The Academy is proud to honor Ralph C. Lanciano Jr., DO, with the 2019 Outstanding Advocate Award. This award recognizes Dr. Lanciano for his lifelong dedication in ensuring quality eye care for patients.
The New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology (NJAO) nominated Dr. Lanciano for his advocacy efforts that span decades of direct involvement at both the state and federal levels. Dr. Lanciano is the ultimate strategist, immersing himself in every stage of advocacy planning from beginning to end, internal and external, always focused on achieving the best outcome. He has served as an Academy councilor and continues to regularly attend the Spring and Fall Council Meetings held in conjunction with the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum and annual meeting.
In addition to his work with the council, Dr. Lanciano has served on the Academy’s Task Force on Patient Initiatives and Task Force on Co-management. He was a member of the Academy’s Carrier Advisory Committee representing the NJAO. He has served with distinction in the state of New Jersey for over 35 years and has been elected to all offices of the New Jersey Academy Board of Governors, including his first term as president from 1997-98.
Dr. Lanciano spends significant time teaching the importance of physician advocacy to young ophthalmologists. He collaborated with the Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs on the development and implementation of the Residents’ Advocacy Program (RAP) and continues to deliver RAP sessions to engage and empower ophthalmology residents to advocate for their profession and patients.
The RAP program gives residents the opportunity to meet and hear directly from state legislators, congressional members and state regulators. Often these meetings are the first serious conversation these doctors have that pertains to the role of government in their scope and their careers. Informing and inspiring young doctors about the importance of advocacy is central to Dr. Lanciano’s overall advocacy goals.
Dr. Lanciano has shown tireless energy in advocating for our profession and patients. Attending fundraisers, testifying on legislation, serving on the legislative committee, participating for days on Capitol Hill, monitoring executive branch activity and commenting on proposed rule changes extend Dr. Lanciano’s advocacy efforts far beyond the “typical” – all things he has been doing for decades. He consistently supports other states in strategy around dealing with scope-of-practice legislation.
Dr. Lanciano practices comprehensive ophthalmology in Pennsauken, N.J. He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his ophthalmology residency training at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital.