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Dr Shandell Elmer

Senior Research Fellow


Shandell Elmer is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Global Health and Equity, School of Health Sciences at Swinburne. Since commencing her career as a Registered Nurse working in oncology, Shandell has had a diverse work history in the academic, health care and community sectors. She has gained extensive experience in the areas of quality improvement and health service design and evaluation. She has a keen interest in fostering the development of community-based health services in accordance with primary health care principles.

A strong advocate for primary health care, Shandell's research focuses on helping health service providers to identify and respond to health literacy needs and overcome inequity of access to healthcare. She has previously led a variety of health literacy projects focusing on former refugee communities (medication safety), cardiac rehabilitation, compensable injuries (physiotherapy), young adults (presentation to emergency department), and organisational health literacy (health and community services).  Dr Elmer has a particular interest in fostering the development of children’s health literacy and co-developed HealthLit4Kids, a primary school-based health literacy program.

Dr Elmer is currently managing a major health literacy project in partnership with the Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Services which aims to identify the factors that influence Gippsland residents’ engagement with health and health care services (particularly those related to cancer prevention, early detection and treatment). This project will use the Ophelia (Optimising Health Literacy and Access) approach to develop health literacy profiles and co-design interventions to improve the health literacy responsiveness of services.

Research interests

Health Promotion; Public and Environmental Health; Sociology

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Health Services And Systems - 420300
  • Public Health - 420600


Also published as: Elmer, Shandell; Elmer, S.; Elmer, S. L.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2022: Development of Digital Health Literacy Quality Improvement Tool *; Mental Health Commission of NSW
  • 2022: Tasmanian Health Literacy Data Analysis *; Tasmanian Department of Health Fund Scheme
  • 2021: 'To Support GCM/NCD' *; World Health Organisation
  • 2021: COVID-19 HRAR Evaluation and Program Development *; Connect Health and Community Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Irish Heart Foundation - 'WHO IHF National Health Literacy Demonstration Project' *; Irish Heart Foundation
  • 2019: Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM) Health Literacy for Gippsland Region Integrated Cancer Services *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Production, Delivery, and Evaluation of a Health Literacy Approach and Materials (RFP) *; Mental Health Commission of NSW

* Chief Investigator

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