Dr. Rita K. Mallia, MPA is a Health Care Consultant and Optometry Subject Matter Expert for the Defense Health Agency at the Vision Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  Her main areas of focus include combat vision care research, care coordination of DoD and VA programs, performance metrics, vision health data, and healthcare policies concerning ocular disease and injury prevention. She obtained her Doctor of Optometry, graduating with Honors, from the State University of New York College of Optometry.  She then went on to complete Residency training in Ocular Disease and Low Vision at the VA Medical Center, West Haven, CT.  Before coming to the Defense Health Agency, Dr. Mallia was an Optometrist at multiple Department of Defense clinics, including Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Patterson Army Health Clinic, where she served as Chief of Optometry.  After several years of clinical practice, providing eye care to Military Service members, Veterans and their families, Dr. Mallia obtained a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.  This enabled her to transition seamlessly into her current role, while allowing her to broaden her expertise beyond vision care. While the primary scope of her practice currently is vision care policy, care coordination, and research, she continues to maintain an active clinical practice and regularly pursues additional training in areas such as artificial intelligence, healthcare data models, telehealth, and healthcare data literacy.

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