Denise M. Hill, JD, MPA is an of counsel attorney practicing primarily in health law. She is also an experienced mediator trained by the American Health Lawyers Association and the International Academy of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In addition to serving clients, Denise brings over 20 years of health-law related experience to future attorneys and graduate students at Drake University, where she is a full-time Associate Professor of Public Administration Practice. She is a clinical guest lecturer at Des Moines University and has taught health law for the University of Iowa’s Executive Masters in Healthcare Administration. From 2007 to 2015, Denise was an Assistant Professor and the primary attorney on faculty at Des Moines University, where she had a joint appointment in the Colleges of Health Sciences, Medicine and Podiatric Medicine. She has been the recipient of multiple faculty awards; including the 2015 MHA Professor of the Year award at Des Moines University.

Denise maintains an active presence in the health law and academic communities. She is a sought after speaker and writer on a wide variety of health law, public health law, bioethics, regulatory, and corporate compliance issues. Denise was selected as one of 15 nationally known health law experts who are contributing articles for the 30th anniversary addition of the highly regarded Health Law Handbook series published by WestGroup in spring 2018. Her article “Patient-Centered Compliance in a World of Pain” provides insights and guidance on legal and compliance issues related to pain management and opioids. In addition to her healthcare-related scholarship, Denise is a co-author of the book "Powerful Learning Communities" published by Stylus in February 2013.

Prior to entering private practice at Whitfield & Eddy, Denise was an in-house attorney and Manager of Public & Regulatory Affairs at the Iowa Medical Society, and a Labor Relations Attorney with the Iowa Department of Personnel. She graduated with honors from Drake Law School and received her Master in Public Administration from the Drake College of Business and Public Administration. Her undergraduate degrees were from Wartburg and Waldorf Colleges.

Notable Work

  • Hill, D., Hirsch, M. (2017), “Patient-Centered Compliance in a World of Pain,” scholarly paper and presentation at the American Health Lawyers Association Physicians & Hospitals Health Law Institute, Orlando, FL, February 2, 2017
  • “Quarantine and Isolation Law,” Midwestern Public Health Training Center, Online Continuing Education Module, October 2017-Present
  • “Patient-Centered Compliance in a World of Pain,” presentation at the Iowa Hospital Association Annual Meeting, Des Moines, IA, October 11, 2017
  • "Hot HIPAA Issues…Too Hot to Handle?” presentation at the Iowa Podiatric Society Spring Meeting, Des Moines, IA, April 4, 2017
  • “Exploring Trends: Antibiotic Resistance & the Law.” Centers for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC)/American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) national webinar, October 8, 2016
  • Stebbins, C., Hill, D. (2016), “If You Build It, Will They Come? Development and Implementation of an On-Campus Residency for Online MHA Students,” Journal of Health Administration Education (JHAE), 32:4, pp. 563-577
  • “HIPAA Privacy Training for Pharmacists and Other Healthcare Workers,” Collaborative Education Institute Continuing Education Module, March 2016-Present, (Peer Reviewed)
  • “Public Health Law,” Midwestern Public Health Training Center, Online Continuing Education Module, January 2016-Present 



  • Of Counsel Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2007—present
  • Associate Professor of Public Administration Practice, Drake University College of Business and Public Administration, 2017—present
  • Director of Health Law Programs, Drake University Law School, 2015—present
  • Clinical Guest Lecturer, Des Moines University College of Health Sciences, 2015—present
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Health Law, Drake University Law School, 2015—2017
  • Assistant Professor/Faculty Member, Des Moines University College of Health Sciences, 2007—2015
  • Associate Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2006—2007
  • Associate Attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm, 2005—2006
  • Clinical Associate Professor/Practitioner Scholar Faculty Member, Des Moines University, College of Health Sciences, 2002—2007
  • Attorney and Manager of Public & Regulatory Affairs, Iowa Medical Society, 1998—2005
  • Attorney and Labor Relations Specialist, Iowa Department of Personnel, 1996—1998


  • American Bar Association (Sections: Dispute Resolution; Health Law)
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Health Law)
  • Iowa Community Health Leadership Institute (Fellow)
  • Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association (Legal Counsel)
  • Iowa Public Health Association
  • Iowa Rural Health Association (Board Member, 2007—present)
  • Iowa Society of Healthcare Attorneys (President-Elect, 2007—2008; President 2008—2009)
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • NASPAA (Selected for NASPAA Next Class 2020, Appointed to Policy Issues Committee)

News & Events

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Des Moines University MHA Faculty of the Year Award, May 2015
  • Commencement Keynote Speaker, Waldorf College, May 2015
  • Des Moines University MHA Professor of the Year, 2010
  • Des Moines University MPH Professor of the Year, 2007

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership


  • Commentary, "Investigation into Iowa's Mask Mandate Ban Could Be Fast-Tracked," KCCI TV-8, September 2, 2021
  • Commentary, "Mask Mandate Ban Investigation," KETV ABC Newswatch 7, September 2, 2021
  • Commentary, "Should Iowa's Non-Vaxxed Pay a COVID Surcharge," AXIOS, September 2, 2021
  • Commentary, "Federal Funding at Stake as U.S. Department of Education Investigates Iowa for Disability Discrimination," KGAN CBS-2, August 30, 2021
  • Commentary, "Iowa Mom Files Injunction Over Mask Mandate Ban," KCCI TV-8, August 25, 2021
  • Commentary, "Iowans Protest Vaccine Mandate at Hospitals," KCCI TV-8, August 19, 2021
  • Commentary, "Vaccine Mandates in the Health Care Workplace: What Employers Need to Know" American Health Law Association Podcast, August 10, 2021
  • Commentary, "MercyOne, Broadlawns Join Other Des Moines Hospitals in Requiring Employee COVID Shots" Des Moines Register, August 10, 2021
  • Commentary, "Legal Challenges for Iowa Employers and COVID-19 Vaccinations," WHO TV-13, August 4, 2021
  • Commentary, "Can Your Employer Require You to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine" KWWL TV-7, August 3, 2021
  • Commentary, "Unclear if Employers Can Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines" KCRG TV-9, August 2, 2021
  • Commentary, "Can Iowa Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations" KCCI TV-8, August 1, 2021
  • Author, "Vaccine Mandates in the Health Care Workplace: A Legal Analysis for Employers," American Health Law Association, August 2021
  • Commentary, "Businesses Navigate Mask Policies," WOI TV-5, May 17, 2021
  • Commentary, “Governor Expresses Opposition; Issues Surrounding Vaccine Passports,“ KCCI TV-8, April 7, 2021
  • Commentary, “Iowa Lawmakers Advance Bill Banning Employer Vaccine Mandates, Adding Exemption,“ KCCI TV-8, February 16, 2021
  • Commentary, “The Laws That Protect You From Surprise Medical Cost Billing,“ KETV ABC-7, February 2, 2021
  • Commentary, “Can Iowa Employers Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?,“ KCCI TV-8, December 16, 2020
  • Commentary, “Iowa Employers Can Require Employees To Take COVD-19 Vaccine,“ WHO-TV 13, December 10, 2020
  • Speaker, Iowa Public Health Leadership Academy Webinar Training for Iowa Local Public Health Agencies and Boards of Health, "The Public Health Law Toolbox: Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine in Iowa," February 2020
  • Speaker, Midwestern Public Health Training Center, "Quarantine and Isolation Law" January 2018
  • Faculty, CDC and American Health Lawyers Association Joint Webinar, "Exploring Trends: Antibiotic Resistance and the Law," October 2016
  • Presenter, "Quarantine and Isolation Law," Midwest Public Health Training Center, August 2016
  • Presenter, "Aging and the Law: It's Time To Get Your Legal Decision Making House in Order," Embracing Aging Community Action Series, June 2016
  • Presenter, "Making Crucial Connections: Local Boards of Health and Public Health Law," Upper Midwest Public Health Training Center, May 2016
  • Author, "If We Build It, Will They Come: Development of an On-campus Residency for Online Students," The Journal of Health Administration Education, Spring 2016
  • Presenter, "HIPAA Privacy Training For Pharmacists and Other Healthcare Workers," Collaborative Education Institute, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Five Years After the Affordable Care Act: Now What?" Drake Law School Iowa Attorneys General Practice Seminar," December 2015
  • Presenter, "Improving Student Critical Thinking Skills," Drake Learning Symposium, August 2015
  • Presenter, "Healthcare Compliance 101," College of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas, April 2015
  • Presenter, "Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting" and "Caution: Crossing Professional Boundaries," Iowa Chiropractic Association Annual Meeting, April 2015
  • Legal Panel Member, "Responding to Sexual Assault," Panel on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Des Moines, Iowa, April 2015
  • Presenter, "Who Told You Could Sell My Spleen? Legal and Ethical Implications of the Henrietta Lacks Case," Des Moines University and Drake University, Author Rebecca Skloot's  Book Forum, March 2015
  • Legal Panel Member, "Open Minds Open Discussions: Every Voice has Value." Health Disparities Panel, January 2015
  • Test Item Writer and Reviewer (Health Care, Law or Ethics Areas), Certification Management Services, 2014-2016
  • Peer Reviewer, Journal of Health Administration Education, May 2013-2015
  • Assistant Professor/Faculty Member with Des Moines University Dual Appointment to College of Medicine and College of Health Sciences since 2007 and clinical Associate Professor/Practitioner Scholar Faculty Member at Des Moines University, College of Health Sciences, 2002-2007
  • “A Comprehensive Approach to Optimum Learning Communities,” Scholarly Paper and Presentation at Association for Institutional Research 50th Annual Forum, Chicago, IL: June 1, 2010
  • “Comprehensive Planning for Disruptive Patients in Iowa Emergency Departments,” Iowa Society of Healthcare Attorneys, Johnston, IA: May 9, 2010
  • “Medicaid Planning for Aging Clients,” Elder Law Class, Drake Law School, Des Moines, IA: February 10, 2010
  • “To Disclose or Not Disclose: That is the Question,” Article in DMU Magazine. Winter 2010 
  • “A Physician’s Role in Disclosing Adverse Events” Iowa Lutheran Hospital Physician Residency Program, Des Moines, IA: January, 2010


Drake University Law School, J.D., 1996, with honors

Drake University, M.P.A., 1995.

  • Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Affairs Administration

Wartburg College, B.A., 1992, magna cum laude

Waldorf College, A.A., 1990, magna cum laude

  • Truman Congressional Scholar, 1990


  • Iowa

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