Daniel Derksen, MD

Professor and Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair
Community, Environment and Policy Department
Director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health
1295 N. Martin
Campus PO Box: 245210
Drachman Hall
Tucson, AZ 85724
(520) 626-3085


Daniel Derksen, M.D., is the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and Professor in the Community, Environment & Policy Department at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He is also the Director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health and oversees the State Office of Rural Health, the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, and the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

Dr. Derksen completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship in 2008 with U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. He researched and drafted health workforce provisions later included in Title V of the Affordable Care Act (e.g. - Sec.5508 Teaching Health Centers).

While working for Governor Susana Martinez as the Director, New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform, he wrote, submitted and was funded by CMS for $34.3 million to establish New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange (NM HIX) – engaging advocates, institutions, insurers, providers, consumers and stakeholders in the process. 

As principal investigator of state, federal, private foundation, contract, grant and cooperative agreement funding in excess of $50 million over his academic career, Dr. Derksen works to improve health insurance coverage and access to quality health care, emphasizing community-based service-learning models in rural areas.

After graduating from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1984, Dr. Derksen completed his family medicine residency at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he was on the Family & Community Medicine faculty for 25 years. He joined the UA College of Public Health faculty in 2012.