August 15, 2016

Shawn McIntosh Named Executive Director of Sugar Free Kids Maryland

Sugar Free Kids Maryland (SFK), the state’s leading voice in the fight to protect Maryland children from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay, has announced that Shawn McIntosh will become the coalition’s new executive director on August 22.

McIntosh comes to Sugar Free Kids Maryland with more than 22 years of experience in the non-profit community, focusing on poverty issues, community development and health disparities.

“Sugar Free Kids Maryland has quickly gained a reputation as a difference-making health coalition in our state,” said McIntosh. “It’s a real honor to join this team and to help build the momentum that Sugar Free Kids has generated in its first three years. Together, we will make healthier food and drinks more widely-available, accessible and affordable to families in Maryland.”

Since 2012, McIntosh has served as program manager with the American Public Health Association’s Center for Public Health Policy. In that time, she co-led a strategic planning process with leaders from more than 20 national organizations concerned with public health and systems transformation. McIntosh was able to negotiate several key strategic partnership contracts in a short amount of time.

Prior to that, McIntosh served as the director of programs and advocacy at the Maryland Chapter of the American Diabetes Association. There, she led initiatives to enhance public awareness of the organization and its services, and represented its mission and priorities in statewide advocacy efforts. She also directed salaried and volunteer staff in the execution of community outreach programs and cultivated relationships with key community stakeholders to develop innovative diabetes prevention programs.

“We are excited to have Shawn join the Sugar Free Kids team,” said Gene Ransom, CEO of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, a lead partner of the coalition. “She cares deeply about the health of Marylanders and is an expert coalition builder.  Undoubtedly, Shawn will help us become an even stronger organization and build on the coalition’s record of achievement.”

Since launching in 2014, Sugar Free Kids Maryland has grown to a coalition of nearly 300 member organizations, many of whom have helped SFK advocate for policy change at the state and local levels. The coalition passed legislation that requires childcare centers in Maryland to provide healthier drinks to children in their care. SFK has also lobbied for initiatives including increasing healthy vending choices, repealing the state tax on bottled water and requiring warning labels for sugar-sweetened beverages on advertisements.