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Donna Sabol: Learning and Leading Go Hand in Hand
March 24, 2022

Donna Sabol has been an integral part of the St. Luke’s family for 40 years. Always a self-proclaimed “math nerd” in school and intrigued by data, it’s not surprising to find her in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer. This position requires gathering and reviewing data to determine the quality of services and ensure the delivery of high-quality health care.

Savoring the challenge, Donna finds that the culture at St Luke’s and the demands of her job are a perfect fit for her. She loves going to work each day to think outside of the box, looking for ways to improve results, be innovative in approaches to efficiency and create superior health care. Her vision is to have the best outcomes for mortality, complications, cost of care, patient satisfaction and avoidance of infections.

And she excels at it. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system to earn Medicare’s five-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Luke’s #1 in the Lehigh Valley and #6 in the state. Three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals are St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health nine times total and seven years in a row, including in 2021 when it was identified as THE #1 TEACHING HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY. In 2021, IBM Watson Health also named St. Luke’s among the 15 Top Health Systems nationally.

“It’s incredible to be part of the journey,” Donna reflects. “There are so many opportunities when you get to know the organization and the people in it. When people jump around from job to job, they limit their growth and opportunity.” Quoting Rick Anderson, St. Luke’s President & CEO, Donna says, “It’s not about bricks and mortar; it's about the people.” She reiterates this sentiment when she speaks of the culture at St. Luke’s, where the staff’s ability to work well together comes from fostering relationships, providing honest feedback and demanding a consistently high standard of care.

Donna feels privileged to work at St. Luke’s with the talent and palpable passion the employees proudly display. Collaboration is lived every day. Each person contributes to the Network’s success, and that sense of belonging creates a synergistic effect. St Luke’s is family to her.

Donna understands family. With seven siblings, she realizes the importance of being involved in each other's lives. Her husband and family are a source of great strength when life is challenging, but they are also her source of joy and celebration. She always has someone to reach out to for advice and knowledge, and in turn she shares her own expertise freely.

Donna believes in creating the downtime to celebrate, reflect, appreciate and really enjoy what you have accomplished. “Sometimes we, as women, tend to set expectations for ourselves that are unreasonable. Let’s be realistic about what we can achieve. We need to show our vulnerabilities and get to know ourselves. Let’s take risks and allow ourselves to fail so we can grow and be confident to get back up. Be open to constructive feedback so you can learn.”