Skip to Main Content

Tim Mercer

Contact Information

Tim Mercer


Tim Mercer is the the inaugural holder of the JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Family Foundation Endowed Chair in the Department of Population Health. He is also a primary care physician for the Health Care for the Homeless program with CommUnityCare, Austin’s largest federally qualified health center.Fundamentally, he is interested in solving health system challenges and promoting health through community-engaged scholarship and service to improve access, quality and equity in health for vulnerable populations globally and locally. In addition to his clinical practice, teaching and mentoring, he implements and evaluates health system and community-based programs and conducts implementation research. He has raised over $10 million in federal, corporate, foundation and philanthropic funding, serving as project director or principal investigator of multiple projects and partnerships to achieve these goals.At Dell Med, Mercer leads the global health program, which aims to leverage the academic missions of service, education and research to improve health and advance health equity for vulnerable populations globally, while building interdisciplinary collaborations to address social and structural determinants of health, strengthen health systems and cultivate globally minded leaders. Under his leadership, Dell Med has joined the Academic Model Providing Access to Health Care (AMPATH) Consortium in Eldoret, Kenya. AMPATH is one of the world’s most successful academic global health programs, a 30-year-long academic partnership between Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya and a consortium of North American academic medical centers led by Indiana University.

Mercer also leads The University of Texas at Austin in the first replication effort of the AMPATH paradigm in partnership with Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) and the Mexican Ministry of Health to strengthen primary health care and address chronic diseases in low-income, rural communities in the State of Puebla, Mexico, and generate shared lessons for improving the health of populations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.Locally, he leads a variety of efforts to enhance access to care and improve health outcomes among individuals experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. To this end, he is the director of the Mobile Medical and Mental Health Care Team, or M3 Team, which is an innovative, mobile, integrated care team that focuses on individuals with chronic homelessness and tri-morbid serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders and chronic medical conditions. He is also the co-principal investigator of a project using implementation science to scale up treatment for Hepatitis C among people experiencing homelessness. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has worked with a broad community coalition to lead a robust and effective response to address and prevent COVID-19 among individuals experiencing homelessness. More recently, he leads efforts at Dell Med alongside community health workers to increase access to COVID vaccinations for vulnerable populations, address social determinants of health and increase access to primary care.

Originally from Canada, Mercer moved to the U.S. at a young age and was raised in a small town in northeast Indiana. He went on to study biology and philosophy at Butler University and received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He earned a master’s degree in public health with a focus in social and behavioral sciences from the Yale School of Public Health and then completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Duke University Medical Center. Following his training, and prior to joining the faculty at Dell Med, he served for two years as the medicine team leader for AMPATH, holding joint faculty positions in the departments of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya.

He is an active participant in the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine — of which the latter he was selected as a scholar in the 2021-2022 cohort of the LEAD leadership development program. He also serves on the Austin Travis County EMS Advisory Board. He has won several teaching awards and has been recognized by Dell Med and the Travis County Medical Society for his community impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two children, and he is an avid runner who loves food and enjoys traveling across three continents to spend time with extended family.

Departments & Organizations