Matthew Chinman, PhD - Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion


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Matthew Chinman, PhD

CHERP COIN Investigator

Research Health Science, VISN 4, MIRECC

Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry


Dr. Chinman is a clinical/community psychologist. One area of his research focuses on improving mental health services for those with serious mental illnesses (SMI) through the use of Peer Specialists—individuals with SMI who receive training to use their experiences to help others with SMI. Dr. Chinman has conducted multiple trials evaluating Peer Specialists’ outcomes; conducted reviews of the Peer Specialist outcome study literature; conducted several studies assessing implementation barriers and facilitators that Peer Specialists face in and outside the VA; and developed a fidelity measure to assess the quality of Peer Specialist services. The reviews and original studies have been important for policy makers to argue for increased hiring of Peer Specialists and allowing for Medicaid reimbursement in over 40 states.

A second area of research focuses on implementation science—e.g., how to support behavioral health practitioners to more consistently use evidence-based practices. To address this challenge, Dr. Chinman developed and tested Getting To Outcomes (GTO), part model for carrying out programming with quality, and part implementation support strategy aimed at enhancing practitioners’ capacity to conduct all the necessary tasks to do so. Multiple trials supported by CDC, SAMHSA, VA, and NIH show that GTO builds capacity and helps practitioners carry out programs with higher quality. GTO has improved the quality of multiple prevention programs (e.g., teen pregnancy, drug abuse, underage drinking, and youth development) and has been adopted by hundreds of communities. Further, GTO has been adopted by HHS, SAMHSA, the CDC, and several states’ alcohol and drug agencies to support their own work in the areas of drug prevention, underage drinking prevention, and teenage pregnancy prevention.

In addition, to GTO, Dr. Chinman’s work is aimed at advancing the field of Implementation Science. He has worked with multiple researchers to apply Implementation Science theories and methods in various content domains and worked with VA clinical operations to apply Implementation Science principles to create guidance documents—e.g., for deploying Peer Specialists. Dr. Chinman helped establish and refine a common nomenclature for implementation strategy terms, definitions and categories as part the ERIC project (Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change), which has been adopted widely (NIH, VA). Finally, along with CHERP’s Leslie Hausmann, Dr. Chinman has developed a model for researchers to integrate Implementation Science and Disparity Research.

Published studies

Chinman M, McCarthy S, Bachrach R, Mitchell-Miland C, Schutt RK, Ellison M. (2019). Predicting engagement with mental health peer specialist services. Psychiatric Services, 70, 4, 333-336.

Chinman M, McCarthy S, Bachrach R, Mitchell-Miland C, Schutt RK, Ellison M. (2018). Investigating the degree of reliable change among those assigned to mental health peer specialists services. Psychiatric Services, 69, 1238-1244.

Chinman M, Ebener P, Malone PS, Cannon J, D’Amico E, Acosta, J. (2018). Testing implementation support for evidence-based programs in community settings: A replication cluster-randomized trial of Getting To Outcomes®. Implementation Science, 13, 131. PMC6196461

Chinman, M., Acosta, J., Ebener, P., Malone, P.S., Slaughter M. (2018). A cluster-randomized trial of Getting To Outcomes’ impact on sexual health outcomes in community-based settings. Prevention Science, 19, 437-448. PMC5880746

Chinman M, McInnis K, Eisen S, Ellison M, Farkas M, Armstrong M, Resnick S. (2017). Establishing a research agenda for understanding the role and impact of mental health peer specialists. Psychiatric Services, 68, 9, 955-957. PMC5638298

Chinman M, Woodward EN, Curran GM, Hausmann, LRM. (2017). Harnessing implementation science to increase the impact of health equity research. Medical Care, 55, S16-S23. PMC5639697

Powell BJ, Waltz TJ, Chinman MJ, Damschroder L, Smith JL, Matthieu MM, Proctor EK, Kirchner JE. (2015). A refined compilation of implementation strategies: Results from the expert recommendations for implementing change (ERIC) project. Implementation Science, 10, 21. PMC4328074

Funded research

Department of Veterans Affairs (Health Services & Development Merit): CoachToFit: Adapted Weight Loss Intervention for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (1I01HX003042-01A1). Principal Investigator; 10/01/2020 – 09/30/2024.

Department of Veterans Affairs (Rehabilitation Research & Development Small Projects in Rehabilitation Research): Intervention mapping to develop a peer-based rehabilitation intervention for high suicide risk Veterans (RX003291-01A1). Principal Investigator; 4/1/20-3/31/22.

Department of Veterans Affairs (Health Services & Development Merit): Evaluating the Use of Peer Specialists to Deliver Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (HX002344). Principal Investigator; 3/1/18-2/28/22.

Research Areas

  • Peer Specialists
  • Implementation Science