At a young age, Sara M. Edwards, CNM, MN, MPH, knew she wanted to be a nurse. Having worked in maternal health for nearly 30 years, Sara is currently a certified nurse midwife at the Atlanta Birth Center and an instructor/faculty member at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She is also a PhD candidate at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University.
Due to her interest in women’s health, Sara conducted an NIH-sponsored study of African-American women, titled “Brain-Gut Axis and Its Influence on Gestational Weight Gain" (1F31NR015722-01A1). In the summary of her study, Sara states that nearly 80 percent of African-American women of childbearing age are overweight or obese and most fail to gain the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy. Further, African-American women and their babies suffer the greatest obstetric and neonatal health disparities among all races, regardless of socioeconomic status. “It is my hope that this exploratory study may reveal possible modifiable risk factors to eventually improve the outcomes of this vulnerable population by reducing maternal-child morbidity and mortality,” Sara says.
To help fund her research, Sara received the Sigma Theta Tau International/Rosemary Berkel Crisp grant in 2015, which supports nursing research in the critical areas of women's health, oncology, and pediatrics. Specifically, the grant supported the laboratory analysis of 50 gut microbiome samples.
In addition to receiving research funding, Sara has taken advantage of the leadership opportunities that STTI has to offer. She served on the Leadership Succession Committee for Alpha Epsilon Chapter from 2013-2015 and is now the president-elect for that chapter.
“[STTI] is one of the most respected nursing organizations in the world, best known for promoting leadership, scholarship, and excellence in patient care,” Sarah says. “This organization has always been a source of encouragement and support as I have grown as a nurse clinician, educator, and scientist.”
To fund research for members like Sara, donate to the STTI Foundation for Nursing today!