Deborah Russell Bio

Name Dr Deborah Russell
Qualifications MBBS  (University of Melbourne)
MClinEpid  (University of Newcastle)
Organisation School of Rural Health, Monash University
Role in Organisation Research Fellow
Staff PhD student
Research  Interests
  1. Rural health workforce
  2. Measurement and modelling of access to health care for rural and remote populations
Brief Bio Dr Deb Russell has been employed by the Monash University School of Rural Health as a Research Fellow since December 2008. During this time Deb has developed strong quantitative research skills through her involvement in projects relating to rural health workforce turnover and retention, measurement of access to health care and through completion of coursework modules as part of her Masters of Clinical Epidemiology.

Deb is a Research Fellow in the CRERRPHC in the School of Rural Health at Monash University, Bendigo. She is undertaking a staff PhD by publication, under the supervision of Emeritus Professor John Humphreys and Dr Matthew McGrail. Her research investigates rural and remote health worker retention and turnover.

Deb’s research reviews and appraises turnover and retention metrics, proposing a suite of five metrics which can be used to measure rural and remote retention and turnover. These metrics are applied to Australian rural and remote health workforce datasets to identify existing patterns of health worker turnover and retention, including differences according to health profession and geographic location. Deb quantifies the role of factors associated with rural and remote health worker turnover and retention, and assesses their relative importance. Health workforce indicators and empirically-derived preliminary benchmarks for rural and remote health service workforce retention are then developed which take into account differences according to profession and geographical location. By strengthening the evidence base informing rural and remote health worker retention, this research enables policy makers to better plan and manage rural and remote health worker turnover and retention.

Top 5 recent publications 
(over last 5 years)
  1. Russell, D., Humphreys, J.S., Ward, B., Chisholm, M., Buykx, P., McGrail, M. & Wakerman, J. (2013). Helping policymakers address rural health access problems, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 21(2): 61-71.
  2. Russell D, Humphreys JS, McGrail M, Cameron WI & Williams PJ (2013). The value of survival analyses for evidence-based rural medical workforce planning, Human Resources for Health, 11(65): 1-9.
  3. Russell, D., Wakerman, J. & Humphreys, J. (2013). What is a reasonable length of employment for health workers in Australian rural and remote primary health care services?, Australian Health Review, 37(2): 256-261.
  4. Russell, D., McGrail, M., Humphreys, J.,  Wakerman, J. (2011). What factors contribute most to the retention of general practitioners in rural and remote areas?, Australian Journal of Primary Health, 18: 289-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY11049.
  5. Chisholm, M., Russell, D. & Humphreys, J. (2011). Measuring rural allied health workforce turnover and retention: What are the patterns, determinants and costs?, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 19(2): 81-88.
  6. Russell, D., Humphreys, J. & Wakerman, J. (2012). How best to measure health workforce turnover and retention: five key metrics, Australian Health Review, 36(3): 290-295.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH11085: