Health Services Research & Development

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COIN: Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP); Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA

Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion

Directors: Michael Fine, MD, MSc and Judith Long, MD


About the COIN

The Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) represents a well-established collaboration between the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia and their respective academic affiliates, the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pennsylvania. CHERP's mission is to advance the quality and equity of health and health care for Veterans, especially those from vulnerable populations. Our vision is that all Veterans receive accessible, equitable, high-quality, high-value health care and that the Veterans Health Administration is a national model for health care delivery reflective of these qualities. Our mission is to advance the quality and equity of health and health care for Veterans through health services research, research training and mentoring, service, partnerships, and stakeholder engagement.

Research Focus Areas

Research at this Center focuses on:

  1. Improving quality and equity of health and health care for vulnerable Veteran populations
  2. Improving the quality, safety, and value of clinical therapeutics
  3. Innovative health services research that addresses VA and HSR&D priorities


CHERP is home to post-doctoral training programs in health services research, women’s health, addiction research, and medication safety and pharmaceutical outcomes, all supported by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). The Philadelphia site also hosts the National Clinician Scholars Program in partnership with OAA.

Veteran Community Engagement

CHERP has well-established Veteran Community Advisory Boards (VCABs) at both sites. VCAB members receive training regarding the VA research enterprise, the research process, and protection of human subjects, and provide input on research ideas, study design, and other COIN initiatives. CHERP has also engaged diverse Veteran stakeholders as panelists for field-based meetings focused on health equity and social determinants of health and ensures Veteran representation on our Steering Committee.

Partner Offices

CHERP investigators partner with VA stakeholders to maximize the value and impact of their work. Key partners include the host VA Medical Centers, VISN4, the Office of Health Equity, Pharmacy Benefits Management and the national Center for Medication Safety. Additional national partners include: