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Drexel student helping shape the future of health care system

SACRAMENTO, CA, May 14, 2013

Arvin Magusara

A series of earthquakes have played a major role in the life of Arvin Magusara. If the earthquakes hadn't led to volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, Magusara might have never left his native Philippines.

The second largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century led to an emergency evacuation for Magusara and his family. The Drexel University Sacramento student recalls flying across the Pacific Ocean at age 7 in a slow-moving Navy C-130 airplane to a strange foreign country that he now calls home.

Out of the chaos and uncertainty of his family being forcibly uprooted, good things evolved. A shy kid from the Philippines embraced the American dream.

At age 29, Magusara recently was hired by Sutter Medical Network to a newly created position as a Senior Program Analyst. He will be joining the inaugural "Risk Adjustment Factor" program team that will be a new innovation as large health care organizations like Sutter prepare for the Affordable Care Act, which takes effect in January 2014.

Magusara will transfer many of the skills he learned in Drexel's Masters Public Health program to the new job. He will collect and analyze important data on the patient population that will be beneficial to patients, nurses, physicians and the entire Sutter network.

"Arvin Magusara has been a very exemplary student at Drexel and we are extremely pleased he was chosen for this very important position at Sutter," said Marcella Gonsalves, the Director of the Sacramento Executive Master's in Public Health Program at Drexel University Sacramento. "The Affordable Care Act will be challenging to implement and someone with the skills that Arvin possesses will be very valuable as health care comes under a new system of criteria."

Magusara starts a new endeavor after completing an old one.

In June, he will stroll down the aisle to pick up a Drexel University diploma in the Masters of Public Health program. It will be the end of two-year stint that has played a role in Magusara accelerating his public health science career.

Drexel's MPH program covers the major disciplines of public health. Students become self-directed learners and effective peer collaborators, assisted by faculty facilitators. The degree forms the foundation of a student's career in public health and also creates more leadership possibilities in the work force.

"Part of what I learned at Drexel I was able to implement at my previous job with the state. Drexel helped mold me in a professional capacity and also gave me leadership mentoring and training," Magusara said. "Drexel has provided an outlet where I got to experience so many great networking opportunities. It made me feel more confident in who I am and what I can offer."

Magusara had been offering quite a bit at his previous job as a Project Coordinator with the California Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS, HIV Incidence Surveillance Project. His expertise in data collection and analysis were instrumental in his considerable success at the state job, which he helped create.

The medical field has been a constant in Magusara's life since graduating from Sacramento's Valley High School and promptly enlisting in the Navy. His career in health began as a hospital corpsman (medic) and included an assignment in Italy with the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery at the United States Naval Hospital, Sigonella.

Magusara is an established health professional and is also volunteering to share his expertise. His civic engagements include an appointment by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to the Sacramento HIV Health Services Planning Council, and a fellowship with the Sacramento Chapter of the New Leaders Council. Magusara is also a committee member with the annual Courage to Stand event.

While in the Navy, Magusara earned a bachelor's degree in health science with Touro University International. After leaving the service in 2009, he was looking for a master's program and enrolled in the Yellow Ribbon Program that Drexel was offering to veterans.

"I knew of Drexel's reputation as a prestigious university on the East Coast," Magusara said. "The Masters in Public Health has been a great fit for my career advancement. Drexel helped me hone my leadership skills and has given me a broader understanding of global health and the challenges and opportunities associated with the American the health care delivery system."

For more information about any of Drexel University Sacramento's graduate programs in California, visit or call 888-389-3781 or 916-325-4600.