Dr. Payán is a health policy researcher whose research interests include examining the health policymaking process; evaluating interventions to address obesity and nutrition-related health disparities; and understanding how policy impacts health behavior. She has previously conducted process and impact evaluations and contributed to community-based participatory research projects implemented in a variety of settings, including schools, faith-based organizations, safety net clinics, and academic medical centers. She is currently affiliated with the Health Sciences Research Institute and the Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center at UC Merced. Dr. Payán is also associated with the state-wide research translation center known as the California Initiative for Health Equity & Action.
Dr. Payán obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC) and an M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School. She received a B.A. in History and Science, a Certificate in Health Policy, and a Citation in Spanish from Harvard College. Prior to coming to UC Merced, she was a Health Services Research post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the RAND Corporation.
Research Interests: health policy; obesity; nutrition; food security; HIV/AIDS; state policymaking; advocacy coalitions; evaluation; global health