About Us

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jay_rudman-casual-01.jpg30 years of positive, healthy living

On behalf of our dedicated staff and Board of Directors, I’m proud and excited to share Trillium Health’s newsletter with you. We’d love for you to let us know what you think of “Thrive”.

You, our donors and volunteers, are the backbone of our organization. Without you, we’d be unable to achieve our mission: to promote positive, healthy living for individuals with complex medical and social issues by providing comprehensive care in a welcoming environment. Thank you for your support.  

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Jay Rudman

President and CEO


Dear Friends:

Trillium Health is so glad to have you as a supporter. Though much has changed since the early days of AIDS, we’re the same compassionate, dedicated organization that you care deeply about. I’m delighted to share the story of how I came to be involved with Trillium Health.

In the late 1980s, my middle brother was diagnosed as HIV positive. As a gay man, he lived with the lack of acceptance and judgment of others.

As my brother became sicker and sicker, I wasn’t allowed to see him because no one knew what the disease was, if it was contagious, or what the risks were. I felt helpless, confused, angry. He died of AIDS in 1989. 

My oldest brother committed suicide two years after my middle brother’s death. I was shocked. His suicide was a horrible surprise.  It wasn’t until ten years later that we found out he was HIV positive. He wasn’t gay, but he was so afraid of being stigmatized that he must have thought suicide was the only answer. 

At the time, I was volunteering with AIDS Rochester (ARI), one of the legacy organizations that would later become Trillium Health. The feelings of helplessness, anger, and confusion that I’d felt so many years before returned, reinforcing my passion and dedication to ARI.

In 2009 I became a Board member of AIDS Care, the result of the merger of ARI and AIDS Community Health Center. Today, I proudly serve as Board Chair of Trillium Health. 

I support Trillium Health because I don’t want what happened to my family to happen to other families. I want a world without AIDS and a world without stigma for those that identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender.

Why do you give to Trillium Health? We’d love to hear from you. Please write to us at stories@trilliumhealth.org or include a note in the attached donation envelope.

leslie_mauro.jpgThanks so much for your dedication and support.

Sincerely,

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Leslie Mauro

Board Chair


IN OUR COMMUNITY

Advocacy and Awareness

“SHOULDERS TO STAND ON” FILM DEFTLY DOCUMENTS THE CRITICAL HISTORY OF ROCHESTER’S LGBT COMMUNITY

Sponsored by Trillium Health

shoulders-to-stand-on.pngJust when you thought you knew everything for which Rochester is famous along comes a film like “Shoulders to Stand On” that shows just how central our city was to the rise of the gay rights movemen.

Home to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, Rochester has long embraced social justice. “Shoulders to Stand On” chronicles the largely undocumented and often unknown history of Rochester's LGBT community and its impact on our city, state, and nation.
“Shoulders to Stand On” gleans its content from hours of interviews with more than 100 local advocates. The result is an expertly produced record of the historic role our hometown has played in the fight for equal rights.

Trillium Health is proud to be a sponsor of this engaging and important documentary. We would like to extend sincere congratulations to the film’s producer, Evelyn Baily, for her extensive efforts to get this film and its stories into the public eye. As a result of her work on this film and the many years she has advocated for the LGBT community, Evelyn received the 2014 Community Service Award from Empire State Pride Agenda in May. It is much deserved.

COMMUNITY HEALTH INITIATIVES EXTEND TRILLIUM HEALTH’S IMPACT

th_counties.pngWe’re in it for the community.

Did you know that Trillium Health’s Community Health Specialists provide health education to individuals and groups throughout Rochester and the nine counties we serve?

Our Community Health Initiatives (CHI) team reaches thousands of people every year through more than 25,000 encounters in places as diverse as substance use treatment facilities, county jails, colleges, and supportive housing facilities.

From our Safe Sex, Inc. peer leader education program for high school students to our “Get It Done” HIV and blood pressure education initiative in local barber shops and beauty salons, from our HIV and STD prevention programs in the county jails for men, women, and minors to our HIV and Hepatitis C mobile testing and outreach unit, our comprehensive approach to care reaches people that need it most.

Our community health programs are central to our goal of building a well-informed and healthy community. If you would like to become involved or financially support these efforts, please visit www.trilliumhealth.org/giving.

ONE OF FIVE “SHOULDERS TO STAND ON” DVDS!

Just give us your email address so we can keep you in the loop with everything that’s happening at Trillium Health, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of this very special documentary. Five lucky winners! Sign up here:


PRESCRIPTION FOR CARE

Trillium Health’s unique model of care

ARE YOU PrEPARED?

truvada-pill.pngWith the rate of HIV infection growing, PrEP offers an unprecedented opportunity to help stop the spread of AIDS.

A world without AIDS may come down to a blue, once-a-day pill.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention—or PrEP—enables individuals who do not have HIV but are at significant risk for getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. When taken consistently and as prescribed, it can reduce the risk of HIV infection by 90% or more.

Surprising to many is the news that the HIV epidemic is continuing. Statewide, Rochester is second only to New York City in the rate of new infections.

Despite this, PrEP usage remains limited. To increase its adoption, Trillium Health is participating in a pilot study with the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute to expand PrEP availability to high-risk HIV-negative men who have sex with men. To date we have enrolled 35 patients, the highest number of any program in the pilot; our target is 100 patients.

We are also receiving marketing funding from The Calamus Foundation, a New York City-based LGBT philanthropy, and from Gilead Sciences, which produces Truvada, the PrEP drug, to further our understanding of the limited usage of the pill among people at risk of infection. We will be gathering this information through 1,200 anonymous online surveys.

For more information on PrEP, go to www.trilliumhealth.org/PrEP

INSURANCE FOR ALL

Trillium Health plays a role in the national push for health insurance coverage.

Shannon Kelly has been busy. Trillium Health’s Insurance Assister spent November to April at local libraries, colleges, and community centers helping uninsured adults learn about their options for health insurance coverage. She met with 231 individuals and enrolled 97 in health insurance plans. 

Her work is part of a national effort to give millions of uninsured Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance.
In the spring Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren partnered with Trillium Health as part of an initiative called “March College Madness” designed to encourage college-age adults and their families to access the national health care options.

Enrollment for 2015 will begin November 15, 2014. For more information, contact Shannon Kelly, Health Insurance Assister, at skelly@trilliumhealth.org or 585-210-4143.


NEWS & EVENTS

News & notes about the people and programs of Trillium Health

TRILLIUM HEALTH STAFF RECEIVE THE 2013 LINDA LAUBENSTEIN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN HIV CARE AND JILL GONZALEZ HEALTH EDUCATOR AWARD

valenti-mitchell.jpgDr. Bill Valenti, Co-Founder, Senior Vice President of Organizational Advancement, and Trillium Health staff physician, received the 2013 Linda Laubenstein Award for Excellence in HIV Care for his 30+plus years of caring for patients with HIV/AIDS. The award honors those clinicians who, in addition to providing the highest quality of clinical care for people with HIV, are distinguished by their wholehearted commitment to caring for those with HIV/AIDS.

Tracy Mitchell, Associate Director of Community Health Initiatives, received the Jill Gonzalez Health Educator Award from the Rochester Area Task Force on AIDS (RATFA). This award is presented annually to individuals who have approached HIV education with enthusiasm and creativity.

Congratulations to Dr. Valenti and Tracy for their awards which recognize their daily commitment to extend Trillium Health’s model of care.

Dr. Bill Valenti and Lyn Stevens, Deputy Director, NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute. Plaque reads: “In recognition of outstanding contributions as a policy advocate, researcher, and clinical practitioner who has shaped the views of the medical community to ensure high quality standards of care for patients with HIV/AIDS throughout New York State.”

arrr-poster.jpgTHE 2014 AIDS RED RIBBON RIDE IS FAST APPROACHING!

This annual event is one of our most successful fundraisers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Last year our riders, volunteers, and sponsors raised $90,000 for Trillium Health!

While full-course riders cover 420 miles in five days, this year participants can choose to ride anywhere from one to five days. The rolling hills, history of the Finger Lakes, and the camaraderie experienced during this five-day ride is not to be missed. And the cause is worth every mile.

Date: August 20, 2014 - August 24, 2014

Location: The ride starts at Trillium Health, located at 259 Monroe Avenue in Rochester, NY, tours the Finger Lakes, and finishes at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester.

For more information contact Mary-Jo Weegar at mweegar@trilliumhealth.org or (585) 210-4179.

SAVE THE DATE

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is moving to Spring/Summer 2015!


In Memoriam

 

sidney_metzger.jpgSidney Metzger – An Inspiration

A woman of style and grace, Sidney Metzger had the ability to make anyone feel welcome and comfortable regardless of circumstance. She is recognized as one of the founding members of Community Health Network (CHN), later known as AIDS Community Health Center, a legacy agency of Trillium Health. A career social worker known for her compassion and empathy, Sidney’s contributions to the HIV/AIDS community created the foundation on which many of today’s outstanding support programs are based. She will be greatly missed.

jeffrey_barhite.jpgJeffrey Barhite – An Innovator

Jeffrey Barhite was an active and creative advocate for our legacy Community Health Network. More than a great fundraiser, Jeffrey was first a friend to the people and causes he supported. The former Development Director at CHN created the truly-unique “Knock AIDS For A Loop” fundraising event, which closed Rochester’s Inner Loop for a day to allow sponsored skaters of all ages to enjoy a traffic-free stretch of smooth open pavement. His work and spirit will long be remembered.