Center for Rural Health Appoints New Director

Neil MacKinnon, PhD, joins the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as professor of public health in the community, environment and policy division.
Neil MacKinnon, PhDTucson‒Neil MacKinnon, PhD, joins the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as professor of public health in the community, environment and policy division. He is the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and Director of the Center for Rural Health (formerly the Rural Health Office).
 
Prior to joining the UA, Dr. MacKinnon was professor and associate director of research at Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
 
A native of Nova Scotia, MacKinnon completed a Master’s degree in Hospital Pharmacy and an administrative hospital pharmacy residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He then attended the University of Florida where he completed a PhD in Pharmacy Health Care Administration and a fellowship. Finally, in 2007-08, Neil was a Harkness Fellow in International Health Care Policy with the Commonwealth Fund in New York City.
 
MacKinnon has considerable healthcare experience, providing direct patient care as a community and hospital pharmacist. He also served as a member of his local community health board in Nova Scotia and for the last decade he served on the drug formulary committee of a large private payer in Canada. He has worked closely with several healthcare groups, including Canada’s healthcare watchdog, the Health Council of Canada. In 2010-11, MacKinnon served as President of the 3000-member Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists.
 
He enjoys teaching and won two teaching awards while a faculty member at Dalhousie University. He has supervised and mentored Master’s and PhD students, fellows and residents in a variety of disciplines including health administration, community health and epidemiology, applied health services research, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, occupational therapy and interdisciplinary studies.
 
A prolific researcher with over 200 publications, MacKinnon’s research on improving the quality and safety of the medication-use system has been internationally recognized. Neil edited two textbooks and he is the co-author of the Canadian bestselling book Take as Directed: Your Prescription for Safe Health Care in Canada (Sept. 2010).  While in Canada, he was regularly consulted by the print, radio, TV and online media. He has given over 250 presentations, including many keynote presentations at meetings in North America and beyond.
 
Neil is excited about joining the Zuckerman College of Public Health and providing leadership in the area of rural health. He is moving to Arizona with his wife Leanne, an Arizona native, and his three young daughters, Breagh, Ashlynn and Kaylee.