Rapid Applied Research Translation 

Successful Grants & Fellowships

A/Prof Luke Burchill

MACH Partners: Austin Health, Melbourne Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, University of Melbourne

Project titleClosing the gap on Indigenous cardiovascular (CV) health: Improving community outcomes through high impact policy relevant research ) 

Summary: CV disease is the largest contributor to the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This project will link clinical data collected by Australian general practices, hospitals, and government agencies to determine how variation in CV risk, events and treatment influences Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes. 

About A/Prof Burchill's Research Project

What is the problem you're trying to solve? 

We need to understand why Indigenous Australians are less likely to receive evidence-based-cardiovascular (CV) care despite being at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. To motivate change, we also need to demonstrate the health and economic savings that could be achieved if evidence-based-CV care were better implemented in this community.

About this research translation project 

This is a collaboration that partners Indigenous health researchers and clinicians with data scientists, biostatisticians and health economists. We will link clinical data collected by Australian general practices, hospitals, and government agencies to determine how variation in CV risk, clinical events and treatment influences Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes. We will answer several important questions including:


  1. What factors place Indigenous Australians at increased risk of CV disease?

  2. Are existing risk assessment scores accurate and, if not, can we create a new score that more accurately predicts CV risk among Indigenous Australians?

  3. How does current implementation of evidence-based CV care differ for Indigenous vs non-Indigenous Australians?

  4. Does evidence-based CV care improve health outcomes among Indigenous Australians and, if so, by what magnitude?

  5. What economic savings can be achieved if evidence-based care is implemented sooner?


The findings of this research will be shared with stakeholders including peak Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health organizations, primary health care organizations and health agencies at the state and federal level. Working with these stakeholders the research team will devise strategies for improving implementation of evidence-based-care for Indigenous Australians with a focus on short- to medium-term improvements in CV care.


What will be the impact? 

This research will reveal how CV disease is currently treated in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities. Demonstrating improvements following implementation of evidence-based-CV care will have high translational impact and is an important step toward a national Indigenous CV implementation science initiative with potential for scalability and direct community benefit.

RART 2.2 Expansion Activities 

A/Prof Burchill received additional funding in our Rapid Applied Research Translation scheme Round 2 Stage 2 for an expansion on his Stage 1 project. Expansion activities include introducing new sites to capture additional Aboriginal communities to increase diversity and generalisability of the study results; and increasing dissemination of the results across a larger number of Aboriginal health and research organisations through community engagement.

Download this project summary:

For more information on this project, please contact the MACH office:

(03) 8344 9973



MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.


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