Dan Derksen, MD, University of Arizona Health Sciences associate vice president for health equity, outreach and interprofessional activities, has been named the UA College of Medicine – Tucson 2019 Alumnus of the Year. The honor is bestowed annually by the UA Alumni Association.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at the UA, Dr. Derksen received his medical degree from the then-UA College of Medicine in 1984. He completed his residency in family medicine at the University of New Mexico, where he spent 25 years as a faculty member before returning to Tucson as a joint tenured professor in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Today, in his role as UA Health Sciences associate vice president for health equity, outreach and interprofessional activities, Dr. Derksen 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. He also is the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair, director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health and a professor in the Community, Environment and Policy Department at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health.
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 more than 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.
About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health-care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, please visit medicine.arizona.edu.