Salutations Masthead 2011 

May 2014     
In This Issue
Spring 2014 Commencement
New PCO Dean Appointed
Dr. Toland Honored
New Security Position
Audiology Reception

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The Salus University community warmly welcomes its newest members:

Marietta Dooley,

Classroom Technology Manager, TLS


Dr. SallyAnn Geiss,

Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology department, CER


Maya Fuller-Little,

HR Specialist, Elkins Park


Vadiris O'Neill,

Billing Specialist, TEI


Claire Wyszynski,

Administration Assistant, Office of the Registrar


The Salus University community offers sincere congratulations to the following members:

Amanda Lusaitis, who has moved from the Office of the Registrar to a new position as Student Affairs Administrative Coordinator.


Dr. Lauren Sponseller, assistant professor, OT department, who with husband, Kyle, welcomed son Luke Edward James Sponseller in April.


Dr. Satya Verma, who was interviewed by Dr. Kathy Freeman on the topic of eyecare for the geriatric patient for The two-part interview is on Elsevier's educational website.


The University community extends sincere condolences to the following members:

Lynne Dellinger, director, TVI program, on the passing of her mother, Ruth Davis.


Dr. Maria Parisi, director, PCO Externship program, on the passing of her father, Mr.Vitto Parisi.


Barbara Tilford, budget manager, Finance, on the passing of her mother, Loretta Schwab. 


A white coat ceremony was held late last month for Ms. Wafa Al-Otibi, a student in the PhD Biomedicine program from Saudi Arabia, who could not be present for the ceremony held in August. Pictured here are Ms. Al-Otibi, Dr. Pierrette Dayhaw-Barker, founding dean of the Biomedicine program and Ms. Noura Aldossary, who received her white coat in August.


Please join with us in supporting vital community outreach to improve vision care and ocular health for the underserved in Southeastern Pennsylvania.


Taking place during Optometry's Meeting in Philadelphia, festivities will include the presentation of the Alumni Association Awards, celebration of reunion class members, food, drink and socializing with friends and colleagues.


For full details and to register click here

Due to the venue,
tickets cannot be sold at the door.   Please remember to purchase your tickets in advance.


Spring Commmencement 2014 

The University conferred diplomas on 269 graduates on May 22, as family, friends and faculty looked on. Graduates were treated to a thought-provoking and humorous speech by distinguished guest and keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, Acting US Surgeon General. Dr. Lushniak urged graduates to make certain that the next chapters of their "book of life" would be chapters they would be proud to read years from now, and asked the graduates to help him, as US Surgeon General, to promote health and wellness for their patients, noting they could not be graduating from a more fittingly-named institution, as "Salus" is Latin for health and well-being.

     Graduates also heard from fellow graduate Abby Brubaker Crawford, former student member of the University's Board of Trustees, who gave the commencement address. The ceremony also included special recognition of Thomas L. Lewis, OD '70, PhD, immediate past-president of Salus, who was granted president emeritus status by the Board of Trustees this month. Board Chair Jo Surpin, and President Michael Mittelman bestowed a specially designed president emeritus chain of office medallion on Dr. Lewis.

     This year in addition to the recipients of Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Audiology degrees and the recipients of master's degrees in Clinical Optometry; Blindness and Visual Impairment; Low Vision Rehabilitation; Orientation and Mobility; Vision Rehabilitation Teaching, and Public Health, 34 residents completed their post-graduate optometric certificate programs.

     This was also a commencement that included "firsts:" the inaugural class of Master of Occupational Therapy (MSOT) graduates (pictured above);  the University's first OD-MPH dual degree graduate, James Deom, and the unveiling of a new flag by President Mittelman. The "fox" flag is the US Navy signal flag flown whenever an carrier is about to launch aircraft and Dr. Mittelman explained the flag will be flown on the Elkins Park campus each commencement day to signifiy the "launch" of new heathcare, education and rehabilitation professionals. 

     An honors luncheon was held at the University on May 21, where awardees were given their awards. A list of the awardees is posted on the University's website.  (pictured above: The University's inaugural class of Occupational Therapy graduates)

New PCO Dean Appointed 

Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Janice E. Scharre,OD, MA, FAAO, announced the appointment of Lori Grover, OD, PhD, as dean of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry last week.

     Dr. Grover brings a varied background of more than 23 years of experience to her new position that includes optometric education, private practice, clinical care of chronic vision impairment, curricular programming, interprofessional education and clinical research that intersects low vision and health services research.

    Currently serving as director of the Center for Translational Health Science, Dr. Grover is an associate professor in the Department of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.  As a member of the leadership teams for the president and the deans of the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and the College of Health Solutions, Dr. Grover provides strategic, academic and operational direction as well as research and planning recommendations to advance the overall mission of the colleges and university. 

       A graduate of Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Grover earned her PhD at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was one of the first faculty members at Johns Hopkins University to complete the leadership training program in the Office of Women in Science and Medicine.  Her academic experience includes faculty appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Southern California College of Optometry. Dr. Grover possesses a record of extramural funding from the National Eye Institute, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and private foundations.  Throughout her career, she has served in a number of leadership positions of professional societies and is a Diplomate of the Public Health and Environmental Vision Section of the American Academy of Optometry.   

Dr. Joseph Toland Honored
At the Joseph Toland 24th Annual Excellence in Education Conference held in Elkins Park on May 4, Professor Joseph Toland, MD, was surprised by an announcement made by Dr. Susan Oleszewski, Salus Chief of Staff (pictured above with Dr. Toland). A campaign begun by Dr. Oleszewski and colleagues to honor Dr. Toland in retirement, committed to raising $50,000 to name The Eye Institute (TEI) classroom, the "Toland Classroom."

     In an internal communication to PCO alumni and past TEI residents, Dr. Oleszewski noted that "Dr. Toland's commitment to Salus, TEI, and resident education for over three decades is second to none." She went on to say, "For those of us who have been around a long time, we are aware that Joe was central to helping a number of states across the country get diagnostic and therapeutic privileges during the '70 s and '80s. His professional courage, as an ophthalmologist testifying in front of state legislatures to advance optometry, has made him very special in our eyes."

       Dr. Oleszewski explained too that Pennsylvania was one of the last states to get therapeutics; however, TEI providers were always able to practice therapeutic optometry "because Dr. Toland put his signature to a 'Standing Orders' document" and noted too that, "Joe's willingness to do this represented the confidence he had in all of us. He took a professional risk to ensure that our clinical program was cutting edge."

       To date the group has raised more than $45,000 towards their goal. Contributions can be accepted by credit card or check. Credit card payments can be made with the University's Office of Institutional Advancement by calling Jeanne Zearfoss at 215.780.1395. Checks may be made payable to "PCO Foundation" with "Toland Classroom" noted on the memo line, and mailed to: Salus University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 8360 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027. (photo credit: Ryan Chia '17OD)

New Security Position

Wayne Pancza, director of Safety and Security announced the promotion of Gary Hughes to the new position of Lead Security Officer (LSO) earlier this month. Inhis new  position, Mr. Hughes is responsible for providing orientation and training as needed for all existing and new Salus University security officers. He also will be responsible for the scheduling of the department's workforce. Mr. Hughes will work directly with the director of Safety and Security to help develop safety and security guidelines along with policies and procedures for the department and the University.

      Mr. Hughes' background includes 30 years' experience with the Philadelphia Police Department, where he was assigned to many different units, including patrol; narcotics; plain clothes undercover; investigative; civil affairs; ADA complaints; arbitration and grievance. 

Audiology Extern Reception

On Monday, April 28, the faculty and staff of Osborne College of Audiology gathered in the Bennett Lounge of the Hafter Center to celebrate third-year audiology students before they left campus on their one-year externships.

     Members of the Class of 2015 pictured standing in the back row, left to right are: Samantha Nieves; Jonathan Brittian; Lauren Matsko; Amy Kalenderian; Michelle Okafor; Alisha Latham; Brendon Boudwin; Andrea Graham; Jenna Pellicori; Brittany Viniarski; Elizabeth Swartz; Travis Deputy; Paris Florence; Jamie Guinan and Artem Yusupov. Front row, left to right are: Silvia Benitez-Sienra; Megan Piekosz; Kim Loan Huynh; Dr. Jonette Owens, External Clinical Education coordinator; Jaymee Levine; Lyndsey Spencer; Katie Thompson; Dean Victor Bray, and Seth Weible.

New NEI Grant Awarded;

Dr. Scheiman Named Study Chair

The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded an $8 million, U10 grant to the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) Investigator Group. Salus University Clinical Research associate dean, Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, is the Study Chair. There will be eight clinical sites for the study, including The Eye Institute of Salus University, where Dr. Michael Galloway is the Prinicpal Investigator.

     This study is a five-year, randomized clinical trial designed to determine whether the successful treatment of convergence insufficiency leads to improved attention and reading in children 9- to 14-years old.  

     Convergence insufficiency (CI) is a common binocular vision disorder, affecting 5-10% of school-age children. In addition to visual discomfort, children with CI and their parents report symptoms affecting reading performance, such as loss of place, loss of concentration, reading slowly, and trouble remembering what was read.