Dr. Mills currently serves as the Interim Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the University of New England. She is a Maine native who was raised in Farmington, graduated from Mt. Blue High School, Bowdoin College, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Pediatric Internship and Residency Program, and the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a board-certified pediatrician who practiced as a hospitalist in Los Angeles (two years) and in a pediatric practice in her hometown of Farmington (four years). She also practiced medicine in several rural international locations, including Tanzania and Nepal.
For nearly 15 years, from 1996-2011, she served as Maine's State Health Officer, for the administrations of Governors Angus S. King and John E. Baldacci. As the Director of the Maine CDC (formerly Bureau of Health), she led Maine's public health agency of 400 employees and $120 million budget. Some of her priorities included: lowering Maine's tobacco addiction and obesity rates; addressing environmental health concerns such as mercury in fish and commercial products; improving health equity; developing a statewide public health infrastructure; creating Healthy Maine 2010 and other state health planning initiatives; working on health care reform to increase access to care, improve quality of health care, and reduce costs; addressing chronic diseases with comprehensive and coordinated strategies; controlling outbreaks and epidemics, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic; leading the agency through several strategic planning processes and reorganizations to improve management, including using LEAN tools; leading the public health response to several emergencies such as major floods, a mass poisoning with arsenic, suspicious anthrax packages after 9/11/01, a major mercury spill, and the 1998 ice storm; and reducing Maine's teen pregnancy, infant and maternal mortality rates through a comprehensive approach to family planning and education. As part of her work she routinely and regularly wrote and delivered testimony before the Maine Legislature on numerous topics. She also developed non-legislative policy on a variety of issues.
Dr. Mills' work has been well recognized. Among her awards are: the 2007 American Medical Association's Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service; the 2003 National Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Award for tobacco work in Maine; the 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics Special Achievement Award for her work addressing the 2009 H1N1 pandemic by distributing vaccines through Maine's schools; the 2010 McCormack Award from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers for her national leadership during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic; the 2004 University of New England Deborah Morton Award; the highest awards by the Maine Public Health Association, the Maine Medical Association, and the Maine Development Foundation; and a 2011 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maine Augusta.
University of Vermont
Harvard School of Public Health
B.A., Bowdoin College
Interprofessional Health Education
Examples of review articles or other publications Dr. Mills has written:
"Early Childhood Health", a feature article appearing in the summer/fall 2009 Maine Policy Review (http://mcspolicycenter.umaine.edu/?q=node/1951, accessed 2/26/11)
"Public Health and Foreign Policy: A Brief Overview from the Perspective of a State Public Health Official", the feature article appearing in The Bowdoin Forum Journal of International Affairs, Spring 2006, Volume IX, (hard copy is available upon request to Dr. Mills or Bowdoin College).
"Obesity in Maine: A Policy Approach", a feature and cover article appearing in the Fall 2004 issue of Maine Policy Review (http://mcspolicycenter.umaine.edu/?q=node/1313, accessed 2/26/11).
"Top 10 Health Issues Faced by Maine People", an article appearing in the Spring 2003 issue of Maine Policy Review (http://mcspolicycenter.umaine.edu/?q=node/1289, accessed 2/26/11).
Healthy Maine 2010: Longer and Healthier Lives and Healthy Maine 2010: Opportunities for All, a two-volume 400-page resource and tool for health professionals, policymakers, and the interested public on health status issues faced by Maine people this decade, 2002 (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/healthy_maine/index.shtml, accessed 2/26/11).
"Chronic Disease: The Epidemic of the Twentieth Century" an article appearing in the Winter 2000 issue of Maine Policy Review, (http://mcspolicycenter.umaine.edu/?q=node/1237, accessed 2/26/11).
Healthy Maine 2000: A Decade in Review, a 140-page book reviewing Maine's progress toward achieving health status goals and objectives for the year 2000, (hard copy available upon request).
Examples of research articles Dr. Mills has authored or co-authored:
Several articles on the H1N1 pandemic are pending publication, and have been submitted to major medical and public health journals.
Graiter SB, Dube NL, Basurto-Davila R, Smith PF, Ferdinands J, Thompson M, Uzicanin A, Gargiullo P, Chaves SS, Robinson S, Sears S, Tipton M, Monto AS, Mills D, Shay DK. Effects of Immunizing School Children with 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Monovalent Vaccine on Absenteeism among Students and Teachers in Maine. Vaccine. 30(2012) 4835-4841.
Amra Uzicanin; Mark Thompson; Peter Smith; Sandra S. Chaves; Lydia Foster; Nancy Dube; Samuel Graitcer; Rebel Jackson; Jill Ferdinands; Paul Gargiullo; Dora Mills; Arnold S. Monto; David K. Shay; on behalf of the Maine 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine Effectiveness Evaluation Group
Journal of Infectious Diseases 2012; doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis441
Mills DA, Tomassoni AJ, Tallon LA, Kade KA, Savoia ES (2011). Mass Arsenic Poisoning and the Public Health Response in Maine. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. doi:10.1001/dmp.2011.1, January 26, 2011.(http://www.dmphp.org/cgi/content/abstract/dmp.2011.1v1, accessed 2/26/11)
Gensheimer, K. F., Rea, V., Mills, D. A., Montagna, C. P. and Simone, K. (2010), Arsenic Poisoning Caused by Intentional Contamination of Coffee at a Church Gathering—An Epidemiological Approach to a Forensic Investigation. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55: 1116–1119. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01375.x (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01375.x/abstract, accessed 2/26/11)
Doll, L., Dino, G., Deutsch, C., Holmes, A., Mills, D.A., Horn, K. (2001), Linking Research and Practice: Two Academic-Public Health Collaborations That Are Working. Health Promotion and Practice, 2: 296-300. doi: 10.1177/152483990100200406. (http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/2/4/296.short, accessed 2/26/11)