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Daniel Derksen MD

Daniel  Derksen MD

Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair & Director University of Arizona Center for Rural Health; Professor of Public Health; UAHS Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach and Interprofessional Activities

Community, Environment & Policy Department

1295 N. Martin Avenue
Drachman Hall A225
PO Box: 245210
Tucson AZ 85724
(520) 626-3085

Center for Rural Health


Daniel Derksen, MD - is the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach & Interprofessional Activities. He is a Professor of Public Health in the Community, Environment & Policy Department in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) with a joint appointment in the UA College of Medicine (COM) Family & Community Medicine Department. Since 2013 he has served as the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and Director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH). His current service, research and education activities include informing legislative, regulatory and program policy to improve health equity; increasing health insurance coverage; reducing the uninsured; narrowing health disparities; developing, implementing and evaluating interprofessional serving / learning sites; and working to assure a well-trained and distributed health workforce to meet the health needs of all Arizonans. 

Dr. Derksen serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of programs housed in the Center for Rural Health include the State Office of Rural Health (AzSORH), funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (AzFlex, HRSA), the AzCRH Navigator Program (funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight - CMS/CCIIO), and the Arizona Department of Health Services ADHS–AzCRH Intergovernmental Services Agreements (ISAs): 1) Prescription Drug Misuse/Abuse Reduction Initiative: Online Continuing Medical Education Modules funded by the CDC, and 2) First Responders Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act First Responders Cooperative Agreement (CARA-FR) with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

Dr. Derksen completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship in 2008 with U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. He researched and drafted provisions to improve the supply of the nation’s health workforce later included in Title V of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While working for Governor Susana Martinez as Director of the New Mexico Office of Health Reform in 2011-12, he established NM’s state run Health Insurance Exchange / Marketplace as PI of the CMS Health Insurance Exchange Cooperative Agreement. NMHIX was subsequently enacted into law by Governor Martinez, and now has over 50,000 enrollees. 

As principal investigator of state, federal, foundation, contracts, and grants of $60 million in his career, Dr. Derksen works to improve health insurance coverage and access to health care, emphasizing interprofessional, community-based service-learning models in rural areas. 

Research Synopsis

Curriculum Vitae: 

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