The Millennials: Finishing the Job

Today we talk about the End of the AIDS Epidemic by 2020. Ending the Epidemic will be the most important public health initiative of the 21st century.

I've been doing HIV care since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981. In fact, Dr. Michael Gottleib identified those first cases. Michael was my medical student and, later, my resident at Strong Memorial Hospital. My medical student became my mentor.

At one point, I longed for the days before AIDS. But, that's not possible. The only way out is to finish the job.

But, I digress. This is about the next generation of people who will do that.

The team: Drs Ashley Zuppelli and Michael Lecker, Sally Holt, Sam Jett, Jaime Morrell, Josh Elsenheimer, Tim Brumfield, Christopher Goodwin, Chace Jackson, Jevon Cooper, Jahnell Butler DeJuan Burnell, Kenyon Baker, Stephen Nowak, and Mary Guhin. And don't forget the leadership and support of Trillium Executive Leadership Team, especially our chief, Andrea DeMeo.

Another Opening, Another Show: Christopher Goodwin, Tim Brumfield and Chace Jackson at JCC

Another Opening, Another Show: Christopher Goodwin, Tim Brumfield and Chace Jackson at JCC

At the end of 2016, I want to pay tribute to the team who will lead us into 2020 and beyond.

You are the real Innovators. The PrEP team at Trillium Health, the MOCHA team, my Trillium colleagues, and most of all our patients, past and present, who have taught us about the human condition and what it will take to get to the finish line.

On the power of social media: I have learned that Facebook is more than just seeing photos of what people had for dinner or photos of their pets. And, wait, there's more - Jack'd, Grinder, and the app where the pics disappear!! Powerful, indeed. Thank you.

Dr. Michael Lecker and Josh Elsenhemier at the Jewish Community Center

Dr. Michael Lecker and Josh Elsenhemier at the Jewish Community Center

Our team adds to the effort in real time; every day.

So, at the end of 2016, let me say how proud I am to be a part of this effort.

If we make it to the finish line and reduce new infections to under 750 statewide, the sacrifices made by those who have died will have new meaning.

Our MOCHA Buffalo colleagues, DeJuan Burnell & Kenyon Baker

Our MOCHA Buffalo colleagues, DeJuan Burnell & Kenyon Baker

And don't forget our community partners

With divas Mrs. Kasha Davis and Diane Chevron in church at 3rd Presbyterian on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2016

With divas Mrs. Kasha Davis and Diane Chevron in church at 3rd Presbyterian on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2016

Left to right: Dr. Michael Lecker, Sam Jett, Tim Brumfield, Dr. Ashley Zuppelli, Jevon Cooper, Christopher Goodwin, Jaime Morell

Left to right: Dr. Michael Lecker, Sam Jett, Tim Brumfield, Dr. Ashley Zuppelli, Jevon Cooper, Christopher Goodwin, Jaime Morell

Thank you, team. You inspire me.


In the Spirit of Innovation,

Here's to 2020!!

Bill Valenti

 

PS. If you want to buy the book - AIDS: A Matter of Urgency

www.drbillvalenti.com

 

ALL proceeds go to Trillium's Fund to End the HIV Epidemic by 2020