BIOGRAPHY OF REV. MIRIAM J. BURNETT, MD, MDiv, MPH, CHCQM-PHYADV, CSSGB
Dr. Burnett is the President of Resource And Promotion of Health Alliance, Inc. (R.A.P.H.A., Inc.), a Health Education and Promotion Consulting Company innumerable years of experience aiding faith-based (FBO) and community (CBO) organizations as they strive to optimize health for their communities. R.A.P.H.A. proactively assists FBOs and CBOs with implementing and expanding their health programs, networking and collaborating with federal, state and local governmental agencies, other health related entities, as well as other FBOs, and CBOs. Dr. Burnett embodies the rallying cry for a comprehensive approach to healing that encourages dialogue as it seeks resources, de-stigmatizes as it supports, educates as it medicates. She sees faith-based organizations as specifically empowered to create this possibility and has put the power of her commitment to support their efforts. Dr. Burnett has works extensively with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). During the previous two administrations she worked with the White House Office of Neighborhood and Faith-based Partnerships and Let’s Move Initiative. She continues to provide leadership for disaster preparedness and response, as well the continued response to Ebola, Zika, Health Disparities, faith-based partnership and immunization efforts with CDC.
She was ordained Itinerant Elder in September 1995 in the Columbia Annual Conference of Seventh Episcopal District (State of South Carolina) of African Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop John Hurst Adams. Rev. Dr. Miriam J. Burnett serves as the Medical Director of the International Health Commission of the AME Church and senior Connectional Officer. In June 2018, she was appointed the first female pastor of Historic Jones Tabernacle AME Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her immediate past pastoral appointment was to New Bethel AME Church in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania in November 2010. In November 2014, she was appointed the first female Moderator of the Willow Grove Ministerial Alliance (WGMA). She is also its first Methodist Moderator. As an active participant in the Willow Grove community, Dr. Burnett was a member of the Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel assigned to one of the Abington Township Panels. She helped to organize the first community Gun Buy-back program in cooperation with the Abington Police Department. As the Chairperson of the Willow Grove, PA Chapter of the NAACP Health Committee, she is responsible for providing health education and promotion materials to its membership. She serves on the Board of the Penn State, Abington Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) Community Board and was its first Mentor to the Campus Minister.
At the Presiding Elder District level (West Mainline District), she serves as the Chairperson of the District Committee on Ministerial Orders and serves on the District Finance Committee and assists Elder Charles H. Lett, Sr. with statistical reports. For the Philadelphia Annual Conference, Dr. Burnett is the leader of the Health and Healing Guidepost Committee and serves on the Ministerial Efficiency Committee, the Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee, the Youth and Young Adult Committee and the Presiding Elder’s Salary Committee. At the First Episcopal District level, Dr. Burnett is the Consultant to the WMS Project Possible and leader of the Mission Outreach and Disaster Preparedness Guidepost Committee. She also serves as the serves as the Chairman of the Genesis AIM Mental Health Program Development Team.
She was appointed to the Advisory Board of and develops articles for the Health Monitor magazine. She was a member of the National Council of Churches, USA Health Taskforce and the former Chairman of the Justice and Advocacy Commission. She is the Secretary of the AME Church General Board Self-Study Group. She assisted Bishop Vashti McKenzie in the development of the qualitative survey and analyzed the initial qualitative survey results.
In addition, her past and present professional experiences include the continuation of creating great healers as an Instructor of Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Spirituality and Health at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). She served as Director of Faith and the City and founding Director of the Institute for Faith-Health Leadership and Institutional Review Board at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Burnett served as the ITC liaison to the Morehouse School of Medicine Center of Excellence on Health Disparities. She leads the Doctor of Ministry “The Black Church, Social and Environmental Justice” Cohort that started Fall 2017 at the Interdenominational Theological Center.
While Associate Professor of Spirituality and Health, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Ministry and Context and Special Guest Lecturer and Ministry and Context Site Director at the Interdenominational Theological Center, she developed curriculum and implemented an academic course, continuing education and community-based models for the promotion of environmental stewardship and justice awareness. She also developed and taught the Ministry and Context courses: Community Health Promotion (jointly with Morehouse School of Medicine and Clark Atlanta University School of Social Work); iCARE2 (I Care About the Dream Too! – a youth designed and led servant-learning program); and Justice and Stewardship for the Environment. She developed and has taught and continues to teach courses or modules pertinent to topics in the field of Spirituality and Health, to include Special Topics in Pastoral Care and Counseling.
She was employed as the Senior Medical Director for Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial Appeals for a leading provider of medical necessity compliance solutions to more than 2,400 hospitals and health systems across the country. Dr. Burnett also served as the Medical Director for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and the Medical Director of the Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility. While on active duty in the U.S. Army, she was the Chief of Respiratory Therapy at Moncrief Army Community Hospital, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.
As a minister and medical doctor, Rev. Dr. Burnett is a strong advocate of ‘holistic health,’ a concept that embodies physical, psychological, social, economic and spiritual health, and is powerfully explained in her speeches across the US and the globe. Rev. Dr. Burnett sees the faith-based community as a powerful emissary of this form of healing, whose approach is based on the ancient African view of total mind, body and soul wholeness. She is a powerful, determined exponent of the Social Gospel and a catalyst for change on local, national and global levels. She sees faith-based organizations as specifically empowered to create this possibility and has put the power of her commitment to support their efforts.
She is a zealot in obtaining her credentials. She received a B. A. in Psychology from York College of the City University of New York, undertook postgraduate studies from Queens College of CUNY and obtained a Doctor of Medicine from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Burnett completed her Internal Medicine internship and medical residency at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She later obtained a Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Morehouse School of Medicine along with a Master of Divinity from Turner Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center both in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also Board Certified in Health Care Quality Management with subspecialty certification as a Physician Advisor. She is enrolled in the Villanova University Masters Certification in Six Sigma – Healthcare. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
She is the recipient of many awards, including, but not limited to, the AME Church Women in Ministry Jarena Lee Award, the Abington Township, PA Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award and the Citizens That Care Award from the Abington Community Task Force. On February 8, 2016, she was inducted into the Turner Theological Seminary Henry McNeal Turner Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Black Caucus of Health Workers 2017 Hildrus A. Poindexter Award commemorating a legacy of excellence of promoting health for all individuals especially communities composed of vulnerable populations.
Above all, Dr. Miriam Burnett is a person focused upon service with compassion, work with excellence and love without bias.