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 25 years of health-law related experience to graduate students at Drake University, where she is a full-time Associate Professor of Public Administration Practice. She is also a clinical guest lecturer at Des Moines University and has taught health law for the University of Iowa’s Executive Master's 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 is a recipient of multiple faculty awards.

Denise is a sought-after speaker, author, media commentator, and thought leader on a wide variety of health law, public health law, employment law, bioethics, regulatory, and corporate compliance issues. Most recently she authored Vaccine Mandates in the Health Care Workplace: A Legal Primer for Employers published by the American Health Law Association.

Denise was named the Vice-Chair for the first National Vaccine Law Conference to be held at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in September 2022. She is on the board of teh National Vaccine Law Association in recognition of her extensive experience advising organizations, writing, and presenting on public health and vaccination law issues at the state and national levels. For example, two decades ago Denise helped to negotiate the Public Health Disaster Emergency provisions in the Iowa Code that were utilized during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Denise was selected as one of 15 nationally known health law experts to contribute to 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; an area that she has studied and presented on for many years. In addition to her health law-related scholarship, Denise is a co-author of the forthcoming text Maximize Student Retention and Persistence to Graduation: Proven Strategies for Higher Education as well as the book Powerful Learning Communities: A Guide to Developing Student, Faculty, and Professional Learning Communities to Improve Student Success and Organizational Effectiveness that was published by Stylus.

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 was a 1990 Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholar and graduated with honors from Drake Law School. Denise received her Master's in Public Administration from the Drake College of Business & Public Administration and her undergraduate degrees were from Wartburg and Waldorf Colleges.

Contact Denise today or call 515-288-6041 for more information. 



  • 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 Law Association
  • National Vaccine Law Association (Board Member)
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Health Law)
  • Iowa Community Health Leadership Institute (Fellow)
  • 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

Events & Speaking Engagements

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Vice-Chair for the National Vaccine Law Conference, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, September 2022, 2023

  • 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
  • Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholar

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership






  • 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

2018 and prior

  • Speaker, Midwestern Public Health Training Center, "Quarantine and Isolation Law" January 2018
  • Hill, D.; Gosfield, A.G. (Ed.) (2018). “Patient-Centered Opioid Compliance in a World of Pain.” Health Law Handbook (1st ed., Vol. 30, pp. 3-120). Eagan, MN: Thomson Reuters.

  • 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
  • Hill, D. (2013) “Protecting Patient Privacy.” Pharmacy Technician TEAM Monograph. Collaborative Education Institute.
  • 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. with honors

Drake University, M.P.A.

  • Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Affairs Administration

Wartburg College, B.A. magna cum laude

Waldorf College, A.A. magna cum laude

  • Truman Congressional Scholar,


  • Iowa

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