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Dr Virginia Lewis Research Chair in Community Health, AustInstPrimCare&Ageing

Professor Virginia Lewis holds a Research Chair in Community Health, cofunded by cohealth and La Trobe University. She is Head of the Centre for Health Systems Development in the Australian Institute for Primary Care and Ageing (AIPCA). Virginia is a health services researcher and evaluator with more than 25 years of experience. She has a special interest in evaluation of policies and programs implemented within complex systems. Virginia has designed and led many large-scale national and state-wide evaluations across a diverse range of areas, including partnership approaches to primary healthcare reform, suicide prevention and palliative care. Virginia is committed to working collaboratively with organisations to develop robust, program-logic or theory-based frameworks that can be used for ongoing strategic development as well as evaluation and monitoring. Virginia has extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative methods, and in applying mixed methods to address research questions of significance to policy advisors and decision makers.

Virginia has worked over many years with the Victorian primary and community health sectors, and is a principal investigator on in a number of research grants addressing access to community-based primary health care for vulnerable populations. She is currently working with several Health Justice Partnerships, including Justice Connect’s Seniors Law partnerships with cohealth and St. Vincent’s Health. Virginia is also leading an evaluation of nine projects funded by VicHealth’s Alcohol Culture Change Initiative, and working in partnership with CareSearch to implement and evaluate an engagement activity framework. She is also a co-investigator on Advance, a project led by HammondCare, that provides training about advance care planning and screening for palliative and supportive care to the primary health care sector.

Virginia is currently a Chief Investigator (CI) on an Australian-Canadian Research Program, “Innovative Models Promoting Access and Coverage Team (IMPACT)” (2013-2018). The research program is trialling organisational innovations to improve access to primary care for vulnerable consumers. She is also a CI on an NHMRC Partnership Project: The OPTIMISE Project: Collaborative improvement of primary health care delivery to the Australian refugee community. This project includes the NWMPHN as a partner, along with cohealth, AMES, the Victorian Refugee Health Network and the Department of Health & Human Services.


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