Joan Combellick, PhD, MPH, MSN, CNM, FACNM

Assistant Professor in Nursing and Nurse-Midwifery Specialty Co-Director

Yale School of Nursing 



Dr. Combellick is a certified nurse midwife and graduate of the Yale School of Nursing midwifery program. In addition to a master’s degree in nursing/midwifery from Yale, she holds a master’s degree in Global Public Health and a PhD from New York University. Her program of practice-based research includes her doctoral dissertation which investigated the impact of common birth interventions on the neonate’s fecal microbiome. She has completed an Advanced Women’s Health Fellowship at the Veterans Health Administration in West Haven, CT. Her post-doctoral work focused on improving maternity and reproductive health care for high-risk individuals, particularly those who experience psychological trauma or whose care is suboptimal due to mental health problems.  She also focuses on investigating care models and practices that promote and protect undisturbed biological, social, and psychological processes during pregnancy and birth.

Research Interests

Dr. Combellick’s program of research focuses on building the evidence for best clinical practice in the areas of women’s health, high quality maternity care, and healthcare delivery to groups that have been disproportionately marginalized. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary collaboration and practice-based research. To that end she has collaborated on several projects that relate to the care of unique populations, for example team-based care for extremely agitated patients, HIV testing in non-traditional settings, and the progression of Hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. Her dissertation research investigated the relationship between common interventions at birth and disruptions in the neonatal microbiome. Currently her research focuses on designing health services to meet the needs of women who have experienced chronic stress and trauma. 

Selected Publications

Combellick J Basile-Ibrahim B, Julien T, Scharer K, Jackson K, Kennedy H. (2022). Birth During the Covid-19 Pandemic: What Childbearing People in the U.S. Needed to Achieve a Positive Birth Experience. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.

Germack HD, Combellick J, Cooper M,  Koller K,  McMichael B. (2021) As perinatal depression rates are increasing, antidepressants are the most likely to be discontinued during pregnancy. Women’s Health Issues.

Combellick J, Bastian LA, Altemus M, Womack JA, Brandt CA, Smith A, Haskell SG. (2019). Severe maternal morbidity in a cohort of post-9/11 women veterans. Journal of Women’s Health.

Combellick J, Dziura J, Portnoy G, Mattocks K, Brandt C, Haskell S. (2019). Trauma and sexual risk do men and women veterans differ? Women’s Health Issues. 29(supp.1) 574-582.

Combellick J, Gaffey A, Driscoll MA, Foley T, Ronzitti S, Dziura J, Bastian L, Zephyrin L, Mattocks KM, Haskell SG. Trauma and Postpartum Depression in a Cohort of Women Veterans. Military Behavioral Health. 

Relyea M, Portnoy GA, Combellick JL, Brandt C, Haskell SG. (2019).  Military Sexual Trauma and Intimate Partner Violence: subtypes, associations and gender differences.  Journal of Family Violence. [online: 1573-2851]

Ronzitti S, Gross GM, Combellick J, Decker S, Goulet J, Mattocks K, Hoff R, Haskell SG, Brandt CA. (2019). Gender Differences in Military Sexual Trauma and Severe Self-Directed Violence. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Suppl 1:S94-S102. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2019.04.010.

Combellick J, Shin H, Shin D, Cai Y, Hagan H, Lacher C,  Lin DL,  McCauley K,  Lynch SV,  Dominguez-Bello MG, (2018). Differences in the fecal microbiota of neonates born at home and in the hospital. Nature - Scientific Reports. 8, 15660.

Combellick J, Hagan H, Shin H, Shin D, Cai Y, Dominguez-Bello MG. (2017) Differences in the fecal microbiota of neonates born at home or in the hospital.  FEMS 2017: 7th Congress of European Microbiologists. (poster and oral presentation).  

Wong A, Combellick J, Squires A, Gang M. (2016). The patient care paradox: An interprofessional qualitative study of agitated patient care in the emergency department. Academic Emergency Medicine. Oct15, DOI: 10.1111/acem.13117

Smith DJ, Combellick J, Jordan AE, Hagan H. (2015) Hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease progression in people who inject drugs (PWID): A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy.  26(10): 911-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.07.004

Combellick J, Smith D, Jordan AE, Hagan H. (2015). Hepatitis C virus disease progression in people who inject drugs: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. JMIR Research Protocols, 8;4(2): e68. doi: 10.2196/resprot.4518.

Mueller NT, Bakacs E, Combellick J, Grigoryan Z, Dominguez-Bello MG. (2015). The infant microbiome development: mom matters. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 21(2): 109-117.  

Dickson VV, Combellick J, Malley M, Sanchez L, Squires A, Katz S, Riegel B. (2013). Developing a culturally relevant self-care intervention for Hispanic adults with heart failure. Journal of Cardiac