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    Using health policy to advocate for patients

    Ophthalmologists serve as bridge between patient care and health policy


    When advocating for patients on a national level, Dr. Mattox provided tips when handling government and health policy. She advised that ophthalmologists learn and understand the structure of the organization they are dealing with, bring issues to light, and find willing allies (even patients) who can aid the cause.

    In addition, she noted that serendipity can work magic. Happening to meet an individual who has been touched personally by glaucoma can also help move toward the goal. Anticipating consequences during the planning stages can help avoid wasting time when dealing with various agencies.

    Finally, persistence can result in policy change, but this requires diligence and determination, she noted.

    “Ophthalmologists—with their unique perspective and bridge between patient care and health policy—can become effective advocators for their patients,” Dr. Mattox said.

    For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times’ Conference Brief, click here.


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