Friday, May 25, 2018

Commencement Week: Week of May 25th

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

Yesterday was truly a day of celebration for Salus, our graduates, their families, our faculty and Dr. Lombardi and her family. I always get a lump in my throat when I get to the stage at the beginning of the ceremony and this year was no different. When I look at how we fill the Kimmel Center and
see how many people we’ve touched as a university, I feel a sense of pride and I’m certain everyone else shares in that pride for what yesterday’s commencement represents. The accomplishments of our students, residents, faculty and staff are enviable - and we are all very lucky to be part of an institution that prepares young professionals to go out into the world to help others.  I sincerely thank our faculty, staff, and members of our Board of Trustees for participating in the event.

In addition to celebrating the 50-year career of Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, we also celebrated the accomplishments of our largest graduating class ever, to include our inaugural Occupational Therapy Doctoral program. I want to personally thank Dr. Jim Caldwell, Shannon Boss and their staffs for organizing yet another wonderfully organized commencement ceremony. Hours of planning and work goes into this with the culmination being what many of us had the privilege of experiencing yesterday. I congratulate everyone involved! 

This week we also honored many of our graduating professionals at our annual awards lunch. It was wonderful to see so many of our graduates and their families being acknowledged for their
accomplishments. That same day we dedicated the Lorraine Lombardi classroom that included a wonderful review of Lorraine’s professional career by Dr. Sue Oleszewski and the unveiling of Dr. Lombardi’s portrait. It also was an opportunity for many of Lorraine’s past students and colleagues to reminisce a bit about their experiences with her. It truly was a wonderful event. To cap off the day, our second year Occupational Therapy students educated many of us at their Capstone poster session. The creativity, depth and quality of their work was outstanding and I think that everyone who had to opportunity to peruse the posters walked away with a much better understanding of what occupational therapists do for their patients and also a great deal of pride in the creativity and professionalism of our students and their faculty mentors.

On Tuesday evening we had the opportunity to recognize 21 optometry students who completed their Advanced Studies programs where, in addition to earning their traditional OD degrees, they earned certificates in subjects such as binocular vision, neuro-optometry, contact lenses and other specialties. Most students took on an additional 4-5 credit hours to get this done. Thanks to Dr. Vitek, her staff and our subject matter expert faculty for making this happen!

It’s been a busy week for everyone. Please don’t forget the significance of this Memorial Day weekend as we look forward to our 3 days off. We all need to pause and give thanks to all those who fought and served, with some making the ultimate sacrifice, so we can enjoy all the freedoms we have.

Be safe, have some fun and come back charged to start again next week.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Our Ship is Sound at Salus: Week of May 18th

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

Good morning from a soggy Elkins Park! We’ve considered building an ark this week but we’ve been so busy preparing for commencement, the Lombardi classroom dedication and other events associated with the end of the year, there just hasn’t been the time. Inflatable rafts are becoming an option.

The good news is that our ship is sound and we’re not taking on any water – which is important since these last two days we’ve been hosting our third annual Residents Day continuing education event on campus. The event will culminate later this afternoon as we celebrate with the graduation of our Class of 2018 PCO Residents. These doctors, with the help of our clinical faculty, have worked extremely hard for the past year to reach this extremely important milestone in their professional careers. Please join me in congratulating all of them!  

Speaking of graduation, the University’s spring commencement ceremony will be at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts next Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. This will represent the largest residential graduating class in the history of our institution. It’s an exciting time for our graduates and their families and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of them as well as thank them for choosing Salus to help launch their professional careers. We’re all extremely proud of all of you. 

As a reminder, we will be dedicating the Lombardi Classroom on Wednesday, May 23, at 4:30 p.m. on the third floor of the south wing of the Elkins Park campus. Everyone is invited. The portrait of Dr. Lombardi is absolutely awesome.   

Almost immediately following the Lombardi Classroom dedication on Wednesday, our Occupational Therapy (OT) students will be presenting their capstone projects in the Hafter Center. I encourage you all to attend as this represents a great deal of effort on the part of our graduating OT students and their faculty.

In an attempt to assist our new graduates in finding a professional home, we will be hosting a Transition to Practice event in the Hafter Center on Tuesday, May 22. Many providers and organizations looking for professionals will be there.

So, did you hear Laurel or Yanny on the latest craze to hit social media this week? Our own Lindsay Bondurant, PhD, CCC-A, Director of Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI), got in on the now viral Laurel or Yanny debate and was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Check it out here

The Clarke's Listening Walk is this weekend at the Philadelphia Zoo for students of AuD and SLP. The walk event is designed to show the public that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can listen and talk. The event is presented by Clarke Schools for Hearing and speech to raise awareness and support for Clarke. 

On Monday, we will welcome our Board of Trustees on campus for their quarterly meeting. We look forward to sharing some of the great things that have been happening at Salus.

So, even though our students are on break this week, there’s a lot going on. As we approach the weekend, please be safe, have some fun and be sure to look out for one another. Next week is going to exciting – so rest up a bit and get ready for an event-filled time!


Friday, May 11, 2018

A Great Academic Year at Salus: Week of May 11th

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

As the semester winds down, students are completing their last rounds of finals and we‘ll launch a new set of graduates in a couple of weeks. This caps off what has been another great academic year at Salus! 

Congratulations to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) Class of 2019 (and to Dr. Trego and the PCO faculty) for exceeding the national average pass rate on Part I of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam. – this is the first class to accomplish this in several years – and a special mention to our optometric scholars who achieved a 91% pass rate on the test. 

Construction on the first half of Lombardi Classroom is pretty much complete with furniture due to arrive late next week. We will be dedicating the classroom on Wednesday May 23 at 4:30 p.m. I hope many of you can attend this opportunity to celebrate the unbelievable career of Dr. Lorraine Lombardi. Those who had Lorraine for anatomy, remember her drawing with both hands while explaining the intricacies of neuroanatomy – well before there was PowerPoint.  While there won’t be a drawing demonstration, at least to the best of my knowledge, you will have the opportunity to thank Lorraine for all her years of service to PCO and now Salus.

Congratulations to Drs. Theresa Duda and Ramesh Sharma on the publication of their groundbreaking research on retinal physiology in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. This is an internationally peer-reviewed journal. This work speaks of the high quality of research that these fine scientists have accomplished at Salus.

The Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI), located in the north building on the Elkins Park campus, will be holding an Open House and tinnitus information session on Saturday May 19. It’s a great opportunity to see what goes on in the clinic in addition to learning more about tinnitus.

Brianna Brim, MOT, our academic fieldwork advisor and instructor in Occupational Therapy, has been selected as one of only 30 recipients of a highly coveted spot at the Clinical and Translational Research Course for PhD students at the NIH Clinical Center beginning the week of July 9. Congratulations! Find out more about this tremendous opportunity. 

As most of you know, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) is preparing to celebrate our 100th anniversary next year. In preparation for that many activities are being planned, we’ve launched our centennial website which is now live. You can check it out here. You will also find a direct link on the Salus University homepage in the top right corner, and under the "News" tab.  We will be updating this website with weekly content leading up to our 100-year anniversary in 2019, and continue to add alumni features, throwback photos, faculty Q&As, etc. throughout 2019 to celebrate our anniversary.  If you have a Salus 100 Story you would like featured, please share it with us here

The Salus Transition to Practice and the Career & Resource Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd. There is also a career fair that same day. Employers are excited to meet with faculty as well as students in order to share their message and job opportunities with a larger audience. Please stop by the Hafter Center on Tuesday, May 22, anytime between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

This weekend should be pretty nice and for those of you done with finals, I know you’ll have some extra time on your hands. Try to get some exercise, unwind and spend time with family and friends. Thanks for all you’ve done throughout the year to make Salus such as special place! 


Friday, May 4, 2018

Finals Are Upon Us: Week of May 4th

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

I hope everyone has had a great week. We certainly did at Salus!

As finals are upon us, on Thursday, May 3, the Learning Resource Center hosted another pet therapy event to help students de-stress during finals week. These have been a huge success. Who doesn’t like to have a golden retriever sitting next to them helping them to relax?

In the College of Education and Rehabilitation, the Speech Language Institute (SLI) welcomed Erika Cardamone, MS,CCC-SLP as a new clinical educator this week. We’re extremely happy to have Erika as part of our Salus team!

Dr. Jingyun Wang, an associate professor in our Pediatric Vision Research Laboratory and a member of our Pennsylvania College of Optometry faculty, was elected as a committee member in the Eye Movements/Strabismus/Amblyopia/Neuro-ophthalmology (EY) section of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) program committee on Monday. This is a great honor and responsibility, as this committee reviews all ARVO abstracts and organizes their scientific symposiums. Congratulations Jing!

Finally, we’ve begun construction on the renovation project in The Eye Institute that will add four exam rooms and an updated pediatric waiting room. So far, we’re on schedule for a mid-June completion date. This new area will enable our contact lens service as well as some of the other specialty clinics to schedule patients more efficiently during our busy clinic days.

For those of you running the Broad Street Run on Sunday, we wish you lots of luck. Tanis and I will miss the event this year as we’re riding in the New York City Five-Borough ride on the same day. Looking at the weather, we may all get a bit soggy! So, no matter what you’re doing this weekend, have some fun, stay safe and be respectful of one another.