Local Hero: Celebrating The Faces Behind ANAC

Julie Heuduck, Baton Rouge ANAC Local Hero

Julie Heuduck, Baton Rouge ANAC Local Hero

After working overseas for twenty years, Julie Heuduck came back to Louisiana two years ago to finish up a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) master’s program.  Upon returning, she brought back a plethora of local, national and international nursing and health care experiences that has formed the foundation of her nursing career. Her desire to work with the HIV population began when she saw her parents cooking and taking care of HIV persons over thirty years ago. Ever since then, she has been involved with the HIV community. For the past two decades, she did HIV work in South America, where she raised her three girls. Being involved with the local HIV community in Asuncion-Paraguay, many opportunities arose to teach about the transmission of the virus and many other facts about HIV. The “perfect” time arose several years ago for her to return to the USA, and with much pleasure, she found the Baton Rouge local chapter of ANAC on last year. Julie states, “Being a member of BRANIAC means working with a strong and determined group of colleagues of the Baton Rouge community who enjoy working with HIV clients.  Nursing is rewarding and fulfilling knowing we work with a population of persons who truly appreciate their healthcare providers”.

Upon completion of the FNP track in December, Julie hopes to continue working with persons infected with HIV.

When the Chapter of BRANIAC was asked, “What do you all think about Julie?” The collective response was, “Julie has been an asset to our chapter since the day she attended her first meeting. Her eagerness to learn is infectious. She has been a wonderful recruiter for us, bringing many coworkers and friends with her to our meetings. Her experiences in nursing and her love for it have brought a renewed sense of pride and confidence to our group!”

This is why BRANIAC celebrates Julie Heuduck as our Local Hero for the month of October.


Local Hero: Celebrating the Faces Behind ANAC

Mary Goodspeed, BS,RN

Mary Goodspeed, BS,RN

Mary Goodspeed BS, RN has worked at ECMC since 2003 as the HIV Clinical Education Coordinator.  In this role, she has been critical in the development and coordination of HIV /AIDS clinical education-training programs throughout Western New York. Mary is well known for her “engaging” educational style and ability to use humor to lighten the heaviness that is many times associated with HIV, leaving her audiences laughing and always wanting more.

Mary has designed numerous educational programs according to the criteria established by the NYSDOH AIDS Institute, and has coordinated more than 75 professional clinical internships through the ECMC AIDS Center.

Mary was co-located between Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Erie County Medical Center for 9 years, coordinating the HIV Early Identification and Intervention grant that was instrumental in decreasing mother to child HIV transmission in Western New York.  Mary is an Adjunct Faculty member at the UB School of Nursing and serves in many volunteer positions including: AIDS Network of WNY – President, Executive Board of Directors, Chairman of the Policy Advisement Committee, NYS Public Health Coalition, AIDS Plus Fund, Executive Board and Rape Crisis Advisory Committee. She has completed a six year appointment on the NYS DOH HIV Prevention Planning Group where she served as co-chair of the Emerging Issues Committee. As Education Program Coordinator for The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care- Executive Board Member, Mary is the driving force behind the highly successful ANAC education dinner programs in which over 60 participants gather 6 times per year to keep up with the latest in HIV care trends.

Mary has trained thousands of clinical providers throughout Western New York, assisted in the development and implementation of numerous local hospitals and health care agencies’ policies and procedures, regarding the NYS DOH guidelines. She has been recognized by the WNY HIV community and was the recipient of the “Red Ribbon Award for Excellence and Service.”

Mary is most proud of her 4 wonderful children and 16 fabulous grandchildren.

Her commitment to caring for patients with HIV/AIDS and role in providing education and clinical expertise to regulatory agencies and clinicians have undoubtedly enhanced the clinical outcomes of patients and quality of care provided in WNY.

Local Heroes: Celebrating the Faces Behind ANAC

Andrew Komensky, RN, MSN, MBA, ACRN, CIC

Andrew Komensky, RN, MSN, MBA, ACRN, CIC

It is with great joy and pride that the Rhode Island Chapter of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (RIANAC) shares with you in celebrating our local hero: Andrew Komensky, RN, MSN, MBA, ACRN, CIC. Choosing Andrew, “Drew”, as our local hero was the easy part. Trying to capture all of his many contributions to ANAC and the field of HIV care was the challenging part!

Since the late 1990s, Drew has been working with HIV/AIDS patients in various capacities. Drew has worked as an Infusion Nurse, a Director of Volunteer Services at a HIV/AIDS ministry, an Infectious Disease Consultant, a nurse for Indian Health Service, a Manager of Infection Prevention and Control and, currently, as Director of Hospital Quality, Regulatory and Patient Safety at Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Drew has lived, worked and been an active, long-standing member of ANAC in South Carolina, Ohio, Alaska and Rhode Island. His contributions on a local and national level to ANAC are extraordinary. Drew was a founding member and first President of the South Carolina chapter. He served as the National Secretary from 2006-2009.  He has served as National Chair of the Awards, Chapters, and Conference Committees. He has been the Treasurer of RIANAC for so long that we probably should permanently name the position after him. In recognition and gratitude for the many contributions Drew has made to ANAC, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 at the National Conference.

However, the list of Drew’s degrees, roles and awards doesn’t capture the essence of what makes Drew our local hero. Instead, it is his unwavering commitment to and advocacy for HIV patients through prevention efforts, education, treatment and research. It is his unstinting support of nurse colleagues through encouragement, mentorship and role modeling. It is his experience, wisdom and guidance that have so positively affected the patients and nurse colleagues he has worked with in his career. He has been an inspiration to so many local and national members and we in the RIANAC chapter feel lucky to count him as our local hero.

Local Heroes: A Celebration of the Faces Behind ANAC

Maithe Enriquez, PhD, APRN, FAAN ANAC Local Chapter Hero from the Greater Kansas City Chapter

Maithe Enriquez, PhD, APRN, FAAN
ANAC Local Chapter Hero from the Greater Kansas City Chapter

Maithe Enriquez, PhD, APRN, FAAN has been a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of ANAC since 1993. She has served as our Chapter’s Treasurer since 2004. Maithe is also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and is the Treasurer for their local chapter as well. She currently works as an Associate Professor at University of Missouri, Sinclair School of Nursing and works as a volunteer as a Nurse Practitioner at Truman Medical Center in the Infectious Disease Clinic. Maithe has always been willing to go above and beyond her job description to help out wherever needed. Her care and compassion does not go unnoticed by patients or coworkers.

Maithe enjoys spending time with her Husband, David, Daughter, Dani, Son-In-Law, James, Niece, Amanda, and Caridad, her 2 year old granddaughter. Maithe also has a new grandson, Jameson, due to arrive in September. When Maithe isn’t working or spending time with her family, she loves to run and play with her “4-legged children,” Marley and Mozart. Congratulations, Maithe! Thank you for all you do for your patients, students, and fellow coworkers!

New Jersey ANAC Local Hero Helen Ferlazzo

New Jersey ANAC Member Helen Ferlazzo

New Jersey ANAC Member and local hero Helen Ferlazzo

I have nominated Helen Ferlazzo as our New Jersey Chapter ANAC Hero for June. Helen has always been our communication link to ANAC and never misses any important information.

Helen has been a national ANAC member since 1988 and attended the first national Conference. Helen first started working in HIV in 1985 working for a home infusion company in northern New Jersey. It turned out that a lot of their patients were HIV infected and living in Manhattan and needing home infusions. Helen continued to do this for the next 10 years.

In 1995 Helen moved to ID care in Hillsborough NJ and worked concurrently with NRCRI coordinating HIV NIH patient outpatient research studies. During that time Helen attended Rutgers University and obtained an MSN and her Adult NP degree.

After getting her NP Helen moved to the Visiting Nurse of Central Jersey Community Health Center as Ryan White Program Manager for the Part C EIS.   Helen has been in her current position for 12 years and cares for approximately 150 patients.

Her ANAC role has been on the program committee and was Director at Large for the Nominations Committee. Helen has been our communication connection to ANAC. She has always supported the new Presidents and attends meetings regularly.

Helen likes to cook and entertain, swim and travel when she has the time.

As chapter president I want to thank Helen for her tireless work and support.

Eileen Scarinci DNP President New Jersey Chapter

Why are you #ANACProud? by Melanie Steilen and Andrea Vinet

Melanie Steilen, RN, BSN, ACRN is an #ANACProud member

Melanie Steilen, RN, BSN, ACRN is an #ANACProud member

I’m #ANACProud because for over 20 years I’ve been mentored, supported, loved and encouraged to reach beyond my wildest dreams in my HIV nursing career. I’m  #ANACProud for being an ACRN since 1997.  I’m #ANACProud for being a part of an organization that advocates and fights for the rights of all people affected by HIV. I’m #ANACproud for being a part of a global network of amazing nurses. I’m #ANACProud,  and so very grateful, for being able to attend the ANAC National Conference which offers up not only cutting edge, evidenced based information, but serves as a retreat to nourish our souls and spirits. I’m #ANACProud for being a member of a nursing organization that features “Erik in a TuTu” each year at the Gala.  Thank you #ANAC

Andrea Vinet

When the AIDS Crisis first presented I was working in Oncology.  Because of our expertise in Infectious Disease and Immunology it was natural that our services met the immediate needs of this new crisis.

It came on so fast and furious that staff were severely stressed and fear and prejudice were expressed before filters developed.  It was extremely distressing to see this manifested where compassion and professionalism were needed.

In reaction to this and in addition to giving care to our new population of patients,  I started to volunteer at AIDS related services.  That led to an offer to serve as a Health Educator at a nutrition based project.  In order to assume this role I joined the GNY Chapter of ANAC  to increase/improve my understanding of AIDS.

Over the next few years I was asked to serve as Secretary of the chapter and then elected to Director at Large.  I became involved in the planning committee for the GNY ANAC and continue until today.  I have also joined the Chapters Committee at the National level.

My colleagues are some of the finest and kindest people I know. When I brought my mother to live with me for the last four years of her life, I asked her and her care giver to allow me to continue my active membership in the chapter.  I had given up nearly all of the activities I was involved in aside from my job but this was too valuable to leave behind.  The support and friendship in those years kept my life in balance.

As I continued in my career, the added value of my expertise in HIV nursing enhanced my Oncology expertise and I believe added extra value to my practice.

Although I am now retired I continue to maintain an active role in my chapter and had the privilege of speaking at our annual conference on Safe Sex for Seniors.

I am #ANACProud.

What Does ANAC Mean To You? by Carole Treston

Happy Nurses Week! Nurses have many jobs-including health policy. Joining with allies at White House,  Jason Farley and Carole Treston advocate for better health care.

Happy Nurses Week! Nurses have many jobs-including health policy. Joining with allies at White House, Jason Farley and Carole Treston advocate for better health care.

Today concludes National Nurses Week and our #ANACproud social media campaign. It’s been great to see ANAC members from around the world post their pictures on Facebook, raising awareness of the many faces and roles of HIV nurses. HIV nurses are clinicians, patient partners, researchers, educators, advocates and leaders. HIV nurses work in a variety of settings including hospitals, universities and nursing schools, Ryan White funded HIV clinics, STD clinics, PrEP programs, hospice and palliative care, HIV/AIDS clinical trials units, prisons, state and local health departments, government agencies and faith based and community based organizations.  We work in public policy and advocacy. I am #ANACproud to represent HIV nurses in Washington DC and our core ideology that includes the belief that public policy must be grounded in patient advocacy, human rights, compassion, and social justice. ANAC is proud to be part of the broader global nursing community.  ANAC members across the world sit with patients at diagnosis, provide that extra time to explain a procedure or new medications, understand that real life issues sometimes get in the way of appointments and yes… comfort patients and families as they face the end of life. The Gallop Poll, a national survey of US households, ranks nursing as the most trusted and ethical profession for the 13th year in a row. We’re proud of this. #ANACproud is a way to recognize nurses for the important work that you do every day. Thank you.

With respect and gratitude,


Carole Treston, RN MPH ACRN

Chief Nursing Officer

Association of Nurses in AIDS Care