Dear Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board Members and Friends,
Good morning on this bright, crisp, windy morning in Elkins Park. I just returned from attending the annual meeting of the Society of Federal Healthcare Professionals in Maryland where I had the opportunity to listen and participate in discussions with our nation’s federal healthcare leaders. I took the liberty of discussing one presentation, in particular, from Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States, in my Final Thoughts section that I thought we would all benefit from. While I was gone our campus has remained busy and vital between classes, labs and clinical activity. One distressing piece of news to note is the mass shooting in Kansas City, which has put a bit of a damper on things as we mourn the loss of a young lady and all those people, mostly adolescents, who were wounded during this senseless act of gun violence. It needs to stop!
Here are some other, certainly more uplifting things, I hope you will find of interest:
SALUS LOVE STORY: It started off with a toque and ended up with Akirta Sran, OD ‘20, and Brendan Connors, OD ‘20, getting married backwards and without a ring. And along the way, four attempted marriage proposals got delayed on account of rain, just to add another level of uniqueness to a love story that started at Salus University. Read more about this unique wedding tale by clicking here.
SLP CAREER OFF TO A GOOD START: In only seven months since graduating from Salus University’s Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program, Sultana Abdur-Raheem, MS ‘23, has begun to form a budding career as a speech-language pathologist. Click here to read more about how her career is progressing.
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT — O&P: An aspect unique to the Salus University Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) program is the integrated 18-month clinical residency, where students are immersed in O&P clinical practice and research. Not all graduate O&P programs include an integrated residency, which sets the Salus program apart. Read more here.
PTE CHAPTER RECOGNIZED: This past January, the University’s Delta Mu chapter of Phi Theta Epsilon (PTE), the national honor society for occupational therapy (OT) education, was recognized in the national PTE “Scroll & Pen” newsletter for scholarly work. Click here for details.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Earlier this week, while attending the annual meeting of the Society of Federal Health Professionals, I had the opportunity to hear US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy discuss the importance of spirituality. In addition to physical and mental health, he suggests it is equally -- or some would suggest, more important to pay attention to our spiritual health. Dr. Murthy breaks down spiritual health into four areas: belonging, purpose, awe and inspiration, and service.
We are in the middle of a loneliness epidemic. Across multiple college visits, Dr. Murthy has found a very high percentage of today’s college students who report being lonely most of the time. While people congregate together, very few feel a sense of belonging, which he attributes to excessive social media, smartphone and other technologies that can isolate people, even when they are physically around others. Belonging to groups, clubs, or other ways of doing things in groups helps to mitigate some of the situations that can cause loneliness.
Closely connected to this is feeling a sense of purpose in life. It can be as simple as routinely participating at a soup kitchen to working to solve civic issues in one’s community. The third aspect of spirituality is awe and inspiration. This can be elicited by walking in nature taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The fourth, and possibly one of the most important facets of spirituality, is that of service, doing something for others. Volunteering to help with setting up a party, assisting friends or siblings through hard times are examples of acts of service. Service can be closely related to purpose, which is defined by The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley as “an abiding intention to achieve a long-term goal that is both personally meaningful and makes a positive mark on the world.” Serving as a healthcare provider certainly would check both boxes, as would many other professional and social endeavors that enable us to actively participate in causes larger than ourselves.
Whether we realize it or not, feelings of tiredness, stress and even occasional hopelessness and despair are understandable due to classes, schedules, exams, family challenges, our merger and conflicts happening around the world. By paying attention to and nurturing spirituality, we can better manage our feelings and concentrate on what’s most important to each of us individually.
If you want to learn more about the importance of spirituality, I encourage you to check out Dr. Murthy’s recent “House Calls” where he discusses this in-depth with Dr. Lisa Miller, a psychologist who has worked on this for many years.
As you prepare for this weekend, I encourage you to think about Dr. Murthy’s advice and how you might begin to incorporate some of his ideas into your daily routines. Be safe, continue to look out for one another and remain SALUS STRONG!