Cynthia Mattox, MD, was nominated by the American Glaucoma Society and Women in Ophthalmology to receive this year's Outstanding Advocate Award.
Over the past 21 years, Dr. Mattox has energetically advocated on behalf of all patients for safety initiatives, better access, and better care at both the state and national levels. She has led important initiatives that have profoundly affected all ophthalmologists, clearly impacting and improving day-to-day clinical care and the welfare of their patients. She has a local, national and international reputation as not only an outstanding glaucoma and cataract diagnostician and surgeon, but a true advocate in every sense of the word.
As a member of the Academy's Health Policy committee since 2004, Dr. Mattox has successfully leveraged her insight of the various federal governmental agencies that control patient care. Her leadership paved the way for many projects that improved the clinical care and vision of countless patients. Her grasp of the manner in which federal agencies view health care in general, and ophthalmology patients specifically, has allowed her to be highly successful in dealing with government initiatives. Among her best successes was her leadership in the effort to relax the refill rules in Medicare Part D drug plans. She also defended the system of color coding on ophthalmic eye drops bottles, improved formulary access to ophthalmics in pharmacy plans and assisted access to glaucoma surgical implants for patients with severe glaucoma.
Additionally, Dr. Mattox has worked on behalf of her fellow ophthalmologists for fair payment and review policies. She has been an invaluable resource to all ophthalmologists through her input on Academy efforts at the Relative Value Update Committee that determines the value of subspecialty services for the Medicare fee schedule. Her efforts have been deeply appreciated by the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) membership, which recognized the need for subspecialty society involvement in advocacy, by recently nominating and electing her to be the next AGS vice president in line for the presidency. Dr. Mattox has also held leadership positions in other organizations such as the Chandler Grant Glaucoma Society and the New England Ophthalmological Society.
Dr. Mattox has also embarked on exciting work for the Academy's IRIS™ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight), the nation's first comprehensive eye disease clinical registry which will play a critical role in the continual improvement in the delivery of eye care. She has contributed to the development of quality measures which ultimately will raise the standard of care and improve the delivery of ophthalmic care in the U.S. In addition to the clinical activities of her practice, her teaching responsibilities, and her volunteer activities, Dr. Mattox continues to tackle important issues to ensure better care for all patients with eye diseases in the United States.
Dr. Mattox is a leader who inspires the best from her colleagues, is a constant force of good will, and an ambassador for all of ophthalmology and patients. The Academy is honored to announce Dr. Cynthia Mattox as a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Advocate Award.