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Associate Professor, Medical Trainee Intern 6th year General Practice Module Co-Convener and Trainee Intern Elective ConvenerDepartment of Primary Health Care and General Practice

Background and Interests

Lesley joined the Department in 2008. She gained her Masters in Public Health (Glasgow) and Master of Science in Interprofessional Collaboration (London) before being awarded Fellowship of the UK Faculty of Public Health. Lesley has over 30 years' experience establishing services in Public Health and Primary Care and held lecturing roles with Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry prior to immigrating to New Zealand. Lesley is an active member of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (Massey University, Wellington) and completed her PhD in Emergency Management with the centre. Lesley is the New Zealand Principle Investigator of the Research Alliance in Disaster and Emergency Medicine (RADEM) International collaboration.

Joint Centre for Disaster Research

Teaching Activities

Postgraduate Education

Lesley convenes the postgraduate paper GENA737 Obesity Prevention and Management.  Lesley is available to supervise Masters and PhD students. She convenes public health summer school courses on Public Health and Disasters and co-founded bariatric management innovation.  Lesley provides free seminars and education for health professionals and emergency planners.

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Undergraduate Medical Education

Lesley convenes medical 6th year (trainee intern) modules and contributes to the 4th and 5th year teaching programmes. Lesley is also a member of the Wellington Interprofessional Teaching Initiative (WITI).

Research Activities

Lesley's research interests concern health risk communication and behaviour, health equity and disaster risk reduction (DRR).  Lesley is a member of the Applied Research on Communication in Health (ARCH) Group where she led the formation of the TabOO study (Talking About Overweight & Obesity).  Her PhD looked at disaster risk reduction for stigmatised and marginalised groups in society. Lesley was awarded a 2020 Covid-19 Rapid Response grant from the Health Research Council and the Ministry of Health.

Sample of Current and Recent Research Projects

  • Improving effectiveness and equity in the operation of COVID-19 'self-isolation' – Health Research Council/Ministry of Health funded 2020
  • Te matatini o te horapa: a population based contagion network for Aotearoa NZ – Health Research Council/Ministry of Health funded 2021-2023
  • COVID-19 Pandemic in Aotearoa NZ: Impact, Inequalities & Improving our response – Health Research Council/Ministry of Health funded 2020-2022
  • PhD in Emergency Management – disaster risk reduction considerations for big bodied people in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Ethics, Equity, and Risk for Higher Weight People during the COVID-19 pandemic – United States National Science Foundation funded 2020
  • The built environment of primary and community care for big bodied people in Aotearoa New Zealand – partial funding from Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Otago Medical School Research Grant
  • Dynamics of an effective risk communication campaign for Influenza A(H1N1) – Health Research Council/Ministry of Health funded 2010-11
  • Longitudinal Interprofessional (LIP) Study
  • The Empathy Project – longitudinal education research project – Committee for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching Grant.


Morgan, S., Mihlar, S., Wood, E., McKinlay, E., Gibbs, H., Parker, G., & Gray, L. (2024). Sizing up general practice environments for big-bodied patients: An environmental assessment of three facilities in Aotearoa New Zealand. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/19375867241238442

Khorram-Manesh, A., Gray, L., Goniewicz, K., Cocco, A., Ranse, J., Phattharapornjaroen, P., … Carlström, E. (2024). Care in emergencies and disasters: Can it be person-centered? Patient Education & Counseling, 118, 108046. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.108046

Ballantyne, A., Steers, D., & Gray, L. (2023). Prompting lifestyle interventions to promote weight loss is safe, effective and patient-centred: No. Journal of Primary Health Care, 15(4), 385-387. doi: 10.1071/HC23163

Khorram‑Manesh, A., Carlström, E., Burkle, F. M., Goniewicz, K., Gray, L., Ratnayake, A., … Magnusson, C. (2023). The implication of a translational triage tool in mass casualty incidents: Part three: A multinational study, using validated patient cards. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation & Emergency Medicine, 31, 88. doi: 10.1186/s13049-023-01128-3

Wells, J., Gray, L., & McBain, L. (2023). Managing medicines-related continuity of care: The general practice prescriber perspective in New Zealand. Proceedings of the New Zealand Primary Health Care, General Practice & Rural Health Research Symposium. (pp. 19). Retrieved from

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