Kim Hekimian, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Nutrition (in Pediatrics and the IHN) at CUMC
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Kim Hekimian, PhD is Associate Professor of Nutrition in Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) and the Institute of Human Nutrition (IHN) at Columbia University Medical Center. She is the Director of the IHN’s Master of Science in Nutrition program. She is also the Associate Director of Education for the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons (VP&S) Program in Education in Global and Population Health. Dr. Hekimian teaches courses in global health, public health nutrition and research methods at VP&S and the IHN. She is a member of the Virginia Apgar Society of Medical Educators and a recipient of the Columbia University Provost Award for Hybrid Learning Course Redesign for Research Methods in Global Health.

Previously, she served as the Associate Director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program as well as Founder and Director of the Center for Health Services Research at the American University of Armenia’s College of Health Science (CHS). At CHS, she continues to teach coursework in nutrition and public health and mentors MPH students.

Dr. Hekimian received her PhD in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education. Her research has focused on maternal and child nutrition with a special interest in infant and young child feeding. She was the PI for a multi-year national breastfeeding campaign in the Republic of Armenia through partnerships with the Ministry of Health, USAID and UNICEF.

In Spring 2020, she co-organized a Public Health Working Group for Armenia during the time of COVID-19. This group of epidemiologists, biostatisticians, public health policy makers and risk communication experts from academic centers around the globe supports efforts of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia in health system strengthening activities.

Currently, Dr. Hekimian is an advisor to the Minister of Health of Armenia through a supported partnership for health policy development by the Applied Policy Research Institute of Armenia (APRI) and the Health Network for Armenia (HENAR). Her work focuses on developing nutrition policies and programs as well as perinatal care reforms to improve maternal mortality, cesarean deliveries, and postpartum care practices to promote exclusive breastfeeding.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Nutrition (in Pediatrics and the IHN) at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Director of Education, Program for Global and Population Health, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons


  • Armenian
  • Spanish


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1989 University of Pennsylvania
  • PhD, 1998 Health Policy, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health


Selected Publications

  1. Markosian C, Hekimian K, Garber K, Darzi A, Shekherdimian S. Can Armenia's refugee crisis catalyse health-system reforms? Lancet 2024;403(10424):347. doi:
  2. Markosian C, Sargsyan G, Shariff S, Abovyan Y, Hekimian K, Margaryan K, Hayrapetyan A , Shekherdimian S, Tamamyan G. Medical Education in Armenia: An Overview. J. Med. Educ. Curric. Dev. 2023; 10:23821205231203831. doi: 10.1177/23821205231203831
  3. Sankaran R, Hekimian K, Purvis L, Sahakyan Y. Multimedia health education intervention for improving parental intention to vaccinate daughters against HPV in Armenia. Int J Health Promot Educ. 2022:1-14. doi:10.1080/14635240.2022.2081868
  4. * Balalian AA, Berberian A, Chiloyan A, DerSarkissian M, Khachadourian V, Siegel E, Mehranbod C, Hovsepian V, Deckelbaum R, Factor-Litvak P, Daniel S, Shafir S, Dorian A, Hekimian K. War in Nagorno-Karabakh highlights the vulnerability of displaced populations to COVID-19. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2021;75(7):605-607. doi:10.1136/jech-2020-216370
  5. *Tadevosyan M, Ghazaryan A, Harutyunyan A, Petrosyan V, Atherly A, Hekimian K. Factors contributing to rapidly increasing rates of cesarean section in Armenia: a partially mixed concurrent quantitative-qualitative equal status study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019;19(1):2. doi:10.1186/s12884-018-2158-6
  6. Balalian AA, Simonyan H, Hekimian K, Deckelbaum RJ, Sargsyan A. Prevalence and determinants of stunting in a conflict-ridden border region in Armenia - a cross-sectional study. BMC Nutr. 2017;3(1):85. doi:10.1186/s40795-017-0204-9
  7. * Demirchyan A, Petrosyan V, Sargsyan V, Hekimian K. Predictors of Stunting Among Children Ages 0 to 59 Months in a Rural Region of Armenia. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition. 2016;62(1):150-156. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000000901
  8. * Demirchyan A, Petrosyan V, Sargsyan V, Hekimian K. Prevalence and determinants of anaemia among children aged 0–59 months in a rural region of Armenia: a case–control study. Public Health Nutr. 2016;19(7):1260-1269. doi:10.1017/S1368980015002451
  9. *Grigoryan R, Thompson ME, Crape B, Hekimian K. Explaining Women’s High Satisfaction with Objectively Poor Quality Childbirth Services: Armenia as a Case Study. Health Care for Women International. 2015;36(1):121-134. doi:10.1080/07399332.2014.946507
  10. *Balalian AA, Simonyan H, Hekimian K, Crape B. Adapting continuing medical education for post-conflict areas: assessment in Nagorno Karabagh - a qualitative study. Hum Resour Health. 2014;12(1):39. doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-39