Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Sarah Bourland is a first year Masters in Public Health student in Health Policy at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. After growing up in rural North Carolina, Sarah studied at UNC Chapel Hill where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2013. She wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on the HIV/AIDS stigma among health care providers working in faith-based clinics, and spent two summers in Guatemala working in community health. Upon graduation, Sarah worked as an intensive care nurse at UNC Hospital for four years and volunteered as a nurse and HIV counselor at a local free health clinic.
Sarah entered health policy with a desire to confront the many systemic barriers encountered daily by her vulnerable patients at the hospital where she worked. At the Chan School, she has focused her studies on health systems, Medicaid and opioid policy, palliative care, and the health care safety-net. Sarah works to ensure nursing services and perspectives are valued in the design of health and payment systems. She currently works as a Harm Reduction Nurse at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in a safe monitoring site for those at immediate risk of overdose.
Sarah serves as a co-president of the Harvard Chan Hiking Club and is on the executive board of Chan’s Women in Leadership organization. This summer, Sarah will be working on opioid crisis and behavioral health policy at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.