Sarah L. Smith

Sarah L. Smith

DSc, OTR/L
Assistant Professor
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Dr. Sarah Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of New Hampshire.  Dr. Smith has been a pediatric occupational therapist for over 20 years, previously working in school and outpatient settings.  During this time, Dr. Smith became interested in supporting families from all walks of life in living a healthy, intentional family life.  So she began to study what made families healthy through her doctoral studies at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center under the mentorship of Dr. Beth DeGrace. Dr. Smith continued the research agenda set forth in her doctoral studies her first years at UNH: examining what families perceive family health to be, what factors and processes support robust family health, and how these concepts relate to the everyday ways in which families spend their days. From these findings, Dr. Smith developed the Healthy Families Flourish Program, 10-session telehealth parent coaching intervention  to support family participation and health for families of children with special health care needs. Dr. Smith grounds her research in both families themselves and external stakeholders.  She engages with families throughout her research through interviews asking families about their own perspectives on family health, how they spend their time together, and what helps them to be strong as families. Dr. Smith also includes stakeholder input throughout her research activities from intervention designs to discussing findings and what matters most to relevant audiences. For recreation, Dr. Smith loves to garden, kayak, and spend family time at the beach.

Contact Information

University of New Hampshire
Department of Occupational Therapy
4 Library Way, 119 Hewitt Hall
Durham, NH 03824
p: 603.862.2463