Dr. Dan Derksen Named 2019 Alumni of the Year

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dan Derksen, MD, professor of public health and family and community medicine, has been named the College of Medicine – Tucson’s 2019 Alumni of the Year. The honor is bestowed annually by the University of Arizona Alumni Association.

Dr. Derksen completed his bachelor’s degree and medical degree and at the University of Arizona. He then went on to complete his residency in family medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM).

After spending 25 years as a faculty member at UNM, Dr. Derksen returned to Tucson as a joint tenured professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the College of Medicine – Tucson.

Today, he serves the UA Health Sciences Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach and Interprofessional Activities. In this role, he collaborates across the UA campus, and with stakeholders and partners statewide, to build on activities that promote health equity – including social, economic, demographic and geographic factors that affect health outcomes. 

Over his 30 years in academics, Dr. Derksen’s service, research and educational activities include collecting, translating, analyzing and reporting data to inform legislative, regulatory and program policies to improve health equity; increasing health insurance coverage; reducing the number of uninsured; narrowing health disparities; and ensuring a well-trained and distributed health workforce to meet the state’s and nation’s needs. 

For his expertise on health care policy, Dr. Derksen has been interviewed dozens of times by national and international news outlets, including U.S. News and World Report, FOX News, the Associated Press and MedPage Today

In a nomination letter to the UA Alumni Association, Interim Dean Irving Kron, MD, wrote, “Since our founding over fifty years ago, the UA College of Medicine —Tucson has focused on medical care in underserved populations, including border communities, Native American communities and less-developed countries. It is clear that Dr. Derksen truly believes in this mission and passes it on to our students every day.”

Dr. Derksen will be recognized on Thursday, Oct. 31 during the UA’s 2019 Alumni of the Year Awards Ceremony.  

The prestigious recognition of Alumni of the Year is bestowed on UA alumni who have uniquely demonstrated a commitment to an academic college’s success and mission through professional achievement, service or support.