Meet the Newest Board Member: Donna Sabatino
“[As a new board member, my hope is] to be a part of a group that has ended the HIV epidemic in the South (but actually the entire U.S.). I know that’s lofty, but we need to think BIG.”
—Donna Sabatino, RN, ACRN, Southern AIDS Coalition Board Member
Q1: Introduce yourself, where do you come from and why do you want to take this important step in pursuing the end of the HIV epidemic in the South?
My name is Donna Sabatino and I live in Flagler Beach, Florida, but spent 35 of my 37 years in South Florida. I have been in the HIV fight for 28 years as an HIV Specialty RN and I have experienced the stigma, fear, and hopelessness that many of my patients/People With HIV have experienced through the years. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the South and I find that extremely sad and troubling. This has to change, and I feel my clinical background can help the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) make these needed changes.
Q2: What excites you about joining the Board of Directors of the Southern AIDS Coalition?
I am excited to work with such a dedicated and passionate group of people. I am excited to bring my years of experience to the group as we continue to build and strengthen the infrastructure of SAC and make an impact toward ending the HIV epidemic in the South.
Q3: Share a moment—a policy, movement, or experience that has shaped you and deepened your commitment to work with organizations like the Southern AIDS Coalition in this fight.
I honestly cannot think of just a single “a-ha” moment that led me to this calling. There have been many examples through my almost 3 decades of working in HIV care and prevention. I could lump my thoughts together and say, by helping educate and empower People With HIV to try and focus on themselves and try and live as healthy a lifestyle as they are able, would be an overarching theme. Working on HIV modernization/criminalization laws and improving access to healthcare in general are also very important aspects of my “work.”
Q4: What do you hope to accomplish as a new Board Member for the Southern AIDS Coalition?
To be a part of a group that has ended the HIV epidemic in the South (but actually the entire U.S.). I know that’s lofty, but we need to think BIG.