Acting Director, Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit
Senior Remote Medical Practitioner, Department of Health
Northern Territory Government
Harkness Project Title: Leveraging the Medical Home for Chronically Ill Vulnerable Minorities
Mentor: Michael L. Parchman, M.D., M.P.H. (MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation)
Co-Mentor: Ed Wagner, M.D., M.P.H. (MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation)
Placement: Group Health Research Institute
Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Paul Burgess, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., M.P.H., a 2014–15 Australian Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is acting director of the Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit, senior remote medical practitioner, and public health physician at the Department of Health in the Northern Territory Government. He chairs the West-Arnhem Clinical and Public Health Advisory Group for Red Lily Health Board, an Aboriginal community health organization, and provides clinical services to the Aboriginal community of Gunbalanya. Throughout his medical career, he has been dedicated to tackling health inequalities for remote Aboriginal peoples. He has received numerous grants to explore health equity in remote areas, and his research has been focused on primary health reform to aid these vulnerable populations. Burgess has published 10 peer-reviewed journal articles in publications such as Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Medical Journal of Australia, and Health Policy. Burgess received an M.B.B.S. from the University of Melbourne and a Ph.D. in public health from Charles Darwin University.
Project: While primary care is accepted as the principal vehicle for health disparity reduction, beyond reform-generated access to care, there is limited consensus on how this can be best achieved for society’s most vulnerable who face many social challenges in addition to a disproportionate burden of disease. Dr. Burgess aims to identify how high-performing health care organizations, extending upon patient-centered medical homes, are proactively addressing health inequalities for vulnerable populations. Through a number of detailed case studies, his analysis will focus on the operationalization of vertical equity at multiple levels: 1) funding, governance, and the targeting of incentives; 2) organization, delivery of care, and quality improvement activities; 3) community linkages and enabling services; and 4) consumer experiences.
Career Activity since Fellowship:
Current Positions: Public Health Physician, Northern Territory Department of Health (updated 04/2017)
Deputy Chair, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2015
Director, Northern Territory PHN, 2015
Director, Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association, 2016