- Audiences (214)
- Awareness (159)
- Blogs (159)
- Brands (199)
- Communications (319)
- Conferences (24)
- Contest (13)
- Events (83)
- Excel (32)
- Expertizing (99)
- Facebook (175)
- family (84)
- Fundraiser (24)
- Google (69)
- Infographic (9)
- Interview (52)
- jobs (93)
- libraries (11)
- LinkedIn (64)
- Maine (259)
- Mobile Marketing (29)
- Music (13)
- Nonprofit (43)
- Photos (202)
- Pinterest (60)
- Podcasting (11)
- PR (345)
- PR Maven (188)
- QR Codes (8)
- Royal Wedding (3)
- Search Engine Optimization (100)
- Skowhegan Savings (3)
- Social Media (277)
- Society of American Travel Writers (9)
- Speaking Engagements (48)
- travel (91)
- Trek Across Maine (3)
- Twitter (96)
- Uncategorized (206)
- Web sites (141)
- Weekly Features (302)
- Workshops (55)
- Writing (39)
- YouTube (36)
Dedication and Collaborations Improve Health Policies for Children in Maine
NMC is happy to announce Fran Mullin as today’s Monday Maine Maven. With an extensive history in nonprofit management, NMC has had the pleasure of knowing Fran both personally and professionally for many years.
She then worked at the American Cancer Society where she was the director of education. In this capacity Fran worked to improve school health and Maine’s tobacco policies. She gathered women’s health advocates to start the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition and helped pass a law requiring insurance coverage for mammograms.
As director of education at the Family Planning Association of Maine, Fran expanded outreach to adolescents and mobilized a diverse coalition to pass a state law in support of family life education. Their efforts received national recognition for decreasing Maine’s teen pregnancy rate to third lowest in the country.
Fran then received her master’s degree at the University of Maine and became the executive director of the Children’s Center in Augusta, and increased community support for preschool children with disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy.
As executive director at WinterKids, Fran developed a strategic plan to achieve their vision of a world where all children are healthy and fit because they are outdoors, active and having fun in the winter.
Fran is now back home in Cornville, and loves consulting with innovative organizations like the Maine Grain Alliance, a nonprofit that is bringing back grain traditions such as growing wheat and baking bread. And as the director of Community Transformation at the United Way of Mid-Maine in Waterville, Fran is still working to improve health policies for children in Central Maine.
1. Fran, you are currently working on a Community Transformation Grant for the United Way of Mid-Maine. What kind of transformation do you hope to see? Who else is involved in this effort?
I’m working with the Maine CDC, the Central Public Health District, Healthy Maine Partnerships, hospitals, and many other organizations to reduce chronic illnesses that cause premature death. Prevention starts early so we’re focusing first on policies that will create healthier environments for kids.
Right now, we’re trying to increase the number of schools and child care centers in Kennebec and Somerset Counties that meet national standards for physical activity and nutrition. Everyone wants children to grow up healthy, so we’re pulling together and making some progress.
Our communities will transform when the healthy choice is the easy choice.
2. In your career, you have worked with many high-profile organizations that used social media and public relations to get the word out. What has been the most successful example of a PR or social media success?
I’ve been fortunate to work with many communications-savvy organizations that have had a real impact on people’s lives. One of my favorite successes was creating the coalition called “Plain Truth for Maine Youth” and advocating for comprehensive sexuality education, against the tide of “Just Say No” abstinence-only education.
- We rallied dozens of organizations from the Maine Medical Association to the Maine Civil Liberties Union, from school counselors to clergy.
- We developed talking points and got the facts out in newsletters, news stories, op-eds, editorials, and TV debates.
- National journals highlighted Maine’s progress in teen pregnancy prevention.
- All the coalition partners activated their e-mail lists to educate their members, and then these constituencies educated their legislators.
- Public opinion polls showed strong support.
- Public hearings were overwhelmingly in favor.
The Maine House and Senate passed the Family Life Education Act and the Governor signed the first such law in the US.
The PR didn’t end with that victory: Two teen advocates appeared on a national TV talk show and Maine’s unique story was featured in Seventeen magazine.
Best of all was the public health success story – Maine’s teen pregnancy rate continued to drop.
3. You love winter in Maine, and have enjoyed working at WinterKids as well as both Saddleback and Sugarloaf since you graduated from Colby College. How has the ski industry changed since you started working in it?
A snowy Maine winter is a thing of beauty – a joy for me! I started ski patrolling back in high school, was a Courtesy Patroller at Sugarloaf in college, and have been volunteering on patrol at Saddleback since 1987.
About ten years ago, I began teaching people with physical disabilities to ski in the Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation program. I’ve seen lots of change, from rope tows to T-bars to high speed quad chairs, from long skis to short skis to fat skis to snowboards. It’s all fun!
The happiest changes are the births, graduations, marriages, and other celebrations among my winter friends who have become my family. That’s what I love the most.