Friday, August 10, 2018

Orientation Prep: Week of August 10th

Greetings from a very hot and steamy Elkins Park! 

It’s been relatively quiet this week around campus as we prepare for next week’s very busy orientation week where we will welcome approximately 330 students to campus from all over the country and the world. 

It’s an exciting time for our new students, their families, faculty and staff. We will open up both sides of the Lombardi Classroom for the very first time for the official orientation program which commences at 8:30 on Tuesday morning. I’m really looking forward to it. 

The week will culminate with our White Coat Ceremony to be held in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Center City on Friday at 2:00 P.M. This year’s White Coat will be extra special as we’ll be honoring our outgoing provost, Dr. Janice Scharre, as she prepares to begin her well-deserved retirement, with an honorary degree. Dr. Scharre will also be our keynote speaker. Knowing Dr. Scharre, I anticipate a very thoughtful, sincere and insightful talk.

In the College of Education and Rehabilitation, Brianna Brim, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM, CLIPP, academic fieldwork coordinator for the Occupational Therapy (OT) program, recently returned from a ten-day immersion in a Clinical and Translational Research course for PhD students at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. She was one of only 30 in the country selected to participate and she’s brought back a host of great ideas that will be integrated into our OT and other programs. Congratulations, Brianna! 

I spent the last couple of days up in New York City visiting with some of our very distinguished alumni and emeritus Board members. It’s always fun to be able to sit down with our graduates who have not been to campus for a while and tell them about all the great things our faculty and staff have been accomplishing. As a bonus, I even got in an early morning run around Central Park yesterday, which is always great, even with 90 percent humidity! 

So, as you prepare for the upcoming weekend and next week’s activities, get some rest, make sure you drink plenty of water if you’re outside and come back to campus ready to welcome all of our new students and kick off the academic year the right way. Be safe and look out for each other.


Friday, August 3, 2018

Another Busy Week at Salus: Week of August 3, 2018

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

It’s been another busy week at Salus. Here are some of the highlights:

For those of you on campus today, Student Council’s August Open Meeting is scheduled from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. in S305. I would encourage you to attend.

Our Physician Assistant students completed a pediatrics exam workshop on Thursday, August 2, that helped the students provide initial exposure to the pediatric patient population, prior to the start of their clinical rotations coming up in September. Great way to get ready for “the real thing”!

On Monday, July 30th, the Learning Resource Center hosted four-legged friends for students and faculty to come pet to de-stress from finals. If dogs aren’t your thing, there will be yoga with kittens on Saturday at the Hafter Center!

One of our original plans when helping to open a primary care clinic in The Eye Institute was to facilitate student rotations in the clinic. As the City Life Clinic recently marked its one-year anniversary, it also celebrated the success of our pilot program where one of our PA students completed a first hands-on clinical rotation at the facility. These rotations will continue as the clinic evolves.

This week we hosted Donna Frisby-Greenwood, the Lighthouse Award recipient to be honored at this year’s Looking Out For Kids Annual Charity Fundraiser on 3 November. Ms. Frisby Greenwood serves as the first president and CEO of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia and has previously served as the director of college and career awareness for the School District of Philadelphia and program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where her work focused on retaining talented people and expanding economic opportunity in the city. Donna has a love for teaching and has made a significant impact in the lives of many of Philadelphia's underprivileged young people. We’re extremely honored and proud that she will be this year’s honoree.

Finally, just a reminder about our $100 to commemorate 100 years of PCO challenge I mentioned last week. We’re beginning to pick up some steam on this so if any of you are so inclined, especially our alumni out there, please give. These donations are being used for important scholarship dollars we need to help off-set tuition driven by the high cost of providing world-class clinical training programs. I’d like to see each of our prior graduating classes compete to see who comes out on top! Personally, I’m pulling for the PCO Class of 1980 - let’s get this moving!

Looks like half of the weekend will not be rainy so I encourage you all to get out and keep moving! Summer is passing quickly and before we know it, we’ll be shoveling snow! Have a safe and relaxing weekend!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Salus Proud: Week of July 27th

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

Another week has quickly passed. Thanks to all of you who commented on the triathlon I participated in last week. It turned out to be a perfect day for a race – relatively cool, overcast and not too windy. I ended up finishing 8th in my age group, which had 24 participants. I was happy with the results, given that I was in Budapest the week prior to the race.

Closer to home, congratulations are in order to Alexis Abate, Lesley Westerfer and the rest of our marketing and communications team for winning the gold award for best Website Element – Microsite of 2018, from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Check out the award-winning site. And while you’re at it, please consider our $100 for 100 challenge where we are attempting to have as many alumni, faculty and staff donate $100 to commemorate our 100th anniversary of PCO next year.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome of all of our Osborne College of Audiology Summer Workshop students. It’s great to have you all on campus this week. 

Along the same lines, please join me in welcoming the undergraduate students and their chaperonesfrom Montclair State University to Salus. These students are here to learn more about our programs. They’ll attend a panel discussion, tour the Elkins Park campus, participate in clinical skills demonstrations, and hear from various faculty, students and staff. It should be a fun day for all!

The Salus Campus Activity Committee (CAC) hosted a movie night on Wednesday at the Hafter Center complete with popcorn and a candy bar. This is a fun summer event that students have enjoyed.

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Youse, director of the Speech- Language Pathology (SLP) program, who was recently elected as the next president of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS). It’s great to see our academic leaders recognized in this fashion! 

Speaking of our SLP program, they are having a Send Off party later today from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Magerk’s Pub & Grill in Fort Washington as a thank you to the supervisors and professors before students head off to externships. Come and join in the festivities if you can!

Congratulations to Dr. Caitlin Foy on being promoted to Director of the Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) program. We know the program will continue to flourish under her leadership.

Finally, it looks like most of the weekend is going to be nice, so I encourage all of you to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Be safe, have some fun and look out for one another.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Back from Budapest: Week of July 20th

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

It’s great to be back at Salus after my week in Budapest. While I learned a great deal and really enjoyed the city, it’s always great to get back home where there is a lot going on, as usual!

I’d like to welcome our second-year optometry class back to campus. I know that you’ve already jumped into classes and clinical studies, which I’m sure has been both challenging and exciting. Your summer will go quickly! 

Starting Saturday, July 21st, the Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) will host its 6th annual Hands-On-Summer Workshop, with the first one on "Electrophysiology in Audiology" followed by "Vestibular and Balance Disorders: Assessment and Rehabilitation". OCA's international AuD-Bridge students will be on-campus attending these workshops along with local audiologists. This should be a very rewarding experience for all involved. 

Congratulations to Dr. Jonette Owen, who was elected as the VP of Education for the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology and Dr. Pienkowski for his article on "New Advances in Electrophysiology for Clinical and Basic Investigation," with his co-authors, to be published in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. Our faculty just keep knocking this out of the park!

Faculty and students from the Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Blindness and Low vision Studies programs from the College of Education and Rehabilitation participated in an Interprofessional Education workshop focusing on investigating universal design, a broad spectrum of ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are accessible to people with and without disabilities in both our local and surrounding communities. This effort speaks to everything we believe at Salus about the integration of health services to benefit our patients and communities. Well done! 

On Tuesday and Wednesday members of our faculty, staff, student body and Board of Trustees got together for our first Scenario Planning workshop. The goal of these workshops is to develop scenarios that address what I call “alternate futures” that may affect higher education, healthcare, healthcare education, our student populations and other extrinsic forces that we need to be prepared to proactively address in the near and short-term. Once these scenarios have been fully developed, we’ll use them to inform our strategic thinking and ultimately our strategic plan as we continue to evolve as a premier health sciences university. I will be keeping you all up-to-date as this process continues.

Every year The Chronicle of Higher Education selects colleges and universities that are “Great Colleges to Work For.” I am extremely happy to tell you that we were selected amongst that special group based on our compensation and benefits package. Congratulations to Maura Keenan and her Human Resources staff as well as our senior and mid-level faculty and staff leadership teams.

Finally, it looks like it’s going to be a nice summer weekend - at least the first half of it. I don’t know what your plans are but on Saturday morning, but I’ll be participating in the New Jersey State Triathlon at Lake Mercer County Park. It should be a nice day for a swim, bike and run! 

You all be safe and watch out for one another and have a great weekend!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Greetings from Budapest: Week of July 16th

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

Greetings from Budapest, Hungary where I’ve been as part of my MBA program. It’s been an interesting week, having the opportunity to learn about how healthcare, law, education, IT and other businesses work in this country. We had the opportunity to visit the U.S. Embassy here where we got their perspective on Hungary’s economy and how Americans are positively viewed here. It was pretty enlightening. A real treat for me has been my early morning runs along the Danube and across the many bridges here. It’s a beautiful city. So enough about me…

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Kathleen Youse, who was elected as the next President of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS) for a three year term. It’s great to see Salus represented in national organizations and this particular honor speaks to Kathleen's leadership and other professional skills. Congratulations!

I also want to congratulate our Blindness and Low Vision Studies on entering year two of their $75,000 grant partnership with the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Service Foundation. This partnership was established to reduce the shortage of education and rehabilitation professionals in blindness and low vision in our Commonwealth. Well done!

I’ll be back in the office on Monday preparing for a busy week that involves welcoming guests from Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center at Sun Yat-sen University, China and kicking off our first scenario planning workshop.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay safe and look out for one another!


Friday, July 6, 2018

Soggy Elkins Park: Week of July 6th

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

Good morning from a soggy Elkins Park! I hope everyone had an enjoyable 4th of July holiday. I don’t know about you, but Wednesday felt like Sunday and yesterday felt like Monday, so today feels really good, even with the rain.

This week we welcomed our newest PCO Scholars students to campus. They spent the week getting oriented to their new program, jumping into their accelerated program with lots of smiles and energy. It was great to meet everyone from the class and learn about the very diverse backgrounds.  

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) sponsored the Ladama, Latin America concert in Abington Art Center's World Music Concert Series. The University will also sponsor the last concert in the series on July 26, Sidi Toure, Mali. If you are looking for something interesting, fun and free to do, check it out.

Our Speech - Language Institute (SLI) will hold its Speakeasy Support Group from 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, in the clinic. And finally, Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS) will honor their Alumna of the Year, Sister Lisa Ann Lettiere, IHM, MEd '00, TVI, COMS at a reception that will be held on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hafter Center. 

Yesterday, I held my first of two quarterly University-wide meetings at The Eye Institute (TEI). Today I’ll be meeting with staff at the Elkins Park campus at 2:00 PM.  Yesterday we had a great discussion about the actions the American Optometric Association (AOA) says it’s taking concerning the optometric applicant pool. It appears they’re investing almost $1M into marketing the profession, which is great news. Apparently, we might have played a very key role in moving the needle on this. I can discuss this further at today’s meeting, if anyone is interested.

I’m off to Budapest, Hungary tomorrow as part of a Global Business Strategy course I’m taking in my MBA program. During the trip I’ll be visiting a medical services delivery business, the U.S. Embassy, an IT firm, an international law practice and a vineyard. These are all businesses that want to share lessons they’ve learned while working from Hungary in a global business environment. I’m really looking forward to the entire program. When I served as the Medical Advisor to NATO in my “former life” I had the opportunity to set up a NATO medical research command in Budapest, so it will be fun to go back.

I hope everyone has a great week. I’ll try to get an abridged “Weekly Update out next week.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer Has Finally Arrived: Week of June 29th

Students, Faculty, Residents, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,

Greetings from a hot and steamy Elkins Park! Summer has finally arrived with lots of heat and humidity. Ah, the east coast!

Even with all the crazy weather, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that this month Salus is celebrating our 10th anniversary. Yup, the University is 10 years old! We’ve commemorated this with fun photo shoots at both our East Oak Lane and Elkins Park campuses.  Check out our Facebook page to see some of them. 

It’s a pretty neat time for us as we also prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry next year. To help celebrate PCO’s 100th anniversary, at the alumni reception we hosted at Optometry’s Meeting in Denver last week, I challenged all alumni and friends to consider donating $100 to commemorate PCO’s 100 years to help raise scholarship dollars. It’s an idea that I think we should spread that idea around.

Closer to home, Caitlyn Foy, DOT, MOTR/L, has been accepted into the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Academic Leadership Institute where only 25 OTs in the country are accepted. Congratulations Caitlyn!

Finally, our country was built on courage, sacrifice, innovation, a willingness to welcome all newcomers, imagination and an unbeatable will and determination to get things done. As we prepare to celebrate the Nation’s 242nd birthday next Wednesday, please take some time to consider what that means to you and to remember the many sacrifices that were made to ensure we have the freedoms we enjoy today.

I want to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July and ask that you take some time to recharge your batteries and have some fun. 

Be safe and look out for one another!