Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Amy Moy

faculty poses and smiles in front of a colorful mural

Dr. Moy received her Doctor of Optometry Degree in 2003, and now serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry at NECO as well as Director of Health Center Network and Chief Compliance Officer. In addition to her NECO roles, Amy is also an Attending Doctor at the Martha Eliot Health Center.

The Student Years

I always knew I wanted to come to NECO. When I was accepted in 1999, I moved into an apartment with my new classmate and soon-to-be bestie, Jenn Anders, and got to know others at our orientation retreat at Waterville Valley (thanks, Barbara McGinley!).

Looking back, my years in Optometry school were some of the best years of my life. I am biased, but the class of 2003 had the best people in it, and to this day, we are happy to see each other at conferences. We dreaded Tonometry and Gonioscopy labs together, grimaced in Anatomy dissection lab together, and celebrated birthdays and ate together. The Eye Ball at Rowe’s Wharf was one of my fondest memories. Jenn and I dressed up as ESO and EXO Worth 4 Dot flashlights for the Halloween party. A few of us studied together in the Boston Common, and for study breaks, we would shop at Downtown Crossing in Filene’s Basement, or get off at the Lechmere stop to go to the Cambridgeside Galleria.

During my time as a student, I started the student NECO chapter of the American Academy of Optometry with Dr. Dan Kurtz, and the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists with Dr. Rich Jamara and some close friends. Whenever I hear that both clubs are still active in our student body, I am grateful to be part of their history.

I also learned to love community health and inter-professional care as I went through my rotations. I was one of the first student interns at Codman Square Health Center, with Dr. Taline Farra. I was at Dorchester House for two years, with Dr. Doug Hoffman, Dr. Roger Wilson, and Dr. Phyllis Andrejko, who are all NECO legends in their own right. Little did I know that after doing my residency at VA Bedford (one of my favorite sites ever), I would return to the world of community health.

Dr. Cliff Scott, aka Scotty, hired me to be the Optometry Director at Martha Eliot Health Center and that was pivotal for me. I grew as a doctor, a faculty member, a teacher, and a manager in so many ways over those 16 years. I have such fond memories of the interns who have come through there and keep in touch with so many of them. I consider my long-time patients like family.

The Present

I eventually became Chief Clinical Officer for NECO, and was then mentored by Dr. Wilson and Dr. Gary Chu to become the current Director of Health Centers. I am also the Chief Compliance Officer and talk about exciting things like peer reviews and HIPAA. I have amazing colleagues and I love the diverse roles I play.

My job encompasses a lot. From negotiating health center contracts for NECO and leading a meeting of NECO’s clinic directors, to developing training for our providers and staff, to chairing the NECO COVID Exposure Committee. I also see patients and devise learning tools like Optometry Olympics and Drug Grand Rounds. I’m also planning NECO’s 50th Anniversary of partnering with community health centers (stay tuned for more details!). The health center network is one of the elements that set our school apart, and I am beyond proud to celebrate the first 50 years.

In addition, having a daughter who happens to have Down syndrome has made me a better doctor and the ability to blend my job with my personal life, in the form of lecturing about the parent side of families with disabilities, as well as developing the idea for a grant that provides social stories for kids with disabilities, and free specialized eyeglasses for kids with disabilities through a grant from the AOA and Essilor.

If there is one thing that I can achieve, I want to support a flourishing health center network and curriculum so that each NECO student graduates with an appreciation for their role in interdisciplinary care, a desire to focus on the patient as a whole and not just their eyes, and a knowledge of how to advocate for their patients so that health inequities can be addressed. I am not exaggerating when I say that we have the power to change lives, whether it is a child who has visual problems that affect school performance, catching brain tumors, collaborating with PCPs to help a patient with diabetes, or working through insurance red tape to get a patient the medication they need. We can truly all make a difference, and that is something for which I will always be grateful to NECO.

Postscript: I have two openings in the NECO Health Center Network right now if someone is ready to make a difference in their community and join the NECO faculty. Email me at [email protected] if you would like more info!