Donna White

Donna McCarten White was the former Director of Addiction Services for the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a Public Health Hospital for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is the former Chief Operating Officer and Nurse Executive at Worcester State Hospital. In addition, she was the Director of the DMH and Harvard University Commonwealth Research and Evaluation Unit. In the past, she was the Director of Nursing and the Director of Chemical Dependency Services and the Dual Diagnosis Program at Pembroke Psychiatric Hospital. She has been a Clinical Instructor for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions for 19 years and is the former Director of the Addiction Counselor Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She remains on the Faculty teaching Psychopharmacology.

She is a graduate of Boston City Hospital School of Nursing and earned a BSN from Curry College in 1985. In addition, she completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor with an additional certification in advanced Drug and Alcohol Counseling, is certified in Chemical Dependency and Addictions Nursing, and certified by the ANCC as a Clinical Specialist in Public Health. She is a Board Certified Fellow in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. In 2015, she was inducted as a Fellow in the International Nurses Society on Addictions.

Dr. White is the 2006 recipient of the Peer Assistance Award from IntNSA and in 2007 was the first recipient of the Fong-Bressler Award for Outstanding Preceptorship in the Graduate Program for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) awarded her the Addictions Nursing Award in 2009. In October, 2010, she was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the award of Champion of Public Health. In May, 2011, she was awarded the Nancy Valentine Leadership Award from the New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and in 2013, she was voted Mentor of the Year by the International Nurses Society of Addiction Nurses. In 2014, she was given the Heart of Nursing Award from the University of Massachusetts/Boston Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. Donna is the author of an Addictions Competency Based Program in the Department of Public Health Hospital where she now consults. She has many publications to her credit and co-authored a chapter on Addictions in a Psychiatric textbook. In addition, she was part of a video production addressing suicide in adolescents in Massachusetts. In 2017, she was acknowledged for her work in the field of Addictions from C4 Foundation. She was also given the Educator of the Year Award by the InterNational Society of Addictions Nurses in October, 2018, and in November 2018, she was awarded the Labor Activist Award for advocating for people in recovery in the workplace. She received the Frances Slanger Award from the Boston City Hospital Alumni Association on October 5th, 2018 and the Mentor Award from the MNA at their Convention on October 18, 2019. The University of Massachusetts Boston awarded her the Beacon of Courage Award in 2020 for her work in the field of Addiction and her work with Nurses in the Peer Assistance Program of Massachusetts Nurses Association. She co-authored a Chapter on Substance Use Disorders in a Community Health Textbook in 2021 and in January, 2022, the Massachusetts Association of Addiction Counselors awarded her the Educator of the Year Award. In April, 2024, she was recognized by the Dean and Assoc. Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at a Faculty-wide University meeting at UMASS Boston for redesigning the Addiction Counseling Education Program.

She is certified by the Green Cross Foundation as an educator and therapist in Compassion Fatigue concerns and is a specialist in Addictive Disorders, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization in Healthcare Providers. In addition, she is a member of the International Trauma Specialists Dr. White is a Clinical Instructor for Boston Area Colleges…graduate and baccalaureate level for Community Health Clinical work and is a Visiting Scholar for local Colleges of Nursing and other Professional Programs of study. She is one of the 17 Founding Members of the American Society of Addiction Nursing (ASAN). In addition, she previously provided oversight for the clinical practicums of nursing and counseling students and consulted to department chairs for all medical/professional clinical experience rotations at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital…a State hospital which cares for patients with HIV, SUDs, Mental Health illnesses, Med-Surg conditions, homelessness, community programs, and incarceration. She has lectured at many facilities and agencies nationwide and is a recognized leader in the field of Addictions, Impaired Practice and Peer Assistance, as well as Healthcare Professional Stress.

She also volunteers on the Apache Reservation in Arizona to work with the Indigenous Tribal People providing education of Substance Use Disorders.