Trillium Health Gives Hope

Trillium Health Gives Hope

Overview

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By Kenny F. Jean

James Quinn is a man who did not have a strong regard for those in the medical field. As a matter of fact, he was not a “trusting person” because he expected that something would “jump off” at any time; so his guard was always up. That was before this 61-year old native Rochesterian entered the doors at Trillium Health.

Trillium Health was formed on January 1, 2010, as a result of the merger of AIDS Community Health Center and AIDS Rochester. Trillium Health was created so that its parent organizations could most effectively use their combined resources to prevent additional HIV infection and provide the best services possible for those already infected. Since that time, Trillium has expanded its health services to include the general public. The main office/health center is located at 259 Monroe Avenue with satellite locations in Bath, Geneva, and on Central Avenue in downtown Rochester

Because of his inferior medical care while incarcerated, James knew he needed to seek medical care upon his July 8, 2014, release. As he tells it, “I looked like walking death.”  He had several medical issues while “inside.” It is his opinion that “the system is not as good as it should be.” In 2005 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C; however, he refused to take the medication Interferon. He saw the side effects that made the inmates “doped up and vulnerable around a variety of people,” including other inmates. James wanted to be “in control and not risk being violated.” He strongly believes that “God brought him to Trillium Health.”

After being home and free, the first thing James wanted to do was to find out what was wrong with him. He visited three local hospitals and quickly discovered that he could not see a doctor because he had no insurance. He reflects upon “seeing the pretty signs in the waiting rooms resulting in no medical care.” Among a small circle of friends, someone asked, “Why don’t you try Trillium?” It was not at the top of his list at first. He was skeptical and reluctant, but I went through the motions. He completed the intake paperwork and was pleasantly surprised when he did not have a long wait time; he was able to see the doctor within 10 to 15 minutes.

James remembers being told not to worry about insurance and values the system that enabled him to become insured. He and his wife spent over an hour on the computer in order to be insured through the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). The doctor immediately ordered a variety of tests and blood work. It was discovered that “he was dying.” His liver was in stage 5 of fibrosis; the Hepatitis C was ravaging him. Hepatitis C is contracted through blood transfer or soft tissue matter and is highly contagious. Some culprits could be tattoos, blood transfusions, sexual intercourse, and intravenous drug use. He was instructed on how to be safe and avoid infecting others once given his treatment plan.

A variety of health problems resulted from James’ incarceration and his “choice to have a 25-year drug habit.” He credits an intervention program during his incarceration and his relationship with God, which was out of convenience in his younger years, for his changed life. He served 32 years and believes that “only through the grace of God” did he make it out. He regrets taking a life.

Trillium has given James hope for his health and future.