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UTHSC names new director of governmental relations

“Memphis has more potential or promise than any city in America, and I want to be part of shaping its destiny,” said David C. Mills, Sr., the new director of government relations at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Mills comes to the university with more than three decades of work as a lobbyist and strategic communicator. His experience includes networking with legislators, political candidates, business leaders, and government officials at the international, national, state, and local levels.

“Given the political and legislative impact on the ever-changing landscape of health care and research funding, the Health Science Center is fortunate to have someone like David Mills, who can assist us in providing much-needed support to members of the General Assembly in crafting the best legislation possible to support the health and welfare of the citizens of the state of Tennessee,” said Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer for UTHSC.

In addition, Mills will work to advance university initiatives identified by the administration as priorities. Top on the list, Mills said, is the university’s effort to combat the statewide addiction epidemic, with its Center for Addiction Science, as well as a proposal to establish a network of addiction medicine fellows trained at UTHSC to be the front line in treating, diagnosing, and preventing substance abuse across Tennessee.

Most recently, Mills held the position of senior director of government relations for the Iowa Health Information Network. He has served as senior director of Delaware Valley government relations for Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and held several positions at Vanderbilt University, including associate director of community, neighborhood and government relations; associate director for state policy and legislative affairs; and assistant director of government relations.

Mills has also served as administrative assistant for the Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Tennessee General Assembly, Title III director at Fisk University, state director PROJECT VOTE, and a research analyst in the Office of Minority Affairs for the General Assembly.

“We’re living in a time when health care is increasingly important,” Mills said. “The Health Science Center educates several thousand professionals each year. When you have bright young men and women coming here to develop their talent, and you get a chance to be part of that, I don’t know what could be more exciting.”

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