Jeff Matsler

Jeff Matsler

Jeff S. Matsler (Chaplain, US Army, Retired; Elder, United Methodist Church) is Regional Director of Ethics for CHRISTUS Healthcare, Santa Rosa & Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Texas. Recently retired from the US Army, Matsler was most recently an Instructor of Medical Ethics at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) and the US Army’s Bioethicist. He continues to provide guidance to the senior levels of Pentagon leadership and lectures regularly around the nation to academic communities and community-based healthcare organizations on the importance and nuances of medical ethics from the military and veteran perspectives as well as on moral injury / moral distress / PTSD and spirituality.

A native of Amarillo and Floydada, Texas, Matsler graduated from McMurry College in 1989 with degrees in History and Religion, minoring in Philosophy, English and Political Science. His education includes advanced degrees from Yale, Duke and Southern Methodist University. An alumnus and former Assistant Director of The Summer Symposium at Yale University’s Center for Bioethics, Jeff is a regular guest-lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine and teaches Bioethics in the summer course at Yale University. He is an adjunct faculty member at both Africa University, in Mutare, Zimbabwe and at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

In the field of medical research, Matsler sits on multiple Department of Defense and civilian IRBs, is a Peer Reviewer for the AMSUS journal Military Medicine, lectures at USUHS, and continues to serve as an advisor on issues of bioethical significance. Because of his work on PTSD and moral injury, Jeff has been interviewed in Christianity Today Magazine (June ’15) and featured in LEADERSHIP Journal (Summer 2015). His publications appear in many journals including MILITARY CHAPLAIN and the American Journal of Bioethics.

Jeff is a Subject Matter Expert (Bioethicist) for the US Department of Health and Human Service’s ASPR Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Response Task Force, consulting on ethical issues and solutions regarding domestic preparation and prevention of homeland Infectious Disease outbreaks and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (N/B/C) attacks. With the rise of the COVID-19 Pandemic (2020-2021), Jeff developed and directs Moral Injury Task Forces (first in Georgia and now in Texas) that provide moral and spiritual recovery to healthcare providers enduring the toll of caring for the nation’s sick and dying.

Chaplain Matsler participated in Operation OKBOMB Rescue and Relief (Murrow Federal Building bombing, Oklahoma City) in 1994. He has multiple combat tours beginning during the Desert Storm era (3/69 Armor, 3rd Infantry Division), culminating with a tour as Brigade Staff Officer with 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas (2012-2013). His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Prior to active-duty service, Matsler was a clinician with the VA Hospital and served on the National Taskforce for the VA’s Reconfiguration of Long-Term Psychiatric Care (1994- 1995).

His military education includes the Army Civilian Schooling’s Fellowship in Bioethics (Yale University), the Army Advanced Officer Course, the Army Officer Basic Course, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing / Management Training (CISD/CISM), Spiritual Reintegration Training (SRT) and Spiritual Resiliency and Readiness Training (SRRT).

Chaplain Matsler is endorsed by the General Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church and is a member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) and the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH). He is married to the former Michelle Lance of Midland, Texas – and they have two children, Mary Elizabeth and Charles Taylor Matsler.