Hee Yun Lee
Areas of Interest
Cancer screening disparity in underserved minority populations; Cancer prevention intervention design using information communication technology (ICT); Cancer survivorship and culturally tailored intervention strategies; Health literacy and its link to health disparity; Elder mistreatment, family violence, and cultural competence
Dr. Hee Yun Lee is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Her major research areas are cancer health disparity, cancer/health literacy, and family violence among underserved minority populations, with particular attention to immigrants and refugees. Using information communication technology (ICT), and a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, she is developing and testing intervention programs to promote cancer screening behavior and to increase health and cancer literacy. Her integration of ICT and existing health behavior theories into intervention strategies provides an opportunity to investigate ICT’s potential to render positive behavior change in typically underserved and difficult-to-reach minority groups.
Dr. Lee is conducting multiple research projects, which focus on developing interventions for promoting cancer screening among underserved immigrants in the United States and exploring health literacy and its link to health disparity among disadvantaged groups in Korea. These projects were funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, R21), National Institute of Health (NIH, KL2 Award), Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Her research efforts to help reduce health disparity in disadvantaged groups have received a number of recognitions. She was a recipient of the 2009 College of Education and Human Development Multicultural Recognition Award, was named the 2010-2011 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Aging Studies (Endowed Chair), and received the 2011 Rising Star Faculty Award from the University of Minnesota Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle. Early in 2012, she was competitively selected as a NIH Clinical Translational Science Institute KL2 Scholar (3-year NIH career development award), and most recently, she received an Investigator-Initiated Research Award by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. She was also a recipient of the 2004 Hartford Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and 2007 Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar Award (Cohort 8). Her work has been widely published in medical and public health journals, and she has been invited to speak at many national and international conferences and universities.
School of Social Work
Rm 279 Peters Hall
1404 Gortner Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles
M.S.W., University of California-Los Angeles
M.S.G., University of Southern California
M.A., Seoul National University
B.A., Seoul National University
- Health Behavior Change Intervention RCT Trials (Asian American Immigrants and Refugees)
- Cancer Prevention and Intervention Using ICT (Cervical, Breast, and Colon Cancers)
- Culture, Health Literacy, and Health Disparity in Korea
- Culture, Cancer Screening, and Health Disparity
- Translation Health Research
- Social Determinants of Health
- Global or International Health
Lee, H.Y., & Jin, S.W. (In press). Older Korean cancer survivors’ depression and coping:
Directions toward culturally competent intervention. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.
Lee, H.Y. & Jung, Y. (In press). The contribution of cultural variables to prostate cancer
screening adherence in Korean American immigrants. Journal of Immigrant and Minority
Lee, H.Y., Choi, J., & Park, J.H. (In press). The Role of primary care physician in cancer
literacy: A new direction to reduce health disparity in immigrant population. Health
Lee, H.Y., & Im, H. J. (In press). Colorectal Cancer Screening among Korean American
Immigrants: Unraveling the Influence of Culture. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and
Lee, H.Y., Yoon, H. S., Kwon, J. H., Yoon, J. Y., Park, E. S., Nam, R., Kang, S. B., & Park, K. H.
(In press). Perception and help-seeking intention of intimate partner violence in later life:
An International perspectives. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.
Lee, H.Y., Lee, S. E., Yoon, H. S., & Im, H. (In press). Definition of Financial Abuse among
Korean Elders: Does Social and Cultural Context Impact the Construction? Journal of
Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.
Lee, H.Y., & Lightfoot, E. (In press). A Culture-Embedded Social Problem of Elder
Mistreatment: A Review of International Literature among Asian Elders. Journal of
Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.
Lee, H.Y., & Choi, J. K. (2012). Pathway to Health Literacy among Korean American
Immigrants: The Mediating Role of English Proficiency. Journal of Human Behavior in the
Social Environment, 22(3), 255-269.
Lee, H.Y., Lee, S. E., & Eaton, C. (2012). Exploring definition of financial abuse in elderly
Korean immigrants: The contribution of traditional cultural values. Journal of Elder Abuse
and Neglect, 24(4), 293-311.
Lee, H.Y., Rho, S. H., Vang, S., & Jin, S. (2011). The contribution of culture to Korean
American women’s cervical cancer screening behavior: The critical role of prevention
orientation. Ethnicity and Disease, 2(4), 399-405.
Lee, H.Y., Yoon, H.S., Shin, N.R., Kwon, J. H., Yoon, J. Y., Park, E. S., Nam, R., Kang, S. B.,
& Park, K. H. (2011). Perception of mistreatment and its link to help-seeking intention: A
comparison of elderly Korean and Korean American immigrants. Clinical Gerontologist, 34,
Lee, H.Y., Lundquist, M., Ju, E. S., Liu, X., & Townsend, A. (2011). Colorectal cancer screening
disparities in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Which groups are the most vulnerable?
Ethnicity and Health, 16(6), 501-518.
Lee, H., Lytle, K., Yang, P, & Lum, T. (2010). Mental health literacy in Hmong and Cambodian American elderly refugees: A barrier to recognizing and seeking help for depression. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
Lee, H., Lee, S. E., & Eaton, C. (2010). Definition of financial abuse in Korean elderly immigrants: Does culture play a role? Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect.
Lee, H., Gibson, P., & Chaisson, R. (2010). Elderly Korean immigrants' socially and culturally constructed definitions of elder neglect. Journal of Aging Studies.
Yoon, H. S., Lee, H., Park, E. S., Yoon, J. Y., Kwon, J. H., Park, K. H., Nam, R., & Kang, S. B. (2010). Effectiveness of the elder mistreatment prevention program for older persons. Journal of Community Social Welfare.
Lee, H., Ju, E. S., Vang, P. D., & Lundquist, M. (2010). Breast and cervical cancer screening disparity among subgroups of Asian American women: Does race/ethnicity matter? Journal of Women’s Health.
Lee, H., & Shin, N. R. (2010). Cultural view on and response to elder mistreatment in elderly Korean American immigrants: A social development intervention. Social Development Issues, 89-110.
Lee, H., & Vang, S. (2010). Barriers to Cancer Screening in Hmong Americans: The Influence of Health Care Accessibility, Culture, and Cancer Literacy. Journal of Community Health, 35(3), 302-314.
Yoon, H. S., Lee, H., Kwon, J. H., Yoon, J. Y., Park, E. S., Nam, R., Kang, S. B., & Park, K. H. (2010). Perception and help-seeking behavior among older persons by using six hypothetical elder mistreatment scenarios. Journal of the Korean Gerontological Society, 30(1), 221-240.
Lee, H., Park, E. J., & Lightfoot, E. (2010). When does a battered woman seek help from the police? The role of battered woman’s functionality. Journal of Family Violence, 25(2), 195-204.
Lee, H., Ju, E. S., & Lightfoot, E. (2010). The role of substance use by a perpetrator and a victim on the outcomes of intimate partner violence. Journal of Social Work Practice in Addiction, 10(1), 3-24.
Lee, S., Lee, H., & Diwan, S. (2010). What do Korean American immigrants know about Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? The impact of acculturation and exposure to the disease on AD knowledge. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 66-73.
Lee, H. (2010). Family violence in Asian Americans: Child abuse, intimate partner violence, and elder mistreatment. In The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today, eds. E. Wen-Chu Chen & G. J. Yoo (pp. 889-900). Greenwood: San Francisco.
Lee, H., & Eaton, C. (2009). Financial abuse in elderly Korean immigrants: Mixed analysis of the role of culture on perception and help-seeking intention. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52(5), 463-488.
Lee, H., Lightfoot, E., & Edleson, J. (2008). Differences among battered mothers in their involvement with child protection services: Could the perpetrator's biological relationship to the child have an impact? Children and Youth Services Review, 30(10), 1189-1197.