Jacoby headshot

Sara F. Jacoby, MPH, MSN, PhD, FAAN

Associate Professor of Nursing

Associate Professor of Nursing in Surgery

Calvin Bland Faculty Fellow at the School of Nursing

As a nurse in a Philadelphia ICU, Dr. Jacoby witnessed the profound trauma and structural violence that impacted the lives of many of the critically ill and injured patients with whom she worked. These experiences continue to inspire her program of research focused on the social, economic, and political experience of injuries and the socio-structural determinants that give rise to racial and ethnic disparities in trauma care, violence exposure, and opportunities for healing and restoration. 

Cities are dynamic places that can promote health and at the same time be the foundation for profound health inequalities. My research focuses on how injury risks and outcomes intersect with the social and structural conditions of urban environments.


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
  • MPH, Columbia University, 2002
  • BA, Rutgers University, 1998


Dr. Jacoby teaches NURS 3200 Designing to Care: Improving Health and Wellness (SNF Padeia Program Course) and NURS 7500 Nursing InquiryShe lectures across the curriculum on injury science, the structural determinants of injury and violence, and the application of mixed methods, critical theory, and social epidemiology in nursing research and practice.  


Dr. Jacoby’s research addresses the structural origins of racialized disparities in trauma and violence victimization and how opportunities for injury recovery, restoration, and health are constructed in American cities and healthcare systems. Her work combines qualitative, quantitative, and spatial research methods to advance a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues she studies. She values community partnerships and actively involves community-based organizations and public agencies in her research. One of Dr. Jacoby’s notable areas of expertise is in conducting in-depth qualitative research to elicit the lived experiences of individuals who have been impacted by individual and structural violence, notably gun violence, racism, residential segregation, and economic marginalization. By understanding the lived experiences of these individuals, she seeks to shed light on the multifaceted challenges they face and opportunities to prevent trauma and violence before they occur, and to prevent additional harm and suffering in the aftermath of injuries.

Dr. Jacoby’s research has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and private foundations. Dr. Jacoby currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, supporting her active involvement and leadership in professional organizations dedicated to advancing knowledge and solutions in this field. 

Clinical Practice

Dr. Jacoby is a Registered Nurse and was certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. 

Selected Career Highlights

  • 2024, Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2022, Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
  • 2021, Board of Directors, Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research  
  • 2019, Rising Star Research Award, Eastern Nursing Research Society
  • 2017, Senior Fellow, Leonard David Institute for Health Economics
  • 2017, Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives

Accepting Mentees?

  • Yes

Selected Publications

  • Addison, H., Richmond, T., Lewis, L., & Jacoby, S.F. (in press) Mental Health Outcomes in Formerly Incarcerated Black Men: A Systematic Mixed Studies Review, Journal of Advanced Nursing.

  • Bailey, J., Jacoby S.F., Whitehorn, G., Hall, E., Khatri, U., & Kaufman, E.J. (2022). Compounding Trauma: The Intersections of Racism, Law Enforcement, and Injury, Current Trauma Reports

  • Beard, J.H., Jacoby, S.F., Maher, Z., Dong. B., Kaufman, E., Goldberg, A.G. & Morrison, C.N. (2021). Changes in shooting incidence in Philadelphia between March and November 2020. JAMA

  • Palumbo, A.J., Richmond, T.R., Webster, J.W., Koilor, C., & Jacoby, S.F. (2021). The relationship between work and mental health in Black men after serious injury. Injury.

  • Jacoby, S.F., Robinson, A., Webster, J.R., Morrison, C.M., & Richmond, T.S. (2021). The feasibility and acceptability of mobile health monitoring for real-time assessment of traumatic injury outcomes, mHealth.

  • Jacoby, S.F., Rich, J., Webster, J., & Richmond, T.S. (2020). “Sharing things with people that I don’t even know”: Help-seeking for psychological symptoms in injured Black men in Philadelphia. Ethnicity & Health, 25:6, 777-795.

  • Rich, J.R,, Corbin, T., Jacoby, S.F., Webster, J.R., & Richmond, T.S. (2020). Pathways to help-seeking among Black Male Trauma Survivors: A fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. Journal of Traumatic Stress.. Online First, DOI:10.1002/jts.22517

  • Aronowitz, S., Jacoby, S.F., Schultz. J., Compton, P.A., & Richmond, T.S. (2020). The Impact of Intentionality of Injury and Substance Use History on Receipt of Discharge Opioid Medication in a Cohort of Seriously Injured Black Men. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. E-pub ahead of print, 1-9

  • Jacoby, S.F. Branas, C.C., Holena, D.N., & Kaufman, E.J. (2020). The broader consequences of prehospital transport by police for penetrating trauma. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Open, 5(1):e000541

  • Jacoby, S.F., Reeping, P. & Branas, C.C. (2020). Police-to-Hospital Transport for Violently Injured Individuals: A Way to Save Lives?. The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 687(1): 186-201.

View all publications

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