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.
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.