Health policy expert Dan Derksen, MD, the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and professor of public health policy and management at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has been appointed President of the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians (AzAFP). AzAFP’s 1,600 members include allopathic and osteopathic family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students. It is the state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians with 120,000 members.
As director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH), Derksen oversees the state Office of Rural Health, the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, and the AzCRH Navigator Consortium.
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 where he worked as a faculty member for 25 years.
While working for Governor Susana Martinez as Director, New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform, Dr. Derksen wrote and was funded ($34.3 million) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish New Mexico’s state health insurance Marketplace that currently covers over 50,000 New Mexicans.
Dr. Derksen completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship in 2008 with U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. He researched and drafted federal legislative provisions to improve the nation’s supply and distribution of the health workforce enacted in 2010.
As principal investigator of state, federal, private foundation, and grants in excess of $55 million over his academic career, Dr. Derksen works to improve health insurance coverage and access to high quality health care, emphasizing community-based service-learning models in rural areas.