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Years of excellent care give perspective on the future

Jared Rhodes
Jared Rhodes, 72, of Ashaway, a retired banker and commercial fisherman, only agreed to visit a doctor after a 17-year hiatus because his wife insisted he get a spot checked on his nose.

His nose, as it turned out, was fine, but a full checkup, with blood work, revealed an elevated PSA, which is a tumor marker for prostate cancer. A subsequent prostate biopsy revealed an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

With a referral to a local specialist, Rhodes still remembers the first conversation he had with Erik Enquist, MD, about how, together, the urologist and the patient would develop a plan to try to help keep Rhodes alive.

“When you hear the word cancer, you don’t hear anything else after that,” Rhodes said. “But basically, it was ‘Where do we go from here?’ Dr. Enquist was very informative. He talked to me about my options, and it helped me with an informed decision. I realized I was in good hands.”

Rhodes’ first conversation with Dr. Enquist took place nearly 16 years ago, and he is still a patient. He has since had a prostatectomy and gone through a variety of treatments to help ensure that his cancer does not come back. He’s happy to be alive and also pleased to hear that his local doctor is now also part of a larger and nationally recognized leader in medicine.

Drs. Enquist and Franklin Leddy, MD, have joined with Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine’s Department of Urology. The affiliation, obviously, does not change the care Rhodes received for a decade and a half, yet it does make his perspective on the integration and its impact on the community somewhat more discerning.

“I got excellent care,” Rhodes said. “In fact, I probably got the best care I could ever get in life. But I do think the affiliation is a good thing for Westerly. It’s a good fit, because you’re bringing a lot of resources into play that you normally wouldn’t have in a small community like ours.”

For Dr. Enquist, caring for a patient like Rhodes over many years has been extremely life-affirming, he said. An affiliation doesn’t change that either. But it does do something.

“Helping Jared and seeing him live a full life despite a serious disease is a reward of my profession that is truly humbling,” Dr. Enquist said. “Going forward, to continue to help Jared and other patients with a greater depth of resources thanks to Yale Medicine and Yale New Haven Health – that rewards me in a different way. It’s an inspiration to realize that Dr. Leddy and I are continuing with a new team and new colleagues to improve and advance on the latest techniques, treatments and procedures, ensuring that we are always there to help new patients by precisely addressing their individual health needs.”