Health Services Research & Development

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Christine Timko, PhD – Research Career Scientist

Christine Timko, PhD Christine Timko, PhD
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Menlo Park, CA 


Dr. Timko completed her doctorate in social psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984, and a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology at Yale University from 1984-87. Her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania was in psychology. Dr. Timko joined VA in 1987, and is currently working at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Dr. Timko's research focuses on the quality of care for patients with substance use and/or psychiatric disorders. Currently, she is implementing and validating guidelines to help providers make effective referrals to mutual-help groups for substance use disorder and dual diagnosis patients. Dr. Timko is also developing and evaluating specialized interventions for substance use disorder patients with co-occurring problems such as other mental disorders, interpersonal violence, and criminal justice involvement. She has newly-approved projects aiming to improve VA health services for Veterans undergoing medical management of substance withdrawal.

In addition to research, Dr. Timko serves as a mentor to VA and university trainees, a reviewer for national funders of health services research, and a member of VA management and oversight committees. She holds editorial positions for leading substance abuse journals, and is an invited speaker at national and international substance abuse and mental health research conferences.

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