BIOGRAPHY OF REV. MIRIAM J. BURNETT, MD, MDiv, MPH
Rev. Dr. Miriam J. Burnett was ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) in September, 1995 and is presently serving as Medical Director of the Connectional Health Commission of the AME Church and as Pastor of New Bethel AME Church, Willow Grove, PA. 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.
During her pastorate at New Bethel, Dr. Burnett has become affiliated with numerous religious and civic organizations. She is a member of the Willow Grove Chapter of the NAACP and was recently elected to its Executive Committee. As the Chairperson of the chapter’s Health Committee, she is responsible for providing health education and promotion materials to its membership. As an advocate for youth, Dr. Burnett has become an advisor to the chapter’s Youth Council and assisted with its recent Health Forum. Dr. Burnett’s work in the community has resulted in her being asked to participate in a myriad of township committees and discussions. She is a member of the Willow Grove Ministerial Alliance. Additionally, she has recently united with the pastor of Willow Grove UMC for collaborative efforts toward the development of strategies to address on racial justice concerns.
Dr. Burnett’s experiences as the Chairperson of the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA Justice and Advocacy Commission enables her to provide leadership to the Bridging our Communities Coalition in Abington and Upper Dublin Townships. This coalition was formed in 2012 in response to increased violence, concerned organizations and citizens in an effort to “Bridge the Communities” and to “Stop the Violence.” The circumstances of a shooting incident pointed to the need to address the ongoing tensions between these two communities. The collaborative work between the community residents, agencies, and police departments has led to community meetings, prayer vigils and community activities. The first Gun Back Program offered by the Abington Police Department was held at New Bethel as a part of these efforts.
She is the President of Resource And Promotion of Health Alliance, Inc. (R.A.P.H.A., Inc.), a Health Education and Promotion Consulting Company, and member of the National Council of Churches, USA Justice and Advocacy Commission and its Health Taskforce. For her work across the church, the justice system, and the education of medical students, new public health professionals and theologians, 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.
As leader of R.A.P.H.A., Inc., she oversees a health education and promotion consulting company for faith-based (FBO) and community (CBO) organizations striving to optimize health for their communities. R.A.P.H.A. proactively assists assist 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. The company also assists public and private entities with networking with FBOs and CBOs.
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 in 1981; then undertook postgraduate studies in 1983 from Queens College of CUNY and obtained a Doctor of Medicine in 1987 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. Thirteen years later, she obtained a Master of Public Health in 2000 in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia along with a Master of Divinity from Turner Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She continues to seek continuing education credits in medicine, public health and ministry.
Above all, Dr. Miriam Burnett is a person focused upon service with compassion, work with excellence and love without bias.