Dr. Karen H. Kim Yeary

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Associate Professor, Dept. of Health Behavior & Health Education
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, Arkansas
United States

Focus Areas

Mental Health / Psychology
Social Justice
Religion / Faith / Spirituality


The daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of pastors, Doctor Kim's heritage is intertwined in her work. At Cornell University, she examined relationships between religion, social support, stress, nutrition, and health, including body weight, body image, and dieting. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Doctor Kim utilized her expertise in nutrition, religion, other psychosocial factor, and body weight to promote health. In her primary project, Doctor Kim collaborated with several African American churches in Siler City in developing a faith-based weight loss and depression intervention program. After the Health Ministry Team was created, health assessment surveys indicated that weight loss and depression were two issues of most importance to the community. The intervention program addressed several levels of the ecological model, including individual, church and community. The program also had a holistic focus including the health of body, mind, and spirit. Formative research ensured that the intervention tools are culturally appropriate to the faith community. After formative research, the intervention was implemented and evaluated. Doctor Kim was also involved in other projects. In one, she is the intervention coordinator of the weight and nutrition campaign of the North Carolina Bringing Education and Understanding to You (BEAUTY) and Health project, a 4-year American Cancer Society funded research trial in 40 African American beauty salons. Further, Doctor Kim had also been collaborating with the formative research team in Health, Opportunities, Partnerships, Empowerment (HOPE) Works, a multilevel obesity control intervention in rural North Carolinian women.