Researcher

Associate Professor Ben Harris-Roxas

My Expertise

People experience the disintegration of health services every day. Your general practitioner doesn't always coordinate with your medical specialists, or with hospitals, community services, or National Disability Insurance Scheme providers. People and their carers are often expected to bridge these gaps themselves with little support. I research ways that health services in the community can be more integrated so that people don't fall between the cracks - in particular people from culturally diverse backgrounds, people who experience poverty, and people with a lived experience of disability.

I'm also an international expert in health impact assessment, which is used to assess projects' or policies' health consequences before they're implemented. This is often done on major projects, housing developments, transport projects, or government policies.

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Public Health and Health Services, Health Promotion, Assessment and Evaluation, Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment, Social Program Evaluation, Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified, Primary Health Care, Health and Community Services

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Biography

I am a health services researcher, impact assessor and evaluator with more than twenty years of experience. My doctoral research was on the use of equity-focused health impact assessment in health service planning. Before joining UNSW I also worked as a consultant and in government.


My Grants

Career research income
Category 1 Competitive peer-reviewed research funding programs $4.296 million
Category 2 Australian government...view more

I am a health services researcher, impact assessor and evaluator with more than twenty years of experience. My doctoral research was on the use of equity-focused health impact assessment in health service planning. Before joining UNSW I also worked as a consultant and in government.


My Grants

Career research income
Category 1 Competitive peer-reviewed research funding programs $4.296 million
Category 2 Australian government funding $8.838 million
Category 3 International and industry funding $1.244 million
Total research funding $14.379 million

Grants in past five years

  1. Trollor, J., Hrris, M., Kavanagh, A., Fisher, K., Long, J., Reppermund, S., Harris-Roxas, B., Spooner, C., & Sharma, A. (2021). Developing a model of Preventative Healthcare for People with Intellectual Disability (NHMRC 2020 Partnership Projects PRC2).
  2. Dadich, A., Harris-Roxas, B., Ní Shé, É., Ní Chroinin, D., Kohler, F., & Boydell, K. (2021). What constitutes a brilliant model of aged care? (Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Age and Ageing Clinical Academic Group).
  3. Haigh, F., Harris-Roxas, B., & Kanti Mistry, S. (2021). A rapid literature review to identify equity issues in access and delivery of telehealth interventions (Sydney Local Health District)
  4. Harris, Mark, Aslani, P., Levesque, J.-F., Barr, M., Sharma, A., Harris-Roxas, B., Wright, M., & Osborne, R. (2021). Community Health workers Extending Care in the Community (CHECC) (NHMRC Partnership Project Grants 2021, GNT1196912).
  5. Harris, M., Liaw, W., Chin, M., Knight, A., Harris, C., Goodger, B., Vuong, K., Harris-Roxas, B., & Taggart, J. (2021). Improving the quality of long term cancer survivorship care for colorectal and breast cancers (Avant Foundation)
  6. McDonald, A., Harris, M., Simpson, A., Bailie, A., Spooner, C., Anderson, K., Cunich, M., Parcsi, L., Harris-Roxas, B., Hutchings, O., & Moore, M. (2021). Enhancing integration with primary care of patients with severe mental illness using a web-based shared care plan and telehealth solution (NSW Health Translational Research Grants Scheme)
  7. El Haddad, N., & Harris-Roxas, B. (2020). Promoting healthy eating and physical activity in young people from Chinese backgrounds—Evaluation (Chinese Australian Social Services (CASS, subcontracted from Australian Government Department of Health)
  8. Gonski, P., Hilman, K., Saunders, C., & Harris-Roxas, B. (2020). Empowering older, frail people to make their own end of life choices (Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Age and Ageing Clinical Academic Group).
  9. Harris, M, Taggart, J., Harris-Roxas, B., & Spooner, C. (2020). Integrated Clinical Pathways Project 4: Electronic shared care (Mindgardens Neuroscience Network).
  10. Harris, P., Harris-Roxas, B., Adams, J., Bevan, W., Frawley, J., Freeman, E., Haigh, F., Hua, M., Mazumdar, S., McIntyre, E., Morrison, N., Prior, J., & Pry, J. (2020). Urban Planning and Design for the COVID-19 era: A rapid review for policy and practice (Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Healthy Urban Environments Clinical Academic Group).
  11. Harrison, R., Dobbins, T., & Harris-Roxas, B. (2020). Clinical Experience Instrument and Findings (NSW Ministry of Health).
  12. Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Freeman, B., McKenzie, R., El Haddad, N., Chan, L., & Karezi, D. (2020). Raising awareness of the harms of waterpipe smoking Phase 2—Evaluation Component (Cancer Institute NSW).
  13. Barr, M., Comino, E., Harris, E., Harris-Roxas, B., Donnelly, D., Jackson, T., Blunden, L.A., Goodger, B., & Harris, M. (2019). Central and Eastern Sydney Primary and Community Health Data Linkage Project (Partnership of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Sydney Local Health District and Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network 2019-2021).
  14. Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Freeman, B., McKenzie, R., El Haddad, N., Chan, L., & Karezi, D. (2019). Raising awareness of the harms of waterpipe smoking—Evaluation Component (Cancer Institute NSW).
  15. Iqbal, M., Walpola, R., Harrison, R., Harris-Roxas, B., & Hall, J. (2019). Refugee Health Facilitator Program: Evaluating scope, scalability and outcomes (UNSW SPHCM Grant Building Support Scheme).
  16. Osborne, R., Harris, M., Kinsman, L., Batterham, R., Elmer, S., Spooner, C., Harris-Roxas, B., O’Callaghan, C., Li, X., Brown, G., & Thomas, N. (2019). Production, Delivery, and Evaluation of a Health Literacy Approach and Materials (Mental Health Commission of NSW).
  17. Sitas, F., Harris, M., Harris-Roxas, B., Haigh, F., Spooner, C., & Barr, M. (2019). A systematic literature review of the effectiveness of healthy lifestyle interventions to reduce alcohol consumption, increase physical activity and healthy eating and reduce overweight and obesity (Sax Institute).
  18. Harris-Roxas, B., Edwards, K., Woolfenden, S., Rimes, T., & Webster, A. (2018). Evaluation of the Rockdale Hub: An Early Childhood Collective Impact Initiative (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  19. Harris-Roxas, B., Ingram, S., Croft Jagari, T., Webster, G., & Woodland, L. (2018). Aboriginal carers (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  20. Harris-Roxas, B., Kearns, R., & Wood, T. (2017). Building primary care capacity to increase screening participation within local communities: Bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening project (Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network).
  21. Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Lloyd, J., Harris, M., & Corcoran, J. (2018). Research on machine translation in health care (NSW Ministry of Health and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  22. Spooner, C., O’Shea, P., Taggart, J., Harris-Roxas, B., Bolton, P., Fisher, K., & Harris, M. (2018). Pathways to Preventive care for People with Severe Mental Illness (UNSW Disability Innovation Institute).
  23. de Leeuw, E., Harris-Roxas, B., Hirono, K., Jaques, K., & Crimeen, A. (2017). A Healthy Western Sydney Airport: Phases 2-4 (South Western Sydney Local Health District).
  24. Harris-Roxas, B. (2017). Staying Well at Home Evaluation—Advice and support (Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network).
  25. Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Wood, T., & Webster, G. (2017). Carers’ information and technology needs (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  26. Liaw, S., Narasimhan, P., Ashraf, M., Jonnagaddala, J., Harris, M., Harris-Roxas, B., & Poulos, C. (2017). Review on the use of mHealth to promote healthy ageing (World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office).
  27. O’Callaghan, C., Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Jubelin, M., Wolfenden, S., & Kearns, R. (2017). Extended family caregiving arrangements in families from Chinese backgrounds: Developing a culturally sensitive service response to enhance child development and wellbeing (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  28. Parker, S., Harris-Roxas, B., Taggart, J., Spooner, C., Vong, V., & Harris, M. (2017). Community Diabetes Management (Sax Institute).
  29. Caplan, G., Mellor, A., Rhee, J., Gonski, P., Hayen, A., Cullen, J., Naganathan, V., Zwar, N., O’Keefe, J., Harris-Roxas, B., Krysinska, K., & Kenny, P. (2016). Advance care planning for patients with advanced illnesses attending hospital outpatient clinics - Phase 1 (NSW Health Translational Research Grants Scheme).
  30. de Leeuw, E., Harris-Roxas, B., Hirono, K., & Jaques, K. (2016). A Healthy Western Sydney Airport: Phase 1 (South Western Sydney Local Health District).
  31. Harris, M, Findlay, T., McDonald, J., Harris-Roxas, B., Powell Davies, G., Thomas, L., & Eager, K. (2016). Review of Integrated Care Interventions (Health Administration Corporation (NSW Ministry of Health).
  32. Harris-Roxas, B., Liaw, S., Harris, M., Jaques, K., Hassan, I., McRae, I., & Yu, H. (2016). Review of After Hours General Practice Program and Model Development (South Western Sydney Primary Health Network).
  33. Harris-Roxas, B., Woodland, L., Wood, T., & Gallant, C. (2016). Evaluation of increasing access to and participation in cervical screening by Nepalese and Bangladeshi women in South Eastern Sydney project (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  34. McDonald, J., Kearns, R., Harris-Roxas, B., Harris, M., Dennis, S., Chapman, T., & Wood, T. (2016). Patient Activation Measure (PAM) Feasibility study on the use of PAM as a QI tool (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).
  35. McDonald, J., Parker, S., Yu, H., Harris-Roxas, B., Harris, M., Barr, M., Kabir, A., Kearns, R., Byun, R., & Phelan, C. (2016). Exploratory study on use of oral health data set to examine patterns of service utilisation (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District).

My Qualifications

PhD (Public Health, UNSW) The impact and effectiveness of health equity impact assessment on health service planning
Master of Policy and Applied Social Research (Macquarie)
Bachelor of Social Work (UNSW)


My Awards

  • NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards CommBank Business Campaign of the Year for Shisha No Thanks, 2020 (with SESLHD Priority Populations Unit, the NSW Multicultural Communication Service, the Lebanese Muslim Association, the University of Sydney, and colleagues at the South Eastern Sydney Research Collaboration Hub)
  • South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Health Awards (Keeping People Health Category) for Shisha No Thanks, 2020 (with SESLHD Priority Populations Unit, the NSW Multicultural Communication Service, the Lebanese Muslim Association, the University of Sydney, and colleagues at the South Eastern Sydney Research Collaboration Hub)
  • International Association for Impact Assessment, Institutional Award, 2010 – NSW HIA Project (with colleagues at the UNSW Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity)
  • Australian Health Promotion Association Ray James Memorial Award for excellence in health promotion research published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2010 (with Marilyn Wise, Patrick Harris, and Elizabeth Harris)
  • NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship [GNT0510411]

My Research Activities

My research activities have focused on primary health care, health service planning, integrated care, self-management, health equity, health promotion and health impact assessment. Some examples of my research and its impact are listed below.

Shisha No Thanks
I led a group of researchers looking at attitudes and beliefs about waterpipe (shisha) use in Arabic-speaking communities. This research led to a Cancer Institute NSW-funded project on raising awareness of the harms of waterpipe use (2018-2020). This resulted in community partners and four Health Districts developing the “Shisha No Thanks” project. I led the evaluation of the project, which found a significantly higher proportion of Arabic-speaking young people reporting that they were aware of the harms of shisha smoking (pre: 45%, post: 68%, p=0.003). This research helped secure an extension of funding to focus on health care worker capacity and service responses (2020-2021). This research has also supported the collaboration with the NSW Ministry of Health and Cancer Institute NSW to embed shisha smoking into broader tobacco control policies and practices. The project won the 2020 South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Healthcare Award in the Keeping People Healthy category and the 2020 Business Campaign of the Year award in the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards

Typology of health impact assessment
Health impact assessment’s (HIA) use has been called for by agencies including WHO and the World Bank. Early in the development of the field of HIA, there was debate about the extent to which methods for appraising health risks, quantification models, lived experience, and citizen science should inform assessments. There was also debate about the role government should play in commissioning and undertaking HIAs. In response to this colleagues at UNSW and I developed a typology that sets out different forms of HIA, based on an empirical study of the forms of HIA conducted internationally. The typology enabled a more informed debate about the position and role of HIA in government, and more clearly differentiates the roles of commissioning agencies, assessors, and approval agencies. The typology been cited more than 145 times and has been cited or reproduced in the national policy and health impact assessment guidance developed in the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Bhutan. I've delivered plenary addresses on the typology at conferences in Dunedin, Seoul, Quebec City, Kobe, and Paris. 

Influencing policy on the use of translation apps in NSW
Colleagues at UNSW, five NSW Local Health Districts and I undertook a survey on the use of translation and apps and websites. The survey of more than 1,500 staff found that a third had used a translation app or website in a clinical encounter, and of those, it was clinicians who initiated use in 66% of cases. These findings informed an update of the NSW Health Policy Directive on Interpreters in December 2017 to clarify that the use of machine translation is not allowed.

Conceptual framework for the impact and effectiveness of health impact assessment
Colleagues at UNSW and I developed and piloted a framework for evaluating whether HIAs have an impact on decision-making and implementation, which was the first of its kind. This conceptual framework was further refined through my PhD research and informed the development of a successful ARC Discovery Project.  This project tested and refined the conceptual framework, and was one of the largest studies internationally to investigate the difference that HIAs make to decision-making and implementation. The framework has been used in evaluations in New Zealand and informed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded review of HIA in the U.S.A. in 2013. I was an invited participant at a Pew Charitable Trusts HIA evaluation workshop in Washington DC in 2016.
 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

I'm passionate about providing high-quality, collegial supervision to higher degree research candidates as they further their careers as researchers and practitioners. My approach is based on regular two-way communication, supporting candidates to set and develop their own research direction, and developing candidates' networks and supporting further opportunities.

I would welcome candidates who bring insights and enthusiasm to their research based on their prior employment and/or lived experience. The areas I am available for supervision include primary health care and general practice; integrated care; health impact assessment; carers; health equity; self-management/self-care of chronic conditions; health service planning; and health partnerships and partnership development.


Currently supervising

  • Lilley, David - Housing policy and planning in Sydney (Scientia PhD)
  • Kim, Jinhee - Health Equity in South Western Sydney (Scientia PhD)
  • McCrindle-Fuchs, Jenni - Air pollution, climate change and human health in Sydney (PhD)
  • McGlynn, Anna - Spread and scale of integrated care initiatives (DrPH Future Health Leaders)
  • Morrell, Anna - Australia's rural and remote health workforce (DrPH Future Health Leaders)
  • Wilson, Hester - The role of general practice in the treatment of prescription opioid use disorder (PhD)
     

My Engagement

Recent media

2021

2020

Editorial roles

Committee leadership

Other roles and memberships


My Teaching

My teaching interests are focused on primary health care, ways of supporting people who experience chronic conditions, and equitable health outcomes.

I convene PHCM9391 Strategy, Policy and Change and PHCM9615 Principles and Practice of Primary Health Care within the School of Population Health's Masters programs. I also contribute to PHCM9129 Prevention and Management of Chronic DiseasePHCM9612 Environmental HealthPHCM9626 Inequalities and Health, and PHCM9628 Health Impact Assessment.

I design activities and assessments that give students choice and control about the focus of their learning, and which allow them to draw on their prior learning and experiences.​​​​​​ I'm committed to continuous improvement, and actively seek out students' ideas and suggestions for how courses can be enhanced.

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Location

School of Population Health
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052

Map reference (Google map)

Contact

+61 2 9065 9672

Videos

Keynote address at the "Can Technology Speak my Language? The role of technology in health translation and interpreting" Forum, Sydney, 25 September 2019
Presentation at "Self management support for chronic conditions: Opportunities for primary health care" Workshop, Sydney, 15 July 2019
Keynote address at HIA12 12th International Health Impact Assessment Conference, Quebec City, 30 August 2012
Presentation at the NSW launch of the CALD Assist app, Sydney, 11 Mach 2021
Invited keynote (translatied into Spanish) at the Udalerria osasun sortzaile (Cities Creating Healthy Spaces) Conference, Bilbao, Spain, 4 April 2019
Presentation with Associate Professor Margo Barr for the ICIC21 International Conference for Integrated Care 2021, 20 May 2021
Dr Jo Winchester talks to Dr Ben Harris-Roxas from the UNSW School of Population Health, about his research and practice in population health. Its become pretty clear that health and education services need to work closely together if we want schools to reopen safely!
It’s happening already: The use of translation apps in healthcare settings
Patient activation and self-management
Fit for More Than One Purpose: Typologies, Theory and Evaluation in HIA
The use of machine translation in healthcare settings in NSW
Osasunaren galneko inpaktua ebaluatzea hiriko osasuna sustatzeko tresna gisa: Australiako esperientzia (Health Impact Assessment as a tool to promote urban health: The experience in Australia)
Understanding carer roles and challenges in Central and Eastern Sydney, Australia: A population based linked cohort study of people age 45 years and over
Teaching Heroes Episode with Ben Harris-Roxas