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Tessa Matson photo

Tessa Matson

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Health Systems and Population Health


Research Interests

substance use and substance use disorder, addiction health services, implementation science, health equity


Theresa (“Tessa”) Matson, PhD, MPH is a Collaborative Scientist at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Dr. Matson seeks to integrate addiction health services research into primary care in patient-centered ways that reduce disparities and help patients feel valued and more informed about treatment options. She recognizes that strong partnerships between researchers and health system leaders, clinical staff, and patients are necessary to implement processes to identify unhealthy substance use and improve the treatment of substance use disorders — and she is enthusiastic about engaging stakeholders in the design and implementation of these efforts.

Recent work describes gaps and potential biases in diagnosis and treatment of cannabis use disorder and validates practical tools to improve its recognition in primary care. Dr. Matson currently applies her implementation science expertise on NIDA-funded trials designed to improve the provision of care for alcohol and substance use disorders in primary care and mental health settings, including a study of care navigation to promote equity in receipt of substance use disorder treatment by addressing barriers and providing motivational support.

During her doctoral studies at University of Washington’s Department of Health Systems and Population Health, Tessa completed a predoctoral fellowship at VA Puget Sound, where she studied system-level, organizational-level, and patient-level determinants to receipt of evidence-based treatment for alcohol use disorder and other essential care among vulnerable populations. She has also applied motivational interviewing and user-centered design principles as approaches to improve patient engagement.


PhD Health Services, University of Washington, 2022
MPH Health Services, University of Washington, 2017