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, and a successful VA-funded Principal Investigator. 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.

In recognition of his outstanding dedication in mentoring the next generation of researchers, Dr. Chinman received the VA HSR&D national 2020 Daniel Deykin Award for Outstanding Mentor.    In addition to his contributions to improving the health and care of Veterans directly through his research and work as a clinician, Dr. Chinman has helped shape the careers of his mentees as independent clinical investigators and national leaders in VA, academia, public policy, and beyond. HSR&D recognized Dr. Chinman for his continuing contributions to improving the health and care of our Veterans, particularly through his exceptional mentorship.

VA-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


  • VA HSRD Daniel Deykin Award for Outstanding Mentor
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Investigator Excellence in Research Award
  • Outstanding contribution to science (medical), Gold medal level, Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board