Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Maine’s former public health director, has been named vice president for clinical affairs at the University of New England.

She will begin the new job Sept. 2, according to an announcement from UNE. She intends to strengthen the medical school’s clinical partnerships and its community and public health mission, the school said.

Mills, a pediatrician, served as director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention for 15 years under Govs. Angus King and John Baldacci.  She is recognized for helping to reduce Maine’s rate of tobacco use, teen pregnancy and childhood obesity.

Mills received her M.D. degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine, and her Master of Public Health from Harvard University.

“Dr. Mills’ outstanding record of public health service and collaboration makes her the ideal choice to lead UNE’s interprofessional health care education efforts and expand our public health and clinical outreach programs in Maine,” UNE president Danielle Ripich said in the announcement.

Mills’ leadership is expected to help UNE develop clinical education sites that will inform best practices as the state responds to national health care reforms.

Dr. Robert McAfee, former president of the American Medical Association and UNE trustee emeritus, praised the appointment in a statement:

“As ‘The Public Health Voice of Maine’ for the past 15 years, Dr. Mills has been recognized by her peers for excellence as an administrator, caregiver, teacher and role model. She now brings to UNE a unique statewide, nationwide and international experience in not only the delivery of care, but also the critical need for prevention.  Her proven ability to assess our needs and craft solutions to improve our health as well as improve the health care system itself is well known. She is the perfect person for the job at UNE.”

Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said, “Dr. Mills is probably the best known physician in the state. I’m delighted to learn she is staying in Maine and using her considerable talents to contribute to the already excellent clinical education at UNE.  This appointment is another important osteopathic-allopathic collaboration to improve health care in our state.”