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.