Friday, July 28, 2017

Audiology Summer Workshops & Much More: Week of July 28

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board of Trustees and Friends,

It’s been another busy week at the University. The optometry Class of 2020 is back on campus, our audiology Summer Workshops have been in full swing and the clinics have remained busy with pre-school examinations and more routine work.

The CityLife primary care clinic at The Eye Institute saw their first patients last Monday with a more formal grand opening even planned for later next month. As I’ve mentioned in previous notes, having access to primary care services will greatly aid our patients with chronic conditions that can also impact vision such as diabetes, hypertension and thyroid disease. Not only will community members now easily access the necessary healthcare providers they may require in one location, but our students will also benefit from their exposure to these patient care experiences. Enrollment is open to pretty much anyone and I would strongly encourage any of our employees or students who are looking for a primary care manager to check CityLife out.

A couple of weeks ago I told you about a book chapter that Dr. Kyomi Gregory, an instructor in our Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) program, wrote entitled, “How the Obama Presidency Changed the Political Landscape.” I commented that her chapter “may not have much to do with Speech-Language Pathology.” Well, I was wrong. Just the other day, Dr. Gregory pointed out to me that her chapter actually discussed President Obama’s dialect and the manner in which he said things – topics directly related to SLP! Pretty impressive stuff from a very impressive member of our faculty.

This week ends the first full week that Dr. Melissa Trego has officially been at the helm as the Dean of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. We are all so thrilled to have Dr. Trego as part of our leadership team and we all wish her the very best as she continues to build on the great legacy PCO has.  Her innovative and progressive approach to optometric education will serve our students and our institution well for years to come!

While I’m talking about PCO, I want to congratulate Drs. Mike Rebar and Andy Gurwood on their publication that discusses glaucoma medications in this month’s Review of Optometry journal.  Our faculty are always on the cutting edge and this article speaks to their expertise and high regard they are held by the profession (and all of us!).  Nice work!

Last evening, I had the pleasure to help honor this year’s Osborne College of Audiology Alumnus of the Year, Dr. Sherman Lord, AuD class of 2009.  Dr. Lord is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology (PAA) and the Acoustical Society of America. He has had the unique situation of not only being at the forefront of the latest developments in hearing and balance technologies but also as a teacher and technical consultant to the end users. A strong advocate and promoter of the Osborne College of Audiology, he is an adjunct faculty and College Advisory Board member. He has also served on the board of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association as treasurer, and as president of the PAA and the National Association of Special Equipment Distributors. He has been the leading advocate for audiology issues in Pennsylvania and was instrumental in several successful legislative issues for state licensure. His honors have included 2010 Leadership Award from the Audiology Foundation of America, 2012 Audiology Advocate of the Year Award from the American Academy of Audiology, and the 2016 George S. Osborne Honors Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology.  Congratulations Dr. Lord!

This morning Dr. Carlo Pelino gave a wonderful lecture on choroidal melanoma that was really world-class (actually all of our folk's lectures are world class!).  It was great to see so many students and faculty and even some alumni at the Grand Rounds. I even got to spend some time with one of my classmates! We need to continue to spread the word about these lectures as we do offer free COPE approved CE credits for each one.  Check your emails for upcoming lectures.

Finally, in the event anyone was interested, I did survive the triathlon last weekend, finishing in the top 3rd of the field of over 1300 and in top 3rd of my age group which had over 40 people in it.  So I didn’t embarrass us too much!  For those of in or near New Jersey, the event was at Lake Mercer County Park – which is just beautiful. It would be a great place for a fun family outing!

Have a great weekend and please stay dry and safe if you’re going out and about tonight or tomorrow.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Health Academy: Week of July 21st

Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Alumni, Board of Trustees, and Friends, 

I’ve spent most of this past week attending Thomas Jefferson University's Population Health Academy.  During the week, we discussed methods and strategies in which health systems can positively impact the health of the communities we serve. We explored the key stakeholders in today’s U.S. healthcare system; discussing some of the complex interrelationships that influence population health, the economic impacts and concept of risk management as it applied to population health management, quality improvement, compliance, health informatics and how to best leverage all the data we collect and ways we could transition all these theories into an executable plan. This was an extremely timely program since the CityLife primary care clinic housed at The Eye Institute will begin to see patients this week with a key intent of this partnership being to impact the health of our local community as well as to provide the potential for student observation opportunities. I’m extremely excited about the prospects of where this new found knowledge will lead us!

Last evening, we celebrated the wonderful and impactful 23+ year career of Dr. Avi Gonen who retired at the end of last month. Dr. Gonen was responsible for helping to establish our international programs, specifically in optometry, first in Europe and Scandinavia and now in Asia. Through Avi’s work, the way optometry is practiced in Europe, Scandinavia and Singapore has been advanced to the point where their scope of practice has been expanded significantly. We wish Avi and his lovely spouse, Raya, the very best as they get ready to start their next adventure.

Last night on the other side of town our Contact Lens Club hosted the first-ever contact lens cocktail party workshop entitled “Color Me Chic” at our Chestnut Hill satellite facility. About 30 Salus students, faculty and staff learned about the different types of colored contact lenses available, which also included our students fitting one another.  We’d like to thank Johnson and Johnson and Alcon for donating the lenses for this fun exercise and well as Dr. Kriti Bhagat, the club’s faculty advisor, for helping to make this happen.

I’ll be participating in the N.J. State Triathlon tomorrow morning at Lake Mercer State Park, so please think of me as I swim, bike and run. This is my small way of actively supporting Salus’ wellness, population health initiatives and practicing what we preach!   Have a great weekend - stay hydrated and be safe.  


Friday, July 14, 2017

Rainy Philadelphia: Week of July 14th

Greetings from a very rainy and gray Philadelphia. While the University’s academic activity may be a bit slower than the rest of the school year, many of us have been actively engaged in planning and other related strategic activities to assure we continue to bolster all of our programs, market our brand, both academically and clinically, and look toward opportunities to increase our effectiveness in everything we do.

To this end, I routinely meet and talk with my counterparts at Arcadia University (Glenside, Pa.), the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine better known locally as PCOM as well as other local colleges and universities to explore where we might be able to assist each other. For those with undergraduate programs, we can provide conduits to professions they don’t offer or even in the case where they might, offer their students other alternatives for training. Just yesterday I visited La Salle University and talked with their president about ways we could work together. It’s remarkable how many colleges and universities in our local area don’t know all of the programs we offer and the increased potential to work together for the benefit of all involved. From my perspective, this is a great way to educate others about the Salus brand and market the wonderful programs we have - and potentially see where we can leverage programs in other institutions that may interest and benefit our students. So, while summers are pretty busy for some of us we also recognize the importance of our faculty and staff taking well-earned and much needed time off to recharge so they can come return with new ideas and a higher level of energy to bring our programs to an even higher level of excellence.

That being said, I would like to congratulate Dr. Kyomi Gregory, an assistant professor in the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation Speech-Language Pathology program, on her recently published chapter in a new book entitled: How the Obama Presidency Changed the Political Landscape. While I suspect this may not have had much to do with Speech-Language Pathology, it does demonstrate Dr. Gregory's academic versatility, diversity and scope of knowledge. Congratulations!

Now that I’ve bragged about a faculty member, it’s time to brag about one of our students. Jamie (Roden) Pucci, from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry class of 2018 achieved the highest score on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Part I Basic Science Examination and received the Dr. Norman E. Wallis Award for Excellence for her accomplishment. To put this in perspective, over 2,000 students from across the country took the exam this year and Jamie was #1 – congratulations!

Earlier this week, representatives from TD Bank and TD’s Charitable Foundation, presented a significant check in support of our “Looking Out for Kids” (LOFK) charity. A few days prior to that, we received another significant contribution from National Vision, Inc. in support of LOFK. Corporate sponsors like these two organizations allow us to go into local communities to provide necessary and definitive vision care to children who otherwise would never be able to afford or access these services. Every child we see who needs glasses receives two pairs - one for home and one for school, all free of charge to their families. This program and the care we provide changes lives. On that note, I’d like to remind everyone that our annual “Looking Out for Kids” charity fundraiser is on November 11th at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill (more info here). We’ve changed our venue and are hoping to really break some records when it comes to fundraising this year. Please help spread the word to your friends and colleagues and any potential corporate sponsors you think might be interested in providing help to children in need. And, buy a ticket to attend - it’s going to be a fun evening!

Next week, I’ll be off-campus attending the Population Health Academy at Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health. I’m really excited to hear insights into where they believe the American healthcare system might be headed in addition to learning about the latest population health techniques as they pertain to our clinical populations. It should be an interesting five days.

Hopefully the rain will stop soon and we end up with a nice weekend. Please be safe and have some fun. Summer is really trucking along!


Friday, July 7, 2017

A Short (Yet Busy) Week at Salus: Week of July 7th

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

I hope you all had an enjoyable Fourth of July and had the opportunity to spend some time with friends and relatives - as well as to reflect upon all the great freedoms we enjoy thanks to the forethought of our Founding Fathers and those that sacrificed much to maintain their ideals. This year’s holiday leaves us with a pretty short week, which I have to admit, has been nice!

I’d like to congratulate our Blindness and Low Vision Studies Alumnus of the Year, Elizabeth O’Donnell.  We celebrated her achievements at a reception at the Hafter Student Center last evening. Despite the threatening rain, over 60 people were in attendance. In addition to honoring Ms. O’Donnell, we also had the opportunity to honor Dr. Audrey Smith with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. As I mentioned at last night’s gathering, the biggest benefactor of the achievements of both of these unbelievably accomplished professionals have been the clients, patients and students they have helped over their many years of service. On behalf of the entire University community, I again, want to congratulate both Betsy and Audrey on their achievements. It’s individuals like them that help to put Salus on the map!

This week we also welcomed our newest Optometry Accelerated Scholars students to campus. They didn’t waste any time getting to business as they’ve already spent time in our new Clinical Procedures Lab and on the new Virtual Reality Simulation Lab. It’s great to see new faces on campus. Many more will be showing up in the next few weeks as we prepare for Orientation Week, which commences the second week of August.  All of our classes are filled, so once again, we will be welcoming our largest incoming class to date. 

Speaking of new faces around campus, these next few weeks we’ll be hosting optometry students from Qassim University on campus. These students will be participating in lectures, clinical training and learning how we practice optometry in the U.S.  Please join me in welcoming them to campus. 

The Eye Institute’s new parking lot is open and ready for cars. If you have a chance to visit the Oak Lane Campus I think you all will be very impressed by how nice the building looks and the accessibility of the parking.  

It looks like it’s going to be a nice weekend so if you’re out and about, please remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and don’t overdo it - but have fun!  Enjoy these summer weekends because before we know it, it will be fall!