Matthew C. Spitzmueller

Associate Professor

Dr. Spitzmueller’s research is held together by a common thread. He uses mixed methods to investigate the transformation of behavioral health policy as it interacts with formal advocacy structures and is implemented in real-world sites of practice. His current research is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Researcher Leaders program. This study examines the implementation of value-based payment reform in rural Upstate New York. He is currently analyzing and publishing findings from a mixed methods study of New York State’s Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) model, a multilateral collaborative governance initiative designed to oversee the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care. For his dissertation, he conducted a yearlong ethnographic study of a community mental health organization. Dr. Spitzmueller teaches courses in social work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His course offerings span multiple domains of social work education, including direct practice, macro practice, and social policy. Dr. Spitzmueller’s pedagogic approach integrates these layered dimensions of social work and challenges the tendency of social work education to separate practice into distinct micro and macro curriculums. Dr. Spitzmueller earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. At the University of Chicago, he received a master’s degree in social work with a clinical concentration and a master’s degree in the history of religions. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Carleton College, receiving the John K. Bare Prize and distinction in both his senior thesis and major area of study.


Ph.D. School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

M.S.W. School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

M.A. Divinity School, University of Chicago

B.A. Psychology, Carleton College


Clinical social work practice, Community mental health policy, Medicaid reform, Street-level organizations