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Shandell Elmer

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Shandell Elmer

Shandell Elmer

Senior Lecturer in Nursing

Room N225, Building N, Newnham Campus

+61 3 6324 3317 (phone)

+61 3 6324 3952 (fax)

Shandell.Elmer@utas.edu.au

Shandell Elmer is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia. Shandell draws upon her work in a variety of settings including community nursing, health promotion, and general practice to inform the design of her research and curriculum. A strong advocate for primary health care, Shandell's work focuses on health literacy to improve the way that health service providers identify and respond to health literacy needs.

Career summary

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Tasmania, Australia, 2010. Exploring the relationship between organisational culture, social capital and community participation in human service organisations
  • Bachelor of Arts (1st class honours), University of Tasmania, Australia, 2002. Experiences of Community Participation in Health
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Tasmania, Australia, 1999
  • Registered Nurse, Launceston General Hospital, Australia, 1987

Biography

Dr Elmer has a diverse work history in the academic, health care and community sectors. She has held academic positions within the Centre for Rural Health, School of Social Sciences and the School of Health Sciences.

Dr Elmer has also worked within the health and community sector on a variety of projects with a focus on quality improvement and health service design.

Dr Elmer has a keen interest in fostering the development of community-based health services in accordance with primary health care principles. This is achieved through research evaluation consultancies and grants and as an accreditation assessor for Quality Innovation Performance.

Research Themes

Dr Elmer's research aligns with the university's research theme of Better Health. Her interests include health literacy and health services research. Her interest in health literacy is an extension of work in the area of primary health care and involves research related to the undergraduate curriculum of health science students, and the practice of health care professionals. She has gained experience in health service evaluation as an assessor for quality assurance/accreditation agencies and through contract research consultancies.

Memberships

Professional practice

  • Regional Councillor, Tasmanian Council Social Services
  • Chairperson, Karinya Young Women's Service

Teaching

Nursing research, health sociology, primary health care, health literacy, community health

Teaching expertise

Dr Elmer's teaching interests focus on primary health care, health sociology and nursing research. In teaching practice, she strives to incorporate elements of authentic learning by providing students the opportunity to explore, discuss and construct concepts in meaningful ways and with relevance to real-life problems.

Dr Elmer uses synchronised live streaming and student response systems (e.g. Lecture Tools) to enhance the learning experience for students across multiple campuses and is also involved in Faculty-wide activities that facilitate interprofessional learning, such as student participation in events like Agfest.

Dr Elmer currently facilitates a Peer Learning Circle of colleagues from across the Faculty of Health who share an interest in ensuring students are equipped to identify and respond to the health literacy needs of their future clients/patients. The group aims to develop a health literacy curriculum framework for use across all undergraduate health science courses, including shared learning and teaching materials.

Teaching responsibility

Dr Elmer currently teaches:

View more on Dr Shandell Elmer in WARP

Current projects

Dr Elmer's current research projects include:

  1. 'An Exercise in Health Literacy': funded through the Faculty of Health strategic research grants; conducted with the Exercise Clinic at University of Tasmania
  2. 'Health Literacy – Resource Development and Evaluation': funded through the Department of Health and Human Services (as part of the Primary Health Tasmania Social Determinants program); conducted in partnership with Population Health and Tasmanian Medicare Local
  3. 'Health literacy interventions to support newly-arrived former refugees to manage their medications': funded through the Tasmanian Community Fund; conducted in partnership with School of Medicine
  4. 'OPtimising HEalth LIterAcy (OPHELIA): A process to address health literacy for Tasmanians with a chronic disease': funded through the Research Enhancement Grants Scheme, University of Tasmania
  5. 'Building Community Capacity for Health Literacy' funded by Primary Health Tasmania

Expertise

  • Realist evaluation
  • Qualitative methods
  • Community engagement
  • Accreditation processes
  • Quality improvement
  • Project management
  • Facilitation
  • Health literacy
  • Community participation
  • Primary health care
  • Health services research
  • Organisational culture
  • Social capital
  • Health sociology

Research Fields

  • Health and Community Services (111708)
  • Primary Health Care (111717)
  • Public Health and Health Services (111799)
  • Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative) (111002)
  • Organisational Planning and Management (150312)
  • Medical and Health Sciences (119999)
  • Sociology (160899)
  • Health Promotion (111712)
  • Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
  • Clinical Sciences (110399)
  • Sociological Methodology and Research Methods (160807)
  • Mental Health (111714)
  • Health Care Administration (111709)
  • Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy (130209)
  • Health Policy (160508)
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy) (110321)
  • Technology (109999)
  • Exercise Physiology (110602)
  • Preventive Medicine (111716)
  • Residential Client Care (111718)
  • Motor Control (110603)
  • Aged Care Nursing (111001)
  • Physiotherapy (110317)
  • Architectural Design (120101)

Research Impact

  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)
  • Health (929999)
  • Health and Support Services (920299)
  • Nursing (920210)
  • Health Policy Evaluation (920208)
  • Rural Health (920506)
  • Understanding Australia's Past (950503)
  • Mental Health Services (920209)
  • Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) (920499)
  • Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) (920199)
  • Behaviour and Health (920401)
  • Community Service (excl. Work) (940199)
  • Teaching and Instruction Technologies (930203)
  • Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) (920201)
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing (920112)
  • Evaluation of Health Outcomes (920204)
  • Ability and Disability (940101)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design (970112)

Publications

Shandell regularly reviews articles for the Australian Journal of Rural Health.

Total publications

28

Journal Article

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Elmer SL, Stirling CM, 'Women's health: a nurse practitioner case study', Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 22, (9) pp. 47. ISSN 2202-7114 (2015) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stirling CM

2008Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'Another Look at the Culture-Quality-Performance Link', Australian Journal of Primary Health , 14, (2) pp. 35-45. ISSN 1448-7527 (2008) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

2006Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'Using Project Evaluation to Build Capacity for Integrated Health Care at Local Levels', Journal of Integrated Care, 14, (5) pp. 6-13. ISSN 1476-9018 (2006) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

Book

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2011Willis KF, Elmer SL, 'Society, Culture and Health: An Introduction to Sociology for Nurses', Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 400. ISBN 9780195574623 (2011) [Authored Other Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Willis KF

2007Willis K, Elmer SL, 'Society, Culture and Health: An Introduction to Sociology for Nurses', Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 276. ISBN 978019555907 (2007) [Authored Other Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Willis K

2007Willis K, Elmer SL, 'Society, Culture and Health - An Introduction to Sociology for Nurses', Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, VIC, pp. 276. ISBN 9780195559071 (2007) [Authored Other Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Willis K

Conference Publication

(17 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Chen P, Elmer SL, Callisaya M, Greenaway T, Wills KE, et al., 'Influence of health literacy on foot outcomes in diabetes: a systematic review protocol', 7th International symposium on the diabetic foot, 20-23 May, 2015, The Hague, Netherlands, pp. 9. (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Callisaya M; Wills KE; Winzenberg TM

2015Ogden K, Kilpatrick SI, Elmer SL, Rooney KF, 'Education for complexity: How can complexity theory inform 21st century medical education?', Sustainable Healthcare Transformation Conference, 18-20 March, 2015, Hobart, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ogden K; Kilpatrick SI; Rooney KF

2015Van Der Ploeg WJ, Elmer SL, King SG, Williams AD, 'An Exercise in Health Literacy: Fostering the Health Literacy of Clients Attending an Exercise Clinic', Sustainable Healthcare Transformation Conference, 18-20 March, 2015, Hobart, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Van Der Ploeg WJ; King SG; Williams AD

2015Elmer SL, Webb D, Van Der Ploeg PM, 'Starting the journey to becoming a health literate organisation', Sustainable Healthcare Transformation Conference, 18-20 March, 2015, Hobart, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Van Der Ploeg PM

2014Elmer SL, Webb D, Magee J, 'Looking at Health Literacy Through a Health Equity Lens', TasCOSS Conference, 13-14 November, 2014, Hobart, Tasmania (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Elmer SL, Webb D, 'Health literacy - unlocking the system', Australian Disease Management Association, 22-23 August 2013, Sydney, pp. 1. (2013) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Elmer SL, Webb D, 'A systems approach to integrating health literacy training into the workplace', Health Literacy, 26 November 2013, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1. (2013) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Fei J, Mather C, Elmer S, Allan C, Chin C, et al., 'Use of Echo360 generated materials and its impact on class attendance', Electric Dreams - Proceedings of the 30th Annual Ascilite Conference, 1-4 December 2013, Macquarie University, Australia, pp. 1-5. (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Fei J; Mather C; Allan C; Chin C; Chandler L

2013Smith A, Beauchamp A, Elmer SL, Livingston T, 'Incorporating Explicit Health Literacy Awareness in Health Professional Education', 21st IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, 25-29 August 2013, Pattayam Thailand, pp. 1. (2013) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Elmer SL, 'Paths Through the Maze - becoming quality literate', 2012 Quality Forum - Unravelling the quality maze, 15 March 2012, South Australia, Australia, pp. 1-25. (2012) [Keynote Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Elmer SL, 'Learning from Quality', AOQ Qualcon, 20-22 October 2012, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-4. (2012) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Le Q, Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'Adapting to rural communities by overseas-born health professionals', 10th National Rural Health Conference Proceedings: Rural Health, the place to be, 17-20 May 2009, Cairns, Qld, pp. 1-9. ISBN 1 921219 15 7 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Le Q; Kilpatrick SI

2008Elmer SL, 'Organisational readiness for community participation: the benefits of a socio-cultural approach', Not known, 4-6 June 2008, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania , pp. Not known. (2008) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'The Link Between Quality Improvement and Capacity Building', Fourth Annual Tasmanian Symposium , November 1 2007, University of Tasmania, Launceston , pp. Not applicable. (2008) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

2008Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'Developing organisational capacity: from quality we learn', Conference Booklet, 28-30 April, 2008, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania, pp. Not applicable. (2008) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

2005Elmer SL, Kilpatrick SI, 'Capacity Building for Integrated Health Care at the Local Level', Capacity Building for Integrated Health Care at the Local Level, July 2005, Adelaide (2005) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

2005Kilpatrick SI, Elmer SL, 'Capacity building for integrated health care at the local level', Making Primary Health Care Work:Challenges for the Education and Practice of the Health Workforce, 12-17 November 2005, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, pp. 211. (2005) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kilpatrick SI

Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(5 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2013Elmer SL, Stirling CM, 'Evaluation of The Nurse Practitioner Role at the Hobart Women's Health Centre', University of Tasmania (2013) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stirling CM

2011Bell EJ, Blizzard CL, Elmer SL, 'A Tasmanian framework for benchmarking the achievement of health policy goals for chronic disease ('Connecting Care')', Tasmanian Government, 1 (2011) [Consultants Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bell EJ; Blizzard CL

2008Elmer SL, 'The Evaluation of a Pilot Project Designed to Guide the Appointment, Assessment and Subsequent Support Provided to Newly Arrived Overseas Trained Doctors at the Launceston General Hospital, Final Report', Postgraduate Medical Institute of Tasmania (2008) [Consultants Report]

[eCite] [Details]

2005Elmer SL, 'GP Hospital Integration Demonstration Site Launceston Final Evaluation Report', Launceston General Hospital (2005) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

2005Stirling CM, Elmer SL, 'Evaluation of the Cancer Council Tasmania's Cancer Connect and Cancer Helpline Services Final Report', The Cancer Council Tasmania (2005) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stirling CM

Grants & Funding

Since commencing in her current role in 2012, Shandell has developed strong links across the Faculty and with industry partners to pursue research in the area of health literacy.

Funding Summary

Number of grants

12

Total funding

$701,791

Projects

Health Literacy - Resource Development and Evaluation Project Phase 2 (2015 - 2016)$77,049
Description
This project aims to support and strengthen the health and community sector workforce to include health literacy considerations into their daily work practice to improve Tasmanians access to health information. The objectives are to: Raise awareness in the health and community sector workforce of health literacy and its impact on health outcomes; Provide practical ways for workers to reflect on their practice and resources to advance health literacy; Support the workforce and organisational capacity around planning, implementation and evaluation to address the health literacy environment. Outcomes to be pursued are: Improved awareness by the health and community sector workforce of health literacy and its impact on health outcomes; Improved planning, implementation and evaluation to address the health literacy environment; and improved access to resources to support health literacy. Consistent with the implementation science approach, this project aims to discover what works and why and in what context. Therefore, the strategies used to implement and evaluate this project will be designed to capture the process and impact. As the project will be implemented over a two year period, there may also be the opportunity to assess some of the short term outcomes. Specifically, the project will employ a pre and post-test design and mixed methods, that is, both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Funding
Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania ($77,049)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Walker KN; Duff J; Van Der Ploeg WJ
Period
2015 - 2016
Building Community Capacity for Health Literacy (2015)$40,000
Description
The aim of this initiative is to support the reconfiguration of the way health and community services are delivered as they become more responsive, accessible and cost effective by improving the way information is communicated.The objectives of the Building Community Capacity for Health Literacy Project are to:1. Raise awareness among health professionals and community workers of the prevalence of health literacy issues and their impact on the health and wellbeing of most Tasmanians;2. Provide practical ways for workers to improve their practice, for example through developing resources for the public; and3. Assist health and community services to plan, implement and evaluate health literacy activities.This project will contribute to research about the ways to improve the health literacy responsiveness of service providers and the health literacy environment.
Funding
Primary Health Tasmania ($40,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Schneiders MA; Van Der Ploeg WJ
Year
2015
OPtimising HEalth LiterAcy (OPHELIA): A process to address health literacy for Tasmanians with Chronic Disease (2015)$18,472
Description
This project provides an unprecedented opportunity to test the OPHELIA approach to health literacy (HL) in a locally-based chronic disease group. It will yield both invaluable insights into the potential impact of HL interventions and crucial data for the methodological development of a larger NHMRC funding application.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($18,472)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Van Der Ploeg WJ; Woodroffe JJ
Year
2015
Health Literacy - Resource Development and Evaluation (2014 - 2016)$130,000
Description
This project aims to support and strengthen the health and community sector workforce to include health literacy considerations into their daily work practice to improve Tasmanians access to health information.
Funding
Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania ($130,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Walker KN; Duff J; Van Der Ploeg WJ
Period
2014 - 2016
Health literacy interventions to support newly arrived former refugees to manage their medications (2014 - 2015)$43,588
Description
This project will pilot resources to improve the health literacy of newly-arrived former refugees in Tasmania. Health literacy is an essential life skill and is defined as an individuals ability to read, understand and obtain adequate health care in order to maintain their health. The project will focus on medication concordance for chronic disease as many former refugees are at an increased risk of developing one or more chronic diseases. Health professionals working in refugee health services, and adult former refugees who have arrived in Tasmania in the past 12 months will be invited to participate. Within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, it is suggested there are four domains, which contribute to health literacy: scientific literacy (understanding disease processes); civil literacy (understanding the health system); fundamental literacy (ability to read and write in a national language); and cultural literacy (ability to understand and navigate interactions with service providers). This project aims to address each of these domains through the involvement of both the members of the CALD community and the health professionals. It seeks to address medication health literacy by: 1) investigating what interventions newly-arrived former refugees and health providers believe will improve medication health literacy and concordance in Tasmania; 2) developing an audio-based intervention to improve medication concordance based on the input of community members and health professionals; 3) piloting the intervention within health services in order to test effectiveness with the CALD community and health professionals; 4) disseminating the results of the project and utility of the intervention so similar interventions can be used in other populations with low health-literacy in the future.
Funding
Tasmanian Community Fund ($43,588)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Murray LJ; Elmer SL; Cooling NB
Period
2014 - 2015
A systems approach to addressing health literacy (2013)$9,899
Description
The goal of this health literacy project is to foster a systems approach to addressing health literacy through the use of a health literacy workplace audit tool. The objectives of this project are to: 1) adapt and trial a health literacy workplace audit tool; 2) investigate the knowledge, perceptions and skills relevant to health literacy among health care professionals; and 3) assess the pilot service/s using a health literacy workplace audit tool to identify areas for improvement.
Funding
Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania ($9,899)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL
Year
2013
Nurse Practitioner Role Hobart Women's Health Centre (2012 - 2013)$6,889
Funding
Hobart Women's Health Centre ($6,889)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Stirling CM
Period
2012 - 2013
An exploration of foundational health literacy education in nursing curriculum in four Australian universities (2012)$909
Description
This project seeks to explore and develop educational interventions for teaching nursing students the skills and attitudes required to identify and communicate with clients who have low health literacy across four universities. The research will enable the primary investigator to develop and validate a student questionnaire that can be used to measure the effectiveness of educational interventions. It is hoped that funding will then allow the collaboration to undertake a survey of nurse educators in Australia, identify gaps in health literacy training in the nursing curriculum, and develop strategies for implementation of the above identified strategies to address these gaps. This work will also build a foundation for a PhD project that is centred around health literacy education in nursing curriculum. Participating researchers at collaborating universities will be investigating health literacy in concurrent nursing curriculums and will be co-authors of publications.
Funding
Federation University Australia ($909)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL
Year
2012
Evaluation of the impact of the implementation of the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) Accreditation and Review Program within the Supported Accommodation and Assistance Program (SAAP) organisations (2007 - 2009)$20,000
Funding
Quality Management Services Inc ($20,000)
Scheme
Consultancy
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL; Kilpatrick SI
Period
2007 - 2009
Evaluation of a pilot program designed to guide the appointment, assessment and subsequent support provided to newly arrived overseas trained doctors at the Launceston General Hospital (2007)$12,000
Funding
Postgraduate Medical Institute of Tasmania ($12,000)
Scheme
Consultancy
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Elmer SL
Year
2007
Evaluation of the Cancer Council Tasmania's Helpline and Cancer Connect Programs (2005)$27,985
Funding
Cancer Council of Tasmania ($27,985)
Scheme
Grant-Cancer Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Stirling CM; Elmer SL
Year
2005
GP-Hospital Integration Demonstration Site: Launceston (2002 - 2003)$315,000
Funding
Department of Health and Ageing/ Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania ($315,000)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
Launceston General Hospital
Research Team
Elmer SL
Period
2002 - 2003

Research Supervision

The two key foci for research projects that Shandell is keenly interested in are:

  • Research projects that focus on supporting consumer and community participation in decision-making about their health and wellbeing
  • Research projects that examine health services

Current

6

Completed

1

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDBest Practice Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Health Professionals and Support Staff at St Vincent's Private Hospital Sydney2014
PhDHow does clinical risk management improve patient outcomes in an acute care hospital?2014
PhDUsing complexity theory to conceptualise the non-technical skills required of our future doctors and investigate educational methods for developing proficiency in these skills in undergraduate education2014
PhDHealth Literacy: using technology to explore the patient's perception of health education interventions by nurses2014
PhDChoosing Caesarean Section or Choosing Not to Labour or Birth Vaginally: What is the choice that healthy nulliparous women are actually making?2015
PhDEffects of Health Literacy upon the Compliance of Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases and Health Outcomes for Adults2015

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
PhDAgency and Decision-making with Advocacy Support: a qualitative study of people with dementia living alone
Candidate: Corinna Anne Dwan
2015