Hilary Valenova Dayag has pushed his research and other academic endeavors far beyond what is typically expected of a college student.
A passion for seeking solutions for issues related to healthcare, diversity, and inclusivity, Dayag, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, has delved deep into such complex topics as the economic impact of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs on the medical supply chain and how to better provide healthcare for underserved communities.
“This is an exciting time to be living with all the innovations in healthcare coming to Southern California, as well as the rest of the nation. Changes in policy and technology have brought many opportunities to better improve all the lives of those around us,” shared Dayag, who already has a background in clinical, biomedical and translational science research during his undergraduate years at UC Irvine. “I’ve always been keen on the concept of revitalizing the community through direct, hands-on engagement, especially when tackling access to healthcare in socioeconomically disadvantaged and medically underserved communities.”
On May 18, Hilary Valenova Dayag will receive his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management when he joins nearly 4,000 graduates during California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) 2018 Commencement.
An Orange County native who carries a 3.93 GPA, Dayag’s research and work with ethic groups has earned him scholarships, a prominent fellowship at Yale University, numerous awards, and opportunities to present his research nationally and internationally.
Several of Dayag’s research projects are in the realm of health policy, ranging from patient-centered care to community engagement, and he has collaborated directly with patients, physicians, policy makers, and academic professionals.
His research on pharmaceutical drugs, which he conducted with Fynnwin Prager, assistant professor of Public Administration at CSUDH, stemmed from his concern about the growing cost of medical insurance, which can negatively impact the quality of life especially in low-income neighborhoods. He has also been involved in studying citizen participation in public budgeting.
“To increase access to healthcare in medically underserved communities, it is key to first establish an understanding of the nuances in healthcare delivery within these areas and follow up with targeted solutions for change,” said Dayag, who presented an early version of this research at CSUDH’s Student Research Day.
Dayag’s fully funded fellowship at Yale University was the result of his work on health policy and healthcare. Working alongside faculty and physicians at Yale, his work centered on how to improve the quality of medical decision making, especially for patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“I’ve found that the key to generating change within communities is recognizing the power of education, namely the collaborative nature of learning. As such, I’ve had the pleasure to study at Yale University and work alongside experts in health policy and medicine to do my part to help improve accessibility and quality of care for patients,’ explained Dayag, who is a member of the globally recognized Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society. “I am so grateful and appreciative for these amazing opportunities. I am lucky to have the continued support of my family, President Hagan, and the faculty of CSUDH in all of my pursuits.”
Dayag’s comprehensive work has also enabled him to present at international conferences where he has connected with those who have helped improve his analytical techniques and approaches.
“From participating in many forums, conferences, and symposiums, I have found ways of progressively increasing my abilities as a researcher and professional to bridge learning into application,” he said. “I am truly passionate about connecting with community members and policy makers to discuss ways communities can facilitate economic, social, and healthcare growth at the local, national, and international levels.”
Dayag was honored in April 2018 with the Presidential Outstanding Student Award, CSUDH’s top student award. At the ceremony, he also received the Watts Rebellion Commemorative Award for Social Justice, which honors individual students for their efforts on campus or in the community that creates a more just and inclusive society.
After graduation, Dayag will continue working with academia to explore new solutions to health issues.
“From my time as a student and a professional, I am lucky to have found my passion so early on in my career,” Dayag shared. “I want to continue seeking ways to improve the lives of those around me by continuing to learn and translate classroom-based concepts into action.”