Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just completed about a week at the American Academy of Optometry meeting in Seattle where I had the opportunity to meet with many of my peers from the other schools and colleges of optometry as well as see the fantastic work our residents, students and faculty presented at the Academy poster sessions and lectures.  It always makes me proud to see the Salus University headline on top of some of the great work that was showcased at the meeting.  Congratulations to all who not only participated but set the benchmark even higher for all of us.

I was also greatly honored to be asked to lecture at the Armed Forces Optometric Society meeting that ran concurrently with the Academy meeting.  I was asked to talk about the public health aspects and associated lessons learned from many of my experiences while serving in the Navy, to include a discussion about Operation Tomodachi and how health is a strong strategic enabler in global health engagement for our country.  It was a real pleasure to be able to share some of my experiences with the group.

I also had the opportunity to participate in an American Schools and Colleges of Optometry Special Interest Group discussion that addressed development and fund raising.  There was great discussion from several of our own experts with the bottom line being we all need to be engaged if we're to continue to grow our great profession and sustain the educational foundation based in our colleges and universities.  Governmental dollars are getting scarcer, thus raising money from other sources will be essential if we're to keep tuition affordable (and hopefully lower them) as well as expand programs to meet the growing needs of Americans.   Our own Dr. Linda Casser and Lynne Corboy participated in the panel discussion adding many great ideas.

I'll be back in the office on Tuesday after spending this weekend in Denver visiting our daughter who is working on a Masters in Social Work at the University of Denver.  Looking forward to watching the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings over dinner tonight :-).

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's been about a week since I last posted so I thought it was time to hit the keyboard again.  I'm currently headed towards Seattle at 35K feet...isn't technology great!   Last week Tanis and I had the honor and pleasure of representing Salus at the Wills Eye Glaucoma Service 50th Anniversery celebration.  It was quite an event that highlighted the accomplishments of the Service, particularly those of Dr. George Spaeth, who has served as a teacher and mentor to many of the glaucoma specialists we all work with.  What struck me was that with all the accomplishments of the service, it really relies on an integrated health system to generate referrals, provide follow-up and really optimize the expertise that's concentrated at Wills.  Clearly, we are a part of that and are currently working with the Glaucoma Service Foundation to build some concrete bridges that will serve our patients, students and institutions well.  I'm extremely excited about the prospects of working closer with our neighbors.  With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act knocking at all of our doorsteps, it's going to be exceedingly important to leverage primary care assets (clearly, a strong point for us at Salus) to ensure patients receive the right level of care they need in a timely and affordable fashion.  As we move Salus into more of an integrated health system, I envision us being central to the discussions that will begin to develop.  It's an exciting time to part of this great team!  I'm working on an expose to discuss my thoughts on our American healthcare system and plan on posting some of that on the blog in the near future.  In the meantime, have a great week.  I'll see some of you a the American Academy of Optometry meeting this week.  Cheers for now.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm going to be meeting with as many student groups as I can over then next few weeks to talk about some of the upcoming transitions at Salus, update you on a number of my key activities during my first few months as well as the progress we're making though my "100 Days of Listening".  A couple of weeks ago I sent a note out to our university family that I wanted to share again on this blog to ensure as many folks as possible gets to see what's up.

We’ve established four Tiger Teams and they have actively been seeking inputs from their constituencies, I’ve held several discussion sessions with staff, faculty and students, giving me the opportunity to listen to your issues, we’ve addressed food service at The Eye Institute, and we have already begun developing a plan to better market our University regionally, nationally and internationally.  Once I have the results from our Tiger Teams, I will be taking the President’s Council on a two-day offsite to develop our unified vision for the next several years based on your input.   While all this has been going on there have also been a number of key personnel transitions I want to update you on that will occur during the next several months .  
It is important underscore and respect our University legacy which has been built over the decades because of the dedication of so many of our past administrators, faculty and staff.   Transitions are an inevitable part of every successful organization and often change is both exciting and bittersweet. Such is the situation on campus with the recent announcements that over the months ahead we will be seeing a “changing of the guard” in three key leadership positions: Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Patient Care Services, and Dean of PCO.
Dr. Anthony F. Di Stefano, Dr. Susan C. Oleszewski, and Dr. Linda Casser are outstanding professionals.  Each, in their own right, has made tireless and significant contributions to our success.  We are fortunate to have the benefit of this outstanding trio of senior leaders. Their love for Salus is matched only by their devotion to the students we educate and the patients we treat.
I am pleased to report that in each instance there will be a well-planned and transparent transition consistent with our educational and service mission. Faculty-led search committees have been established to help select the right leaders to fill these very large voids. The search processes will serve to strengthen the role of the academic community in positioning us for the next exciting stage of University development. I encourage faculty, students and staff to engage and support this crucial process.
Dr. Di Stefano will serve in his current capacity through June 30, 2014 and he will assume the position of interim dean of PCO on January 1. He is already preparing to help develop our global MPH platform during his one-year planned sabbatical. Dr. Casser, whose term as Dean will expire at the end of the calendar year, has agreed to continue her participation in our continued development through faculty and administrative roles. In addition, we look forward to Dr. Oleszewski’s continued contributions to the growth of The Eye Institute through her tireless outreach work in support of underserved communities, especially as it relates to children.
I hope you will join me over the next few months in expressing your thanks to these uniquely talented and dedicated individuals for their years of service and commitment to Salus University.
I believe it is our destiny to set a new standard and lead the transition of American health, educational and rehabilitation education through this century and beyond. With your help and support we will realize these goals. As I’ve said in the past, the challenges will be great, but the rewards will be many. Our University and associated programs remain strong and world class. I look forward to continuing to keep you all in the loop and to working with each and every one of you as, together, we forge our path into the future.

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's been an eventful week at Salus.  We started with the Salus Board of Trustee's quarterly meeting where I had the opportunity to discuss my presidential transition, our 100 Days of Listening and some of my experiences while at the Harvard Course for New Presidents back in July.  The rest of the week was chock full of university-wide events to include a frozen yogurt fundraiser for our Audiology students getting ready to head to Beverly, Kentucky on a humanitarian trip to provide hearing screenings for children (well worth the calories!),  a couple of great meetings with alumni and preceptors and planning for the President's Council strategic off-site in November.   I also had the opportunity to sit in some lectures on ocular disease (yes, I did remember the stuff!) and adolescent audiology.  It was great to sit back and listen and not have to worry about the tests!

The week ended with a very informative visit from Eye Media, a group we've contracted to help us improve our Facebook exposure (to include developing an official Salus Facebook page) as well as assisting us with ways to better use social media to communicate with prospective and current students and alumni.  Continuing my theme of eating for my university, I finished the week at a well-attended wine and cheese social in honor of our 1st and 2nd year PA students, hosted by our Alumni Association.

I hope you all have a safe and pleasant weekend.  Looking forward to an action-packed October with lots going on both on and off campus.

Social Media

Had a great meeting with one of our contractors and internal staff to discuss external and internal communications as they pertain to social media. One of my frustrations is that we don't effectively communicate all the great things that occur at Salus to both prospective and current students. We're going to revamp our Facebook presence and look into a Google product to help get the message out. Any comments would be very welcome. 

President's New Blog

I've decided to start a blog to help communicate to our University community....hope you all enjoy this!

Click here to visit our website.