Thursday, May 29, 2014

Introducing Salus Time

I want to direct this entry to our students and faculty. Several months ago the University's President Council (all of our VP's acting as our executive steering committee) determined, based on input from faculty and students, that there was no one time when we could realistically get the University community together to do scholarly functions, allow our student government association to do their work, or just provide a forum for the exchange of information. Out of this void, "Salus Time" was born. I will be the very first to admit that the concept as first presented was rather "squishy" but the intent was clear - setting aside time for us to communicate and come together as a University community. While organizationally, we didn't get our act together in time to meet the original start date of early this month, thanks to the efforts of many folks we now do have a start date and that is June 13th.  

It was our desire to have the first Salus Time be a very special event. In fact, it will be. The only problem is that we had to adjust the orginal time from 1-3 to 3-5 because that's when our world-class speaker was available. So, who might that be? We've been extremly lucky to secure Dr. Harvey Rubin from the University of Pennsylvania who will speak to us about his involvement in founding the non-profit called Energize the Chain (EtC) ( ). EtC’s mission is to eradicate vaccine preventable deaths worldwide by making effective vaccines as accessible as global cell phone coverage. It's a pretty neat story that encapsulates creative thinking, entrepreneurship, public health and a sincere desire to improve the health of millions of children worldwide.  

So, I realize we're asking folks to change their schedules but I promise you it will be worth it! I also promise you that we'll do much better in the future as we plan Salus Times so everyone knows what's happening.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Congratulations to Our Graduates!

I want to congratulate all of today's graduates and their families. We were extremely fortunate to have the acting U.S. Surgeon General, RADM Boris Lushniak, as our guest speaker, placing Salus on the national stage. What especially resonated with me were his comments on health and wellness and the importance of caring for our patients as a whole, not just from the perspective of our specific specialty areas. This is so very consistent with our ethos at Salus - to provide patient-centric, integrated care to all of our patients. Paraphrasing, he also reminded our graduates that today they should be starting to write a new chapter in their book of life's experiences, challenging everyone to make that book exciting, adventuresome, meaningful and interesting to read many years from now. He encouraged us to take risks, to care and in the words of FDR,

"Do something.  If it works, do more of it.  If it doesn't, do something else."

He also asked for our help in motivating people to keep moving, get regular exercise and to quit smoking. It was truly a memorable afternoon; smiling faces of our graduates and their families and pearls of wisdom from RADM Lushniak our acting U.S. Surgeon General. Thanks to all who helped to make this a very special day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Preparing to Graduate

I've been in this wonderful position for about a year and this week I get to participate in my first multi-disciplinary commencement exercise (I had the honor to graduate our PA's last Fall). What an honor! As I reflect on this first year, without a doubt one of the most rewarding aspects of being president of Salus has been interacting with our wonderful students and faculty. So for this blog entry I want to take a few moments to thank our world-class faculty for the time and energy you all put into making Salus programs the absolute best in the world.  And to our fantastic students - as you prepare to graduate this week, thank you for your willingness to learn, explore new ideas and your intellectual honesty as you've pursued your specific degrees.

You are now ready to take your place in today's complex healthcare delivery world.  You're extremely well-prepared and have all the necessary tools to be successful clinicians, therapists and educators. You know how to cure and now, more than ever, you must always remember to care.

On behalf of all of us at Salus, we wish each and every one of you the very best of luck (you really won't need that) as you begin your new professional careers.

You are now part of the Salus DNA;  while many of us will come and go as the years pass, Salus will ALWAYS be your academic home and alma mater.  Please remember to look back every once in a while to maintain your ties to where your professional careers began. I'm looking forward to shaking your hands on commencement day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Interprofessional Education

Having just returned from a trip to Singapore, China and Korea not only am I a bit jet-lagged but I'm also filled with many ideas on how we can capitalize on the great expertise we have at Salus to assist our Asian colleagues in advancing their professions. In Korea, for instance, there was a great deal of interest in both our optometry and occupational therapy programs. Optometry and occupational therapy is not practiced to the same level it is in the U.S. and those countries don't currently have the educational system in place to facilitate that. We have been extremely successful in bolstering optometric education in Europe, Israel, Scandinavia and Singapore by providing a master's level course in optometric practice. This has enabled these providers to practice at a much higher level than their legacy training provided them, which was often at the baccalaureate level.  We can do the same thing in Korea and potentially in China. I think these countries offer us opportunities to, once again, lead the way in increasing the scope of practice by providing a solid educational base to build upon. One other thought I'd like for all of you to ponder.  While I was overseas I thought about the interprofessional education we're providing and the interdisciplinary practice opportunities many of our students are afforded through their externships and other clinical rotations.  It may be time we start thinking about tweaking our international outreach model from one of a single profession to one that provides multidisciplinary care, thus leveraging all those great experiences our students are getting.  SOSH, for instance may evolve into SHSH - Student's Health Services to Humanity. Why not?  We work in an integrated health system so why not practice it?  Think about it. Salus students, I solicit your comments on this!  More to come......