Common Searches

Dr. Cathy Phillips (OD 1992)

From an early age, Cathy Phillips knew she wanted to pursue a professional path in some aspect of the healthcare field. But she never had the stomach for the sight of blood and open wounds. As the Washington, Missouri native considered alternatives, she set her sights on a career in eyecare after recalling her nearsightedness and the optometrist who cared for her as a child.

"I had great admiration for the work and ability of my optometrist to help others see better," Cathy said. "I can’t think of a career I’d rather have than helping people maximize their visual potential."

With a passion identified, and two years at East Central Junior College in hand, Cathy applied to the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Optometry, graduating in 1992. Cathy says that while her academic experience was challenging, it was a very worthwhile investment of time and effort that led to many long-term friendships.

Cathy Phillips

“In a class of 40 optometry students who spent almost every day together for four years, we got to know each other very well,” Cathy said. “I made a lot of great friends, and I have great respect for them and what they've contributed to our profession.”

After graduation, she served as Director of Contact Lens Services at Saint Louis University Eye Institute for 18 years. In 2012, Cathy joined Clarkson Eyecare in Pacific, Missouri, providing comprehensive eye care and eye exams.

She and her husband Tom Porter, also an optometrist, have been married for 31 years. They live in Eureka, Missouri with their two adult daughters, Gabrielle and Andrea, and three dogs, Bella, Odie (OD) and Daisy. In support of their community, Cathy and Gabrielle are Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers, currently working their third case advocating for youth in foster care after their first two cases closed with a successful reunification and a joyful adoption.