Donna Sabella

Donna Sabella takes healing beyond the hospital

Donna’s work in stopping human trafficking is part of the reason UMass Amherst Nursing students are learning that care doesn’t stop with the immediate physical needs of their patients.

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Donna Sabella

College of Nursing, Associate Professor
UMass Video Profile Series Transcript :Donna Sabella

I was working at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I got an email from someone who'd been to a symposium they had here in 2015 about my work in human trafficking. She wanted some information. I answered her questions. And then she said, there's a position that they're opening at UMass that deals with social justice and nursing. And I think that might be of interest to you. It was all sort of fate. I'm a psychiatric nurse practitioner. And social justice and social injustice encompasses a number of different areas. I'm starting off with what I'm known for best, which is the human trafficking. So I've reached out to a FBI agent, I've also reached out to the governor's office to connect with people at that level who work in human trafficking. We're putting together a symposium for next year. Part of what nursing is required to do, and as part of our responsibility, is to look beyond the immediate context and the immediate area where the patient is to look at where they're going to. And if they're going back to situations where there's food insecurity, where there's violence-- we take care of someone in the moment and then they're sent out, we need to look at the big picture. And we're going to start bringing in speakers on having an exchange with people who live it, who talk the talk, and walk the walk to engage in different programs and to reach out across the university to other disciplines, others colleges to involve them in working toward some common goals and projects that are related to social justice. I think we do a fine job of educating our students in terms of the clinical skills and in terms of what health is. But I think we need to go beyond that and to educate them at least in the concept of what social justice is and the difference that a single nurse can make. All of us have that capability and potential in us. My name is Donna Sabella. And I'm the SeedWorks Endowed Associate Professor at UMass and the College of Nursing. I stand for social justice. And I stand for UMass.

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