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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, Medicine and Nursing; UAHS Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach and Interprofessional Activities

Public Health Practice, Policy, & Translational Research Department

1670 E. Drachman Street
Health Sciences Innovation Building 976
PO Box: 210216
Tucson AZ 85721
(520) 626-3085


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 joint appointments in the UArizona College of Medicine (COM) Family & Community Medicine Department and the College of Nursing. Since 2013 he has served as the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and Director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH), and since 2019 the Senior Advisor and PI for the Arizona Area Health Education Center Program.  

His current 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 is Principal Investigator (PI) of programs housed in the Center for Rural Health including the State Office of Rural Health (SORH), state and federally designated and funded  (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) federal), the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex, HRSA), and the Arizona Department of Health Services ADHS–AzCRH Intergovernmental Services Agreements (ISAs) via federal subawards: CDC COVID Disparities and the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) initiatives and the First Responders agreement 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 Marketplace as PI of the CMS Health Insurance Exchange Cooperative Agreement. Now known as BeWellnm, it has 43,000 enrollees in 2021. 

As principal investigator of state, federal, foundation, contracts, and grants of $85 million in his academic career, Dr. Derksen works to improve health insurance coverage and access to health care, emphasizing interprofessional, community-based service-learning models in rural and urban underserved areas. 

Research Synopsis

Curriculum Vitae: 

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