If you are looking for an example of someone who is passionate about what they do, then you can look no further than Donna Mitchell. Having been an anesthesiologist for over 40 years, Donna has dedicated her professional life to taking care of people. She has had many dedicated patients over the years who appreciate her caring touch. However, her desire to care for others required her to fight for what she wanted very early on. 

As a young woman, Donna had been told by many that becoming a Doctor was not an option. It was not a career that many women went into, and even when they did, it was often an uphill battle. She also came from a family that did not have the resources to pay for her college degree. But Donna knew what she wanted and with that in mind, worked from the age of 16 onward, and studied in order to get an academic scholarship to the University of Louisville to begin her path to the medical field. 

As she progressed through medical school, it was made very clear to her that she was taking a man’s spot. She often found that she had to be better than her male cohorts in order to be taken seriously. This sort of theme continued into her professional career and she often had to fight for her profession, even as she became a mother. Her greatest challenge was how difficult it was to “do it all.” In her case, be a wife, mother and physician. But through commitment, passion and sheer stubbornness, she was able to find the balance she needed. 

This same sort of dedication can be seen in other areas of Donna’s life as well. At the age 50, she and her husband Doug, decided to start competing in Ironman competitions. Not only did this require her to train for a year, but it also required her to learn how to swim for the first time in her life. She and Doug are now 3 time Ironman finishers. 

When Donna finds something she is passionate about, she devotes herself to it and that can be seen at Cultivate. Joining the Cultivate board made sense when she learned about our model of care. She saw a chance to provide care to her community in a new way by volunteering with us, and brought her unique insights, and experience with her aging parents in Kentucky to the table. For 5 years, Donna has supported our mission and we look forward to many more years of benefiting from her passion.

About Carly Marquis:

Carly is passionate about working in the area to ensure that everyone is supported by the wealth of resources available in our community. Throughout her years at Cultivate she has stood in awe of the power of volunteerism. As Director of Volunteers, she is eager to continue to help those in her community find ways to give back.