Students, Faculty, Residents, Staff, Board Members, Alumni and Friends,
I’d like to again welcome all of our new students to Salus. I know I speak for all of our faculty and staff when I tell you how excited we all are to have you here and to help you begin your professional careers. As I mentioned to you at Orientation and again at the White Coat ceremony, this week began your transition from being an undergraduate student to becoming a healthcare professional; the standards by which you’ll be measured from this day forward are different from what you’ve become accustomed to in undergraduate school. We know you’re up for the challenge and are really eager to get you started on your journeys. To our returning students, welcome back! We hope you spent some time to recharge and reflect on all the great stuff you’ve learned and now are back, ready to charge full-speed ahead.
For those of you who had the opportunity to attend the White Coat Ceremony, I want to congratulate you on receiving your white coat. I want to remind you of the symbolism of the coat that represents your transition to becoming a caring, competent healthcare professional. Vice Admiral Faison’s speech was right on target and his words of wisdom will serve all of us well as we begin this academic year. I’ll bet everyone will remember the admiral asking us to pull up a photo of someone we loved on our smartphones, but more importantly showing us how this relates to viewing your future patients as individuals with respect and dignity, similar to the way we view those we care for on a daily basis.
I want to welcome back our Student Optometric Service to Humanity group form Haiti. I understand they broke the record for number of patients seen on a single day. Well done – it’s good to have everyone home, safe and sound!
I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this week’s awful events in Charlottesville, VA. Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured due to the violence that occurred. It is important to remember the strength of our country is derived from our diversity, inclusiveness and the many contributions made by people of many different races, religions, national origin, sexual orientation and political beliefs. To be clear, at Salus we do not tolerate racism, extremism, bigotry or hatred in any form in our institution. It is against all of our values and everything we stand for.
Finally, on Monday classes begin for our new students in earnest. I want to wish everyone a successful start to this academic year. We’re here to help you succeed and are expecting great things from you!
I’ll be “off the grid” starting tomorrow, visiting our daughter who is serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. I’ll have fairly limited connectivity, so I won’t have a “Weekly Update” next Friday. I hope you have a great weekend! Be safe and have fun.