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  • Donna McCarten White

Donna M. White RN, PhD, CNS, LADC I

Donna McCarten White is the former consultant Addiction Specialist 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 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 Nurse 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.  She holds 2 licenses and 6 certifications and 2 Fellowships.  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 recently 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.

  • Dr. White is the 2006 recipient of the Peer Assistance Award from IntNSA.
  • 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. 
  • 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
  • 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.   
  • In 2017, she was the recipient of the Fred French Award for Lifetime Excellence 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,
  • 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.
  • She was given the Mentor Award from the Massachusetts Nurses Association at the MNA 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 Addictive and Substance Use Disorders.

Dr. White is the statewide Chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association Addictions Council, and oversees the Peer Assistant Program for nurses seeking help in recovery.  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 Professionals.  In addition, she is a member of the International Trauma Specialists.   Dr. White is a Clinical Instructor for Boston Area Colleges of Nursing…graduate NP programs as well as baccalaureate level for Community Health Clinical work and is a Visiting Scholar for local Colleges and Universities.   Previously, she provided oversight for the clinical practicums of counseling students and consulted to department chairs for all medical/professional clinical experience rotations at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston, MA.  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.

In addition, she volunteers on the Apache Reservation in Arizona and expresses  her gratitude to the Tribal people she works with to promote education and recovery for all ages.

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