seeing individuals in their homes who had incontinence, and these were frail elders that I worked with with behavioral therapies.

I then did quite a bit of work in nursing homes and seeing residents who had incontinence, which is a big problem in the nursing home environment. And I worked with them as far as attaining as much continence that they could with behavioral therapy. I then moved on to do a lot of different work within the federal government. I sat on the FDA as far as a consumer advocacy panel member, looking at GI and neurologic devices. I worked with the Agency for Healthcare Policy Research on UI guidelines. And basically during that period of time, I became certified in biofeedback therapy. And in 2000, I moved to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, worked with Dr. Alan Wein, providing pelvic floor rehabilitation to urologic patients who had incontinence, overactive bladder, urinary urgency, frequency and related problems. Some of you are urology, nurse and pelvic floor specialists. And this is my roadmap.

And as you can see, as I mentioned, I started out really working with nursing homes, patient care and home care. And I did that at the start of my career, again, providing behavioral interventions that included biofeedback. I then started working with actually research back in the early nineties. And throughout my career, I have done publications in this area. I then went in 2000, went into practicing in office setting for mostly ambulatory patients. And besides seeing individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction, I also have done a lot of work in the area of what I call device and product manager, seeing individuals who need it to be catheterized for bladder emptying as far as their bladder management, working with individuals on what is the right product, as far as to contain incontinence.

And I've been doing that again throughout my career. I have also done a lot of education, whether it be to other professionals, advocacies to patients as far as educating groups in the community. One of my proudest educational programs was Bladder Fitness after 50, which I did throughout the Philadelphia County, to elder seniors who were visiting either churches or visiting daycare centers or senior centers. So I've been doing that for many, many years. And then for the past several years, I've concentrated, in addition to my patient care and my practice, also in research. And currently, I'm working on research of prevention of these symptoms, which I think is a change in the paradigm as opposed to us waiting for individuals to have the problem, which can be very severe, especially in women as we age. I'm now looking at let's try to prevent it in girls and women. So we're more proactive as far as treating these conditions.