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IMPACT Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators

Jeannie Haggerty

Full Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine

 Holder of the first McGill Chair in Family and Community Medicine Research, based at St. Mary’s Hospital Centre and McGill University, Dr. Haggerty’s domain of research is the factors related to accessibility and quality of primary care, particularly the impact of health system policies and reforms. Her current research program focuses on the measure of patient experience with patient-centered and effective primary health care and how these measures relate to changes in organizational and professional practices. She is nominated principal investigator of a Canada-Australia research program that aims to improve access to primary health care for socially vulnerable health care. She is scientific director of the Québec PHC Knowledge Network, Réseau-1 Québec. Her goal is to present the public voice in a clear way to healthcare decision-makers on issues of equitable access and quality of healthcare.

Jeannie is the lead PI for the Quebec LIP.

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Nigel Stocks

Professor Stocks is Head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide, Past Deputy Head of the School of Population Health and was a holder of a Senior Principal Research PHCRED Fellowship (2007-10). He was a half time academic in the UK for 6 years before returning to Australia in late 2000 to be a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide. Since 2012, Prof Stocks has attracted $11.8 million in NHMRC or Cat 1 grant funding as CIA or co-investigator, $13.4 million as an NHMRC AI investigator and over $2.8 million in small and other grants.  He currently supervises 2 PhD students. He has supervised to completion seven PhD, one masters and three honours students. He has also supervised several GP registrars undertaking 6 month academic posts in general practice (with many achieving publication of their research) and multiple health professionals undertaking research scholarships funded by the PHCRED Program. He has been involved in all levels of medical student teaching and was Associate Dean (student) for several years.  His main research interests include  cardiovascular, respiratory and mental health with an emphasis on clinical and health services research but also examining health related quality of life and patient health literacy.

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Cathie Scott

Cathie Scott joined PolicyWise as Director Policy Research and Strategy in November 2013. Cathie was the Senior Provincial Director of the Leading Practices & Innovation section within the division of Quality and Healthcare Improvement in Alberta Health Services. Prior to this, she held the position of Executive Director of the AHS Knowledge Management Department and Director positions in the former Calgary Health Region, in the area of Knowledge Management. She was also a member of the SEARCH Canada faculty. Her academic achievements are many, and include a PhD in Community Health Sciences, Master of Science, BSc of Science (Physical Therapy). She is currently an Assistant Professor (Adjunct), in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences & Sociology at the University of Calgary.  Her postdoctoral fellowship focused on the role of context in knowledge mobilization, social networks and communities of practice. Cathie has considerable experience in areas of relevance to PolicyWise such as leadership development, quality improvement, knowledge management, primary healthcare, community-based and participatory research approaches, research methods, evaluation, integrated systems, inter-sectoral collaboration and vulnerable populations. She is currently a team member of two international research grants funded by CIHR. Cathie and her family live in Calgary.


Cathie is the lead PI for the Alberta LIP.

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Simone Dahrouge

Simone Dahrouge, PhD, is an Investigator at the Bruyère Research Institute as Vice-Chair, Research, Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She received her PhD in Population Health and a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa, where she has been an Assistant Professor since 2011. Simone is also an Affiliated Investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and an Adjunct Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluation Sciences. She is Principal Investigator on $8,645,664 of currently active CIHR awards. Her current research is in the area of population health and primary care, more specifically focusing on how primary health care can be organized to optimize the quality and equity of care. Her work has the potential to inform future policy recommendations on organizing primary care.

She is the lead PI for the Ontario LIP.

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Jean-Frederic Levesque

Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque joined the Bureau of Health Information in March 2013 as Chief Executive.

Prior to his arrival in Australia, Dr Levesque held senior positions responsible for publicly reporting information about the Canadian health system. He was previously Scientific Director, Analyses and Evaluation of Health Systems at the National Institute of Public Health and the inaugural Deputy Commissioner, Performance Appraisal and Analysis, at the Health and Welfare Commission in Quebec. He is currently a member of the Strategic Analytic Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Health Information. Dr Levesque's research focuses on healthcare performance, particularly in terms of how different models of care impact on patient outcomes and experiences of care, and on the analysis of healthcare reform. In 2011-12, he was a Visiting Academic at the University of Melbourne. Dr Levesque is a Conjoint Professor at the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity of the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and has a Doctorate in Public Health, a Masters in Community Health and a medical degree from the University of Montreal, Canada.

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Virginia J. Lewis

Associate Professor Virginia Lewis is the Director of the Australian Institute for Primary Care and Ageing (AIPCA) and the Director of Research in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe University. She also holds an honorary appointment at the University of Melbourne with Phoenix, the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. A/Prof Lewis is a health services researcher and evaluator with more than 25 years of experience. Her academic training [BA(Hons), MA, PhD] is in social psychology, particularly attitude theory and psychometrics. She has a special interest in applied research in the areas of primary health and mental health, with a focus on evaluation of national and state-wide policies and programs implemented within complex systems. A/Prof Lewis has worked over many years with the Victorian community health sector, evaluating and supporting projects addressing access to community-based primary health care for vulnerable populations in particular. She is frequently commissioned to work with organisations who wish to develop robust, program-logic or theory based frameworks that can be used for ongoing strategic development as well as evaluation and monitoring. A/Prof Lewis 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.

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Grant Russell

Dr Grant Russell is the Head of Monash University’s multi-disciplinary School Primary Health and Allied Health Care, Director of the Southern Academic Primary Care Research Unit (SAPCRU) and Professor of General Practice Research. He is a leading primary care clinician and health services researcher with a research program oriented towards understanding and optimizing the performance of primary care practices in an era of primary care reform. Completing his GP training with the Family Medicine Program in 1989, Dr Russell has worked as a university based academic since being awarded an overseas research Fellowship from the University of Western Australia in 2000. Dr Russell set up a small, independent general practice with colleagues in Perth working as a practicing clinician prior to leaving for Canada in 2005 to work as an academic family physician and clinician investigator at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada. While in Canada, Dr Russell was awarded a President’s Award from the North American Primary Care Research Group. The award recognized an outstanding contribution to primary care research and was awarded for work involved in his role leading an investigation of Canadian primary care research capacity.

Dr Russell is the Australian Lead Principal-Investigator for IMPACT and the Victorian Local Innovation Partnership.

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Mark F. Harris

Mark Harris is foundation Professor of General Practice and Executive Director of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at UNSW. He was appointed a UNSW Scientia Professor in 2013 and a Fellow of the Australian Academic of Health and Medicinal Science in 2015. The Australian Association for Academic Primary Care awarded him the “Charles Bridges-Webb Medal” in 2010 for academic general practice research. He was a member of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing Expert Reference Group on the Primary Health Care Strategy 2008-9 and was be commissioned to write papers for the National Preventative Task Force and the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. He is currently a member of the Evaluation Working Party to the Health Care Homes initiative.  He has edited three editions of the RACGP Guidelines for Preventive Care in General Practice and two of the RACGP SNAP guide to behavioural risk factor management in general practice. His main areas of research is on chronic illness prevention and management in primary health care and health equity and he has attracted over $10m in research funding over the past five years. He currently leads a four year multi-centre NHMRC funded Trial of preventive care for patients with low health literacy in primary health care.

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IMPACT Research Program

Health Access

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