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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

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Matthew Chinman, PhD

Picture of Matthew J. Chinman

CHERP Core Investigator

  • Co-Director, Dissemination & Implementation Science Core (DISC), CHERP
  • Research Career Scientist, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS)
  • Director, Peer Resources Center, VISN 4
  • Core Investigator, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), VAPHS
  • Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • Senior Implementation Scientist, Dissemination and Implementation Science Collaborative (Pitt-DISC), University of Pittsburgh
  • Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND (Pittsburgh)


I am a clinical/community psychologist and Senior Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation. I am also a Career Research Scientist at the VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) and the Director of the Dissemination & Implementation Science Core (DISC) in the VA HSR Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at VAPHS. Also, I am the Senior Implementation Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh Dissemination and Implementation Science Collaborative (Pitt-DISC), which supports implementation science in the Pittsburgh area.

Grounded in implementation science, I have extensive research experience in developing and testing novel strategies in community-based settings as well as in the VA to improve the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices. For example, one line of implementation research has been to develop strategies to enhance the capacity of behavioral health practitioners. As such, I co-developed Getting To Outcomes® (GTO), an approach designed to help behavioral health organizations to better plan, implement, and self-evaluate evidence-based programs across a number of domains. I have tested the GTO framework in areas such as drug prevention, positive youth development, teen pregnancy, homelessness, underage drinking prevention, and sexual assault in the military. GTO won the American Evaluation Association Outstanding Publication award for 2008 and is currently being used by CDC and SAMHSA to support their teen pregnancy and drug and alcohol prevention efforts. As an implementation scientist, I also have extensive experience evaluating implementation strategies and factors that impede and facilitate implementation (i.e., the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, or CFIR). Also, I helped establish and refine a common nomenclature for implementation strategy terms, definitions, and categories as part of the ERIC project (Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change). 

Another major focus of my research centers on the deployment of Peer Specialists, individuals with serious mental illness who receive training to provide support to others with SMI, in traditional clinical settings. As the VA has deployed more than 1,100 Peer Specialists nationwide over the last decade, my research has investigated the implementation factors critical to their successful deployment, conducted randomized and quasi-experimental trials assessing their impact, and prospectively tested implementation strategies to support their deployment. In my role as lead of the Peer Support subgroup of the Mental Health QUERI, I provided guidance to several VA stakeholders (e.g., National Director of Peer Support; VISNs 4, 5, 16; Mental Health QUERI researchers) in how to hire and deploy Peer Specialists. For example, I developed an implementation toolkit titled Peer Specialist toolkit: Implementing Peer Support Services in VHA that was distributed to all VAMCs. This is an example of my research directly supporting practice.

Research Areas
Peer Specialists
Implementation Science

2020, VA HSR Daniel Deykin Award for Outstanding Mentor
2020, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Investigator Excellence in Research Award
2017, Outstanding contribution to science (medical), Gold medal level, Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board