Doctor Penelope Burns

Doctor Penelope Burns

Conjoint Senior Lecturer,
School of Medicine

SENIOR LECTURER,
School of Medicine

Biography

Penny Burns is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice and has worked for over 20 years in urban and rural general practice; most recently in inner Sydney general practice. She has worked in disaster medicine at UWS over the last 5 years.

Reflecting her interest, Dr Burns has appointments as Chair of the Oceania Chapter of the World Association for Disaster & Emergency Medicine (WADEM); RACGP representative on the GP Round Table; the Disaster Response Representative of the NSW & ACT Faculty of the RACGP; the Deputy Chair of the Disaster Management Special Interest Group of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP); the GP member of the NSW Mental Health Disaster Advisory Committee and on the National Diabetic Services Scheme: Disaster Planning and Management Expert Reference Group. She is on the steering committee of the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma Loss and Grief Network at the Australian National University (ANU) and is an instructor in Major Incident Medical Management Support training for Medical Command and Emergo training.

Penny has a wide range of teaching and research interests predominantly based around the role of primary care in disaster medicine; innovation in online blended learning and teaching in postgraduate education; human factors in tunnel evacuations (in collaboration with the Sydney Harbour Tunnel Authority); the effect of animal ownership on human safety in disasters; and in undergraduate medical student teaching. 

Penny is interested in the use of technology to improve outcomes in learning. In her previous role as GP Fellow with the Disaster Response and Resilience Research Group at the University of Western Sydney, she coordinated the development of the Surveillance and Disaster Planning Unit in the Masters of Public Health since its inception in 2009. This included providing staff training and course development, with ongoing evaluation and revision of the course, from face-to-face delivery, to full online delivery and assessment. There has been increasing use of e-learning with development of the course and it is currently delivered and assessed fully online, with the final assessment delivered as an online disaster which students manage in groups as it rolls out over several days. Evaluation of the course by students has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive.

Penny graduated from the University of Newcastle in the second cohort in 1984 and undertook three years training in paediatrics at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, before deciding on general practice. She has worked extensively in general practice in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. She has also worked in hospital medicine in Columbia and the USA. In Australia she has worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service based in Cairns; in Aboriginal Medical Services in Redfern and in Yarrabah Northern Queensland; and in Family Planning in Queensland and NSW. In PNG she has worked as a GP in private practice, in Port Moresby General Hospital and in remote district hospitals and clinics.

Research / Teaching Expertise:

Role of Primary Care in Disaster Management

Blended Sequential-release in Disaster Education

Medical Education

Child and Family Health

Human Factors in Safety in Tunnel Environments

Animal Management in Disasters

Disaster Management in Papua New Guinea

This information has been contributed by Doctor Burns.

Qualifications

  • MPHTM James Cook University
  • BMed University of Newcastle (NSW)

Interests

  • Animal Management in Disasters
  • Human Behaviour in Evacuations during Tunnel Disasters
  • Role of General Practitioners in Disasters
  • Tropical Medicine in Papua New Guinea

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • School of Medicine
  • School of Medicine

Contact

Email: P.Burns@westernsydney.edu.au
Phone:
Mobile:
Location:

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Teaching

Previous Teaching Areas

  • 400847 Surveillance and Disaster Planning, 2009
  • 400847 Surveillance and Disaster Planning, 2010
  • 400847 Surveillance and Disaster Planning, 2011
  • 400847 Surveillance and Disaster Planning, 2012

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Burns, P., Watson, K. and McCourt, E. (2020), 'Injecting primary care into disaster health management', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol 35, no 4 , pp 15 - 16.
  • Burns, P., Douglas, K. and Hu, W. (2019), 'Primary care in disasters : opportunity to address a hidden burden of health care', Medical Journal of Australia, vol 210, no 7 , pp 297 - 2991.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Burns, P., Page, A. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'Determinants of inadequate complementary feeding practices among children aged 6-23 months in Ghana', Public Health Nutrition, vol 18, no 4 , pp 669 - 678.
  • Taylor, M., Lynch, E., Burns, P. and Eustace, G. (2015), 'The preparedness and evacuation behaviour of pet owners in emergencies and natural disasters', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol 30, no 2 , pp 18 - 23.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'Factors associated with early introduction of formula and/or solid, semi-solid or soft foods in seven Francophone West African countries', Nutrients, vol 7, no 2 , pp 948 - 969.
  • Taylor, M., McCarthy, M., Burns, P., Thompson, K., Smith, B. and Eustace, G. (2015), 'The challenges of managing animals and their owners in disasters : perspectives of Australian response organisations and stakeholders', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol 30, no 2 , pp 31 - 37.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'Determinants of suboptimal complementary feeding practices among children aged 6-23 months in seven francophone West African countries', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 11, no S1 , pp 31 - 52.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'The problem of suboptimal complementary feeding practices in West Africa : what is the way forward?', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 11, no S1 , pp 53 - 60.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'Determinants of suboptimal complementary feeding practices among children aged 6-23 months in four anglophone West African countries', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 11, no S1 , pp 14 - 30.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley, M. (2015), 'Comparisons of complementary feeding indicators among children aged 6-23 months in Anglophone and Francophone West African countries', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 11, no S1 , pp 1 - 13.
  • Burns, P., Aitken, P. and Raphael, B. (2015), 'Where are general practitioners when disaster strikes?', Medical Journal of Australia, vol 202, no 7 , pp 356 - 358.
  • Issaka, A., Agho, K., Page, A., Burns, P., Stevens, G. and Dibley J., M. (2014), 'Determinants of early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods among infants aged 3-5 months in four Anglophone West African countries', Nutrients, vol 6, no 7 , pp 2602 - 2618.
  • Burns, P., Stevens, G., Sandy, K., Dix, A., Raphael, B. and Allen, B. (2013), 'Human behaviour during a tunnel evacuation scenario in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel', Australian Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol 28, no 1 , pp 20 - 27.
  • Hasleton, K., Stevens, G. and Burns, P. (2011), 'Mental health response for World Youth Day : the Sydney experience', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol 26, no 4 , pp 48 - 53.

Other Publications

  • 2014, 'Western Sydney Medicare Local and Western Sydney Local Health District Partnership Evaluation', Report

Previous Projects

Title: Evaluation of the Western Sydney Medicare Local and Western Sydney Local Health District Partnership Memorandum
Funder:
  • WentWest Limited
Western Researchers: Jennifer Reath, Penelope Burns, Ron Brooker and Penny Abbott
Years: 2013-01-01 - 2014-08-31
ID: P00021528
Title: Managing Animals in Disasters: Improving Preparedness, Response, and Resilience through Individual and Organisational Collaboration
Funder:
  • Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre
Western Researchers: Mel Taylor and Penelope Burns
Years: 2014-01-01 - 2016-03-15
ID: P00021649

Supervision

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: The Impact of Water Sanitation and Hygiene on Diarrhea and Cholera Incidence Among Children Aged 0-23 Months in Bangladesh
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Complementary Feeding Practices in West Africa: Statistics, Epidemiology and Policy Implications
Field of Research: Other Health; Public Health Not Elsewhere Classified

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