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Sarah Verbiest

Director, Jordan Institute for Families
Executive Director, Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health
Clinical Professor

Sarah Verbiest


Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building

Suite 202

325 Pittsboro Street

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

O: 919-843-2455

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Dr. Sarah Verbiest brings more than 25 years of expertise, leadership, and research in maternal, child, and family well-being to UNC School of Social Work. She supervises programs that serve clinics across North Carolina, serves on policy teams such as the Child Fatality Task Force, holds a robust research portfolio, and has convened statewide coalitions to address maternal and infant mortality disparities. She has successfully led complex mixed-methods research studies and leveraged the findings into on-the-ground change. She edited the book titled Making Change Happen: Moving Lifecourse from Theory to Action (APHA Press, 2018), which focused on MCH practitioners. Her newest book, Preconception Health and Care: A Lifecourse Perspective, was released in August 2020. Dr. Verbiest is currently co-editing the 4th Edition of the Maternal and Child Health textbook due out in print in 2021. She is a co-principal director for the Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center,  a new national resource center developed to accelerate innovative and evidence-informed interventions that improve maternal health and eliminate maternal health inequities. Dr. Verbiest is also on the steering committee for the HRSA MCHB Lifecourse Intervention Research Network and leads the national NC Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative. She is the director of the Jordan Institute for Families at UNC School of Social Work and the executive director of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health at UNC School of Medicine.

Degrees and Licenses


Primary Program

Jordan Institute for Families


Safe Zone

Research and Professional Interests

Maternal and Child Health
Racial Equity
Women's Health Equity
Family-Centered Care
Stakeholder Engagement

Principal Investigator

Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center
Maternal Health Innovation, 4th Trimester Project
Building Community and Family Wealth through EITC


Re-engineering Postnatal Unit Care and the Transition Home to Reduce Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality
MIECHV Early Home Visiting Needs Assessment

Other Projects

4th Trimester Project

Center for Maternal and Infant Health

Recent Publications

Verbiest, S., Ferrari, R., McClain, E., Tucker, C., Charles, N, Stuebe, A., (2019). Reducing maternal mortality and morbidity through improved postpartum care for mothers of infants in intensive care units: an opportunity for change. Annals of Internal Medicine. Publication in process.

Verbiest, S., Tully, K., Simpson, M., Stuebe, A., (2018, October). Elevating mothers’ voices: recommendations for improved patient-centered postpartum care. J. Behavioral Medicine. 41(5):577-590.

Verbiest, S., Ed, (March, 2018). Moving life course theory into action making change happen. American Public Health Association Press, Washington, DC.

Verbiest, S.B., Tully, K.P., Stuebe, A.M., (2017, March). Promoting maternal and infant health in the 4th trimester. ZERO TO THREE, 34-44.

Verbiest, S., Bonzon, E., Handler, A., (2016, October 19) Postpartum health and wellness: A call for quality woman-centered care, Maternal and Child Health Journal, 1-7.

Presentations, Workshops and Media

Verbiest, S., 4th Trimester: Creating the Care Women Deserve, US Women’s Health Alliance, Phoenix, Arizona April 5, 2019

Verbiest, S., Health Panel, Governor’s Early Childhood Action Plan Summit, Raleigh, NC, February 27, 2019

Verbiest, S., Before and Beyond: Key Components of Pre and Interconception Health, HRSA Global Maternal Mortality Summit, Rockville, MD, June 20, 2018

Verbiest, S., Navigating New Motherhood: Improving Postpartum Health and Wellness, Perinatal Summit, Rotterdam, Netherlands, November 28, 2017

Verbiest,S., Preconception Health and Health Care in the United States: Strategies for Change, European Congress on Preconception Health, Uppsala, Sweden, February 19, 2016


SOWO 874

Administration and Management Theory and Practice

SOWO 836

Health Policy and Disparities