Robert Bucayu, MS4/MPH, Conference Coordinator and Head of Evaluation Committee
Mr. Bucayu is currently a 4th year medical student in the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) at UC Irvine School of Medicine (UCISOM) with an MPH degree in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He also serves as a member of the Center for Health Equity Data Advisory Council with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He is currently applying for pediatric residency programs this year.
At UCISOM for 2 years and UCLA for 2 years, Robert was co-leader of Filipino Americans in Medicine (FAIM) where he initiated/expanded mentorship programs and boosted the medical training pipeline for Pilipino Pre-health Undergraduate Student Organization (PUSO) at UC Irvine and Pilipinos for Community Health (PCH) at UCLA. While at UC Irvine, he initiated health screenings with Seafood City Supermarket, Filipino Outreach Group of St. John Neumann, and Together in Christ at St. Cecelia Catholic Church. During his second year of training, he conducted research on evaluating the association between the health related quality of life of Filipinos and obesity in Orange County in collaboration with the UC Irvine School of Nursing and presented his research at the 2016 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations Building Healthy Communities Summit and the 2016 APAMSA National Conference. In 2016, Robert organized and directed the first Community Health Fair for Filipinos in Orange County in collaboration with The Filipino American Community of Orange County, Filipino Migrant Center, and Filipino American Health Workers Association. At UCLA, Robert collaborated with Dr. Antonio Moya and Filipino American Services Group, Inc to put on the Kapayapaan Healing Festival in Historic Filipinotown to address pressing health needs for the Filipino American community in Los Angeles. His research and career interests involve diversity, equity and inclusion in medical education, LGBTQ+ health disparities in children and young adults, HIV/AIDS, minority communities and health care access, and mentorship and leadership development of pre-medical students from underserved backgrounds.
At Stanford University, he was a resident advisor for freshmen, Community Outreach Co-Chair and Spanish interpreter for the Pacific Free Clinic, Praise and Worship Leader for the Catholic Community at Stanford, A capella director for all 4 years for Pilipino Culture Night lead by the Pilipino American Student Union (PASU), Community Service Co-chair for PASU, and member of Stanford Talisman A capella and Everyday People A capella. He was also an undergraduate research assistant in a pediatric allergy and immunology lab at the Stanford School of Medicine. After graduation, Robert volunteered as Fundraising Chair for the Mabuhay Health Center in San Francisco, a UCSF-affiliated free clinic focused on the Filipino community.
Robert graduated top four at St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria, and majored in Biology with Honors and minored in Spanish with an advanced proficiency notation at Stanford University.
Natasha Abadilla, MS5, Evaluation Committee Member
Natasha is currently in her final year at the Stanford School of Medicine in California. She was born and raised on Kauai in the state of Hawaii, and both of her parents immigrated from Ilocos Norte, Philippines; Natasha is excited to be a part of the first CYFAM conference as part of the Evaluation sub-committee, as she has often felt discouraged at the lack of Filipinx representation in the hospital and clinic settings she has worked in so far.
Researching health disparities research has been a huge passion for Natasha throughout her undergraduate and medical school careers. She received a Stanford MedScholars Grant to conduct a year-long research project on pediatric surgery outcomes; during this year, she investigated how language and cultural barriers impede expedient recovery after anorectal malformation surgeries and the success of post-operative steroid use in the Kasai procedure. Natasha also led a research effort to assess and improve the informed consent process in public hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan. Other research projects she has been involved with include: analyzing patient perceptions of recovery after traumatic injury, developing an artificial intelligence algorithm to predict donor liver steatosis and early graft failure, and predicting pathology from early imaging in children with congenital pulmonary lung malformations. Prior to starting medical school in 2016, Natasha spent two years living and working in Kenya: the first in rural Kenya, working for a grassroots non-profit to help develop a sustainable mother-child wellness program and provide clean drinking water and hand washing tanks to the entire rural school district; and the second in Nairobi, working for a social enterprise helping to scale up a “lean clinic” system in the city slums. While she was an undergraduate at Stanford University, she participated in various global health trips, including a trip to the Cebu, Philippines, with the Southeast Asian Leadership Network (SEALNet), during which she helped develop leadership skills in middle school students to support their heart health promotion program.
Outside of the world of health and medicine, Natasha volunteers with various community groups in her current hometown, including an arts and advocacy group called the Hood Squad and a homeless shelter and services organization called Project WeHOPE. She is also currently working on a creative non-fiction anthology of short stories about her experiences as a medical student and collaborating as a writer on a children’s book encouraging good hand hygiene. Finally, she loves playing with her two year-old miniature pinscher and cooking her favorite Filipino dishes…or at least trying to!