Ms Heather McCormack
Research Fellow

Ms Heather McCormack

Master of Public Health (Social Research)

Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement

Bachelor of Media Communications

Diploma of Community Development

Medicine & Health
The Kirby Institute

Heather is a Scientia Research Fellow who has come to the Kirby Institute following a 15-year career in communications, health promotion, and program management across the sexual health and blood-borne virus sector. Her career history includes roles within not-for-profit organisations, a frontline sexual health service, and most recently a five-year leadership role in the NSW Ministry of Health. She received her Bachelor of Media Communications from Charles Sturt University and her Master of Public Health (Social Research) from UNSW, before completing her PhD through the Kirby Institute in 2024. She is also in the first cohort of Australian health promotion practitioners to receive accreditation from the International Union of Health Promotion and Education.

Heather's PhD specialised in optimising annual routine health assessments to increase testing for sexually transmissible infections and HIV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and included an evaluation of a co-created pilot program that has since been selected as a priority for scale up by the NSW Ministry of Health. Her research interests include social aspects of sexual health; health communication, including application of digital tools for sexual health promotion; accessibility and acceptability of sexual health services, testing modalities, and novel prevention strategies to diverse populations; and the use of technology to optimise public health interventions relating to sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses. 

Heather has particular interests in strengths-based approaches, research that centres health equity, and peer-led research models. She is strongly invested in inclusive and accessible knowledge translation.

  • Book Chapters | 2016
    McCormack H, 2016, 'To tackle hepatitis C, we need to close the justice gap', in Finlay S; Williams M; McInerney M; Sweet M (ed.), #JustJustice: Tackling the Over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Croakey, Australia, pp. 178 - 179, https://croakey.org/download/43883/
  • Journal articles | 2024
    McCormack H; Newman C, 2024, 'Collaborative, mixed-methods, strengths-based approaches to evaluating systems change in an Indigenous primary care service', Sage Research Methods Cases, 1, pp. 1 - 30, http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781529684384
    Journal articles | 2023
    Carter A; McManus H; Ward JS; Vickers T; Asselin J; Baillie G; Chow EPF; Chen MY; Fairley CK; Bourne C; McNulty A; Read P; Heath K; Ryder N; McCloskey J; Carmody C; McCormack H; Alexander K; Casey D; Stoove M; Hellard ME; Donovan B; Guy RJ, 2023, 'Infectious syphilis in women and heterosexual men in major Australian cities: sentinel surveillance data, 2011–2019', Medical Journal of Australia, 218, pp. 223 - 228, http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51864
    Journal articles | 2023
    McCormack H; Wand H; Bourne C; Ward J; Bradley C; Mak D; Guy R, 2023, 'Integrating testing for sexually transmissible infections into annual health assessments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people: a cross-sectional analysis', Sexual Health, 20, pp. 488 - 496, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/sh23107
    Journal articles | 2023
    McCormack H; Wand H; Newman CE; Bourne C; Kennedy C; Guy R, 2023, 'Exploring Whether the Electronic Optimization of Routine Health Assessments Can Increase Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections and Provider Acceptability at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service: Mixed Methods Evaluation.', JMIR Med Inform, 11, pp. e51387, http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/51387
    Journal articles | 2022
    McCormack H; Guy R; Bourne C; Newman CE, 2022, 'Integrating testing for sexually transmissible infections into routine primary care for Aboriginal young people: a strengths-based qualitative analysis', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 46, pp. 370 - 376, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13208
    Journal articles | 2021
    McCormack H; Nathan S; Varma R; Haire B, 2021, 'Dissonances in communication with sexual health consumers in an inner-Sydney sexual health clinic in relation to health literacy: A mixed-methods study', Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 32, pp. 133 - 142, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hpja.429
  • Preprints | 2023
    McCormack H; Wand H; Newman CE; Bourne C; Kennedy C; Guy R, 2023, Exploring Whether the Electronic Optimization of Routine Health Assessments Can Increase Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections and Provider Acceptability at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service: Mixed Methods Evaluation (Preprint), , http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/preprints.51387
    Conference Abstracts | 2022
    McCormack H; Wand H; Bourne C; Ward J; Bradley C; Mak D; Guy R, 2022, 'Remote Aboriginal-led primary care services integrate testing for sexually transmitted infections into comprehensive annual preventive health assessments in regions with highest prevalence', in Sexual Health, CSIRO Publishing, Vol. 19, pp. xxiii - xxiii, presented at Joint Australasian Sexual Health and HIV & AIDS Conferences, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SHv19n5abs
    Conference Abstracts | 2021
    Carter A; McManus H; Vickers T; Asselin J; Chow EPF; Chen M; Fairley C; Bourne C; McNulty A; Reed P; Heath K; Ryder N; McCloskey J; Carmody C; McCormack H; Alexander K; Casey D; Ward J; Stoove M; Hellard M; Donovan B; Guy R, 2021, 'TRENDS AND RISK FACTORS OF INFECTIOUS SYPHILIS AMONG WOMEN AND HETEROSEXUAL MEN IN MAJOR AUSTRALIAN CITIES: ANALYSIS OF NATIONAL SENTINEL SURVEILLANCE DATA 2011-2019', in SEXUAL HEALTH, CSIRO PUBLISHING, Vol. 18, pp. XXV - XXV, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000693686000034&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1

My Teaching

Guest lectures

PHCM9255 - Politics, Surveillance and Public Health

PHCM3001 - Ethics in Public Health