Salutations Masthead 2011 

January 2014     
In This Issue
Dr Neal Nyman Honored
Interim VP Academic Affairs
New Chief of Staff
AFOS MPH Scholarships
Student Advisory Board Dinner
Student News

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The Salus University community warmly welcomes its newest members:


Jasmine Campbell,
Clinical Research Coordinator, The Eye Institute
The Salus University community offers sincere congratulations to the following members:  

Dean Victor Bray,

PhD, on his selection as a Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (NAP), and as a Distinguished Public Policy Fellow of the inaugural class of its Audiology Academy. Academy. Induction will occur April 5.

Karlee Gustafson '15OD, on her December 28 marriage to Andrew Bowers, who is in the Master of Education degree program at Arcadia University. One of Mrs. Bowers' bridesmaids was Salus PCO classmate Krystal Worthington '15OD.


John Kilpatrick,

an O&M student in the College of Education and Rehabilitation, on winning the 2014 Delta Gamma Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship Award, which covers expenses to attend the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Leadership Conference in New York.  

Jamie Marks, CER (College of Education and Rehabilitation) student, on passing her

Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) certification exams and becoming a nationally certified  VRT specialist. 


Whitney McConkey '15OD, on being awarded Vistakon's J. Pat Cummings Award, conferred annually on a second or third year optometry student at each of the North American schools and colleges of optometry. The winners best demonstrate "the ideal eye care standards of practice, achievement in both academic performance and extra-curricular activities, and participation with other professional pursuits such as involvement with patients through internships, community service, and other volunteer activities."


Dr. Girija Sundar,

director, Distance Education, Osborne College of Audiology, on being elected chair of the Audiology Sub-Committee for the Coalition for Global Hearing Health. The coalition's purpose is to advocate for hearing health services and policies, to equip and empower hearing healthcare professionals, families, educators, communities and the hearing impaired, and to encourage and perpetuate best practices. Their mission is to promote and enhance hearing health services in low-resourced communities.

CER faculty members,

Dean Audrey Smith, Ms.

Lynne Dellinger, Dr. Duane Geruschat, Ms. Kerry Lueders, Ms. Jamie Maffit, Dr. Fabiana Perla, and

Dr. Brooke Smith, on 


presenting at the annual AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference held in December in New Orleans.
The Salus University community offers sincere sympathy to the following members:
Janet Wilbur, Professional Studies and International Programs, on the passing of her mother, Catherine Connelly Wilbur, on January 21. 

Spring Commencement
Thursday, May 22, 2014  2:00 pm
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Doctor of Optometry Doctor of Audiology Education and Rehabilitation in Blindness and Visual Impairments Occupational Therapy International Program TEI Residents
_ _ _ _ _ _
Audiology Alumni
March 26-29, 2014
Audiology NOW! Orlando, FL
Alumni Reception

Optometry Alumni
Optometry's Meeting
June 25-29, 2014 Philadelphia, PA
Alumni Reception


Salus University 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cornea and Contact Lens Symposium

8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Salus University, Elkins Park Campus, Room 300 South

8 Hours (4 TPA) - COPE Approval Pending

Fee: $180


NJ Academy of Optometry  (NJAO) 

April 23-27, 2014 

12th Annual Educational Conference

Hilton Embassy Suites @ Kingston Plantation

Myrtle Beach, SC




Service Awards
The University held its annual holiday party for faculty and staff in December and service awardees, ranging from five years to 35 years, were greeted with applause as they received their certificates and awards from Salus president
Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, who thanked them for their service. 
Dr. Neal Nyman Honored    
Pictured at the party are (left to right): Mrs. Nyman, Dr. Neal Nyman and Drs. Jean Pagani, Sue Oleszewski, Helene Kaiser, Carlo Pelino and Lorraine Lombardi. (photo credit: Jamie Yusupov '17AUD)
On January 1, Dr. Neal Nyman transitioned from his administrative role as chief of Primary Care Suite 3 at The Eye Institute. He will continue in his role as a faculty member at The Eye Institute (TEI). In her announcement to the University
Dr. Linda Casser noted that Dr. Nyman had requested the transition earlier in 2013 and, "while this request was reluctantly accepted yet fully supported, Dr. Nyman's transition has provided an opportunity to sincerely thank him for his many years of distinguished administrative service..."

     Dr. Neal Nyman came to PCO and The Eye Institute in 1985 as chief of Primary Care Module 4. He will continue in his role as a faculty member and associate professor in the University's Pennsylvania College of Optometry, with "ongoing substantive assignments in Clinical Education, patient care at TEI and continued service as a key instructor in the Doctor / Patient Relationship course." PCO faculty and Salus administrators held a surprise party for him after the faculty meeting on January 10, complete with a tongue in cheek slide show  - "Name the Nyma" - of photos of Dr. Nyman and his identical twin brother and fellow faculty member, Dr. Jeffrey Nyman, director of Emergency Services at TEI.

      Dr. Michael Rebar assumes the role of interim chief of Primary Care Suite 3, in addition to his duties as director of On-Campus Residency Programs.  

Interim Associate VP Academic Affairs Named 

Dr. Janice Scharre has been appointed interim associate vice president of Academic Affairs. The announcement was made by Dr. Anthony Di Stefano, who will be stepping down from that position at the end of June. The University has retained Dr. Scharre from now through June 30.  
     Dr. Scharre is charged with assisting in this transition period, during which the University expects to complete a number of leadership searches. Her primary role will be to serve as a member of the University Steering Committee, which is charged with preparing the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Periodic Review Report and aligning it with the University strategic planning process. Dr. Scharre also will assist in developing an updated overall institutional assessment framework, and undertaking an audit of assessment strategies and outcomes utilized across University colleges and programs in an effort to assure alignment with MSCHE expectations.

    Dr. Scharre has been a consultant for Salus PCO and was instrumental in the construction of the Scholars program. She was vice president/dean of Academic Affairs at the Illinois College of Optometry after being ICO's associate dean of Clinical Affairs, and is completing her ninth year as a member of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.  

Research Grants for Drs. Ooi, Dizhoor

Salus faculty members and researchers, Dr. Teng Leng Ooi and Dr. Alexander M. Dizhoor, recently were awarded research grants by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

     Dr. Ooi's project,"Improving Binocular Vision Through Perceptual Learning," is a new, three year grant. Her study investigates binocular vision and focuses on restoring the inter-ocular balance of excitatory and inhibitory interactions. This novel project will further understanding of visual information processing and adult cortical plasticity, and optimize a novel push-pull perceptual learning protocol to effectively reduce sensory eye dominance and improve binocular vision in amblyopes and non-amblyopes. The critical idea motivating the project stems from previous work of Dr. Ooi and her team that was published in the journal Current Biology, Vol. 23, No. 8.  

        Dr. Dizhoor, the University's Hafter Chair in Pharmacology, was awarded a competitive renewal grant for four years. His project, "Regulation of Cyclic GMP Synthesis in Photoreceptors," focuses on mutations that alter cGMP synthesis in photoreceptors causing severe congenital blinding diseases, such as cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy (CORD), and Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA). Elucidating the molecular mechanisms will help better design strategies for treatment of these diseases. This grant renewal is for the continuation of the same line of research begun by Dr. Dizhoor and his team in 1996. The progression of this project has been publicized in scientific journals as well as local and national press.  

AFOS MPH Scholarship Students

Dr. William Monaco, associate director, MPH (Master  of Public Health) degree program,has announced the awarding of four AFOS/Salus Tribute Scholarships. AFOS (Armed Forces Optometric Society) scholarships are available to active duty military who are AFOS members in good standing or their dependents. Up to five scholarships are awarded each year by the selection committee, which is comprised of appointed members of AFOS and the Salus MPH program. The scholarships cover 50% of the tuition costs of the MPH program and this year's recipients are: Dr. Christopher Caldwell, Schofield Barracks Health Clinic; Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii; Dr. Joseph A. Pruitt, Minneapolis Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Rochester, MN; Dr. Gregg Russell, USAF Reserve, Marietta, GA and Dr. Justin E. Sandholm, Optometry Flight Commander, 6th Medical Group, MacDill Air Force Base, FL.

Optometry's Meeting will be in Philadelphia this year from  June 25-29. Join us at the National Constitution Center for an alumni reception on Friday, June 27. Connect with classmates and faculty for a fun evening in a truly unique setting! 

Optometry Student Advisory Board Dinner

 The Optometry Student Advisory Board held its fourth annual "Celebration of Leadership" dinner in December to recognize and thank the participants of the Dean's Board who are members of the third year class and are transitioning from campus life to their off-campus externship rotations.  The members of the Class of 2015 recognized by Dr. Linda Casser were: Jason Cheung, president; Andrew Meagher, vice president; Whitney McConkey, representative;Kelsey Moody, representative; Meghan Graveline, NBEO liaison; and
Jennifer Turano, AOSA trustee. The dinner was funded through the Alcon Partner in Education grant and this year four representatives from the Alcon team participated in the event.
Student News

NOSA - On January 20, NOSA (National Optometric Student Association) students Cerina Buchanan '15, Shanee Chandler '15, Gustie Christopher '15, Richae Dehaney '16, Candace Ellis '15, Samantha Haslbeck '17, Tiffany Hooks '16, Paulina Hor '17, Stefanie Hwang '16, Jessica Johnson '17, Sadia Kalsoom '16, Marichris Lim '17, Rehana Manji '17, Caitlin McQueen '17, Julia Mobilio '17, Kelly Morse '17, Gargee Patel '17,  Eleanor Siri '17,  Bryttani Sylvain '15, Deena Tailor '17, Denise Tran '17, Ting Wei '16, Shirley Yan '16,  and preceptors Dr. Neal Nyman and Dr. Ruth Shoge, spent the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at Girard College, where the group performed 44 vision screenings for community members.



Also in January, NOSA and the Red Cross held a blood drive on campus. The recruitment efforts of NOSA members paid off, as this was the highest producing NOSA blood drive since 2009, with 34 registered donors. The Red Cross collected 29 productive units of blood that can be used to save as many as 87 lives through the generosity of Salus donors, who included students from the optometry, audiology, and physician assistant programs, as well as Salus staff and faculty. NOSA thanked all who participated in this important event, especially the many first-time donors, and hopes to sponsor a second blood drive later this semester.




SOSH -Students in Optometric Service to Humanity - held its second annual Mr. Salus pageant this month and Salus University's male students looked great! This year's Mr. Salus is Youssef Neema '16OD. Runners up were Sean Fuster '17AUD (first) and David Lai '16OD (second), with Chaz Truesdale '16OD winning Mr. Congeniality. Thanks to contestants: Karl Cunningham '17OD; Tony Hollop '16OD; Vitto Mena '14OD; and Daniel Situ '16OD. The men paraded in dress or casual attire before their enthusiastic audience and judges Dr. Alissa Coyne, Dr. Melissa Trego and Dr. Bre Myers. This event helped to raise money for the SOSH annual humanitarian trip while providing a fun evening for all.



Sports Vision Club Event

by Jared Scheff '16OD


The Salus PCO Sports Vision Club hosted its first Annual Monocular Vision Cornhole Tournament in November. Participants experienced first-hand how difficult sports and daily life would be without depth perception.

      This exciting event attracted 32 two-member teams made up of students, spouses, friends, and even some faculty members including Drs. Michael Spinell, Melissa Trego, Elizabeth Tonkery, and Rachel Brackley. A big congratulations to the winning team of two fourth year optometry students, Tyler Doersam and Taylor Allard. We would also like to acknowledge our runners-up team of Jordan DeMarco and Scott Doherty, both second year optometry students.
      We would like to thank everybody who participated in the event, whether as a competitor or spectator for their support. The money raised from this event will help fund future vision screenings for local youth athletic teams.
      Thank you to the following sponsors as well: Wet Whistle Bar & Grille; U-Swirl; Pretzel Factory; Fill A Bagel; Yo-Fresh; Salus bookstore, and all of the volunteers who donated a food item or a cornhole set. This event would not have been successful without everybody's help. We are already looking forward to next year's event and hope to see everybody there!
       The club will be holding new officer elections in the coming weeks and would like to wish all of the 3rd year optometry students the best of luck on their upcoming rotations. Current club officers are Jill Federico '15OD, president; Brett Igbinoba '15OD, vice president; Jonathan Olmes '16OD, secretary and Jared Scheff '16OD, treasurer.




Occupational TherapyFrom Erin Oczkowski '15OT and Nicole Perry '15OT comes the news that, with the hard work and dedication of the second year students, the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) continues to be a strong organization that promotes both Salus and the OT profession with many community services and fundraisers. The Occupational Therapy classes of 2014 and 2015 organized donations for two organizations. In December, the members of SOTA sorted four bags full of toiletries that were sent to a facility called Womanspace for women recovering from substance abuse. Additionally, a large box of canned good donations was delivered to the WMMR "Campout for Hunger" to aid families in need. SOTA hopes to continue many more community services and fundraisers throughout the year.