Karen J. Coleman, PhD, MS



Health Systems Science

Karen Coleman, PhD. is a Professor of Health Systems Science and serves as a Research Mentor. Her research focuses on the behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of success after weight loss surgery, as well as the study of implementation of evidence-based practices for depression treatment and suicide prevention in large health systems. She directs one of the largest weight loss registries in the United States that is used for both patient care and research, as well as a population management registry for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California depression care management program. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and has previously taught and lectured at San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health, University of Texas at El Paso Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Georgia.

Faculty profile headshot of Karen J. Coleman, PhD, MS

Education and Training

BS, cum laude, Washington State University
MS, University of Georgia
PhD, University of Georgia
Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Medicine, Psychology Department, University of New York at Buffalo

Professional Positions

Assistant Research Professor, Psychology Department
State University of New York at Buffalo
Assistant Professor of Health Psychology, Psychology Department
University of Texas at El Paso
Assistant Professor of Public Health, Graduate School of Public Health
San Diego State University
Associate Professor of Public Health, Graduate School of Public Health
San Diego State University
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health, Graduate School of Public Health
San Diego State University
Research Scientist II
Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Research Associate Professor of Preventative Medicine
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Director of Bariatric and Depression Care Quality Initiatives, Department of Clinical Analysis
Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Research Scientist III
Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Graduate Professor, College of Health and Human Services
San Diego State University
Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor, Graduate School of Public Health
San Diego State University
Research grant: Predictors of Weight Loss Failure and Regain in Bariatric Patients (BELONG)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
Research grant: Effectiveness of Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass for Cardiovascular Disease
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Research grant: An Evaluation of the National Zero Suicide Model across Learning Healthcare Systems
National Institute of Mental Health
Research grant: Building Capacity for Stakeholder Engagement in the Mental Health Research Network
Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute/PCORI
Research grant: The Bariatric Experience Long Term (BELONG) II for Racial and Ethnic Minority Patients
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Community Engagement

Program Evaluator
Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso, TX
Evaluation Consultant
El Frente Comun, Oaxaca, Mexico
San Diego Nutrition Network
Partnership for Excellence in Health Diabetes Initiative, San Diego, CA
Clinica Esperanza, Tijuana, Mexico
Healthy African American Families, Los Angeles

Scholarly Activities

View Dr. Karen Coleman's Researcher Profile

Peer-reviewed research manuscripts

View complete list.

  • Coleman KJ, Tiller CL, Sanchez J, Health EM, Sy O, Milliken G, Dzewaltowski DA. Prevention of the epidemic increase in child risk of overweight in low-Income schools: The El Paso Coordinated Approach to Child Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005; 159:217-224. PMID: 15753263.
  • Coleman KJ, Johnson E, Ahmedani BK, Beck A, Rossom RC, Shortreed SM, Simon GE. Predicting Suicide Attempts for Racial and Ethnic Groups of Patients During Routine Clinical Care. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2019; 49:724-734. PMID: 29574965.
  • Coleman KJ, Dreskin M, Hackett DL, Aunskul A, Liu J, Imley T, Wolfner AL, Beaubrun GF. A Roadmap for Institutionalizing Collaborative Care for Depression in Large Integrated Healthcare Systems. J Gen Intern Med. 2020; 35(suppl 2):839-848. PMID: 33107004.
  • Coleman KJ, Fischer H, Arterburn DE, Barthold D, Barton LJ, Basu A, Courcoulas A, Crawford CL, Fedorka P, Kim B, Mun E, Murali S, Reynolds K, Suh K, Wei R, Yoon TK, Zane R. Effectiveness of gastric bypass versus gastric sleeve for cardiovascular disease: Protocol and baseline results for a comparative effectiveness study. JMIR Research Protocols. 2020 April 6; 9:e14936. doi: 10.2196/14936. PMID: 32249757.
  • Coleman KJ, Schlundt DG, Bonnet KR, Holmquist KJ, Dunne J, Crull E, Hanoaka BY, Lent MR, Naglowski J, Sylvia L, Venkatachalam S, Xanathakos SA, Zeiger R, Arterburn D, Williams N, Courcoulas A, Anau J, McTigue KM for the PCORnet Bariatric Study Collaborative. Understanding the bariatric patient perspective in the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) Bariatric Study. Obes Surg. 2020; 30:1848 [correction for 1837-1847]. PMID: 32064555 and PMID: 31965490.