Salus News

July 23, 2014

New Clinical Faculty Appointments Announced

Linda Casser, OD, FAAO, interim associate dean for the Practice of Optometric Medicine, recently announced the appointments of four new clinical faculty members who will be joining the Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry in August.

Doctors Byung Josh Kim, Aikaterini Koukas ’13, Rajni Kumari ’13 and Bhawan Minhas were selected after a national search that resulted in applications from qualified candidates from around the country. Dr. Casser also noted that “this successful outcome is the result of months of effort and support by many individuals within the College and University to launch a new direction for the PCO Internship Program and the Primary Care Residency Program at The Eye Institute. This effort and support is sincerely appreciated.” She added her thanks to the members of the University community who participated in the search process, and added her invitation to the community members to “Please join in enthusiastically welcoming these four talented colleagues as new faculty members.

July 17, 2014

Dr. Schieman Named Dean of Research

Salus University provost, Dr. Janice Scharre, has announced the appointment of Dr. Mitchell Scheiman as Dean of Research at the University. The appointment was effective on July 1.

In her announcement, the provost noted Dr. Scheiman’s strong administrative leadership, telling the Salus community that, along with his dedication to research, Dr. Scheiman "will be an inspiring development to our Research Department."

Dr. Scheiman is nationally recognized as an expert on Convergence Insufficiency and has extensive clinical research experience, serving as the Co-Protocol Chair of the NEI Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Study (CITS) and Study Chair of the NEI Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT).  He recently received approval on his proposed NEI/U10 Cooperative Clinical Research grant entitled the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial - Attention and Reading Trial (CITT-ART).

July 10, 2014

OCA Faculty Promotions Announced

Dr. Victor Bray, dean of the University’s Osborne College of Audiology, announced the promotions of two OCA faculty members.

Dr. Radhika Aravamudhan has been promoted to Assistant Dean for the Foundations and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine and Dr. Jonette Owen has been promoted to  Assistant Dean for the Practice and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine.

In her new position, Dr. Aravamudhan, who joined the faculty at OCA in 2005, will plan, organize and direct the day-to-day operations of the residential component of the College, under administrative direction of the dean.  She will be responsible for developing curriculum and course design for the residential Audiology program, assist in program review and assessment, and in attaining and maintaining accreditation in collaboration with the dean.

In her new position, Dr. Owen, who joined the faculty at OCA in 2010, will plan, organize and direct the day-to-day operations of the residential component of the College, under administrative direction of the dean.  She will be responsible for establishing, implementing, assessing and improving best practices for student training through the four-year clinical training program. She will have oversight responsibility for clinical credentialing exercises, on-campus clinical training at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (student years 1 and 2), the off-campus clerkship clinical rotations (student year 3), and the off-campus clinical externship (student year 4). 

June 24, 2014

Celebration and Open House

Over 300 Salus University alumni, faculty, staff and friends participated in the 117th Annual American Optometric Association’s meeting in Philadelphia at the end of June. The meeting, which ran from June 25th to June 28th, informed participants of innovations in vision care and allowed them to network with other professionals in the field.

Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry’s celebration was held at the National Constitution Center on the evening of Friday, June 27th. The event consisted of recognizing five year reunion class members as well as a presentation of the Salus University Alumni Association Awards.

In addition to honoring these influential alumni who have greatly impacted Salus University, the program also highlighted the University’s community outreach efforts in Philadelphia and beyond. Attendees enjoyed a delicious menu, drinks and exclusive access to the museum’s main interactive exhibit: The Story of We the People.

The next day, alumni were invited to an open house, tours and a wine and cheese reception at The Eye Institute. See the photos

June 13, 2014

Salus Speakers Series
Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD

In the inaugural lecture of the Salus Speakers Series, Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD, infectious disease specialist and University of Pennsylvania professor, spoke to the Salus University community about a highly innovative approach to preventing infectious disease in the developing world.  His NGO, Energizing the Chain, has partnered with telecommunications companies that maintain electrified cell phone towers. Together they have provided the power for refrigeration necessary to keep lifesaving vaccines cold and stable, and have been able to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of children living in Africa and India.

A video of the lecture can be viewed at: 

May 24, 2014

National American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

L to R: Mrs. Vause, Bethany Rohrs
and Dr. Vause, Director of the Salus University Physician Assistant program.

Many Salus University Physician Assistant (PA) students  recently attended the National American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) conference  held in Boston, MA on Memorial Day weekend.  It was an exciting event for PA students and faculty alike. 

Bethany Rohrs, a first year student, represented Salus University’s PA Program in the AAPA Student Academy Assembly of Representatives (AOR).  The Student Academy  of the AAPA  was created to represent the unique views and needs of PA students.  The AOR is the governing body of SAAAPA and is comprised of one representative from each Physician Assistant  program’s student society. 

As the Salus University AOR representative, Bethany acted as liaison between the students and SAAAPA.  The AOR reviews, deliberations, and votes on resolutions that are submitted to the Board by the student societies.  The carried resolutions set the Student Academy agenda for the upcoming year.  Bethany participated in debate and discussions pertaining to the resolutions, while representing the interests of the students in the Salus PA Program.  The executive branch of SAAAPA is led by their Board of Directors, who are elected by AOR representatives at the annual AAPA conference. 

Bethany had the unique opportunity to run and was elected for the position of Director of Student Communications.  In her new role on the SAAAPA Board, she will work on coordinating efforts at the national level to promote local action by individual student societies and PA students.  Bethany will also serve as Chair for the Communication and Outreach Volunteer Group to fulfill the mission set forth by the AOR resolutions.  She endorses the concept that effective communication requires timely, accurate exchange of information through multiple media to reach a diverse audience.  Bethany looks forward to promoting the PA profession while representing Salus University at the national level in her new role this upcoming year, however, she is just as excited to start her clinical rotations this September.

Congratulations to our Class of 2014! Thursday, May 22, 2014 saw 269 graduates of the University’s four colleges receive their diplomas and began their journey into the world of healthcare and education/rehabilitation. Acting US Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, the ceremony’s honored speaker, urged the new graduates to view their graduation as the first chapter in the book of their new life and to make it one that they would want to read at the end of the book without regret. The ceremony was held at the Kimmel Center for the Performing arts in center city Philadelphia.  The Class of 2014 includes the inaugural class of occupational therapy graduates from the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation, who received an Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree (MSOT), and 34 residents who received post-graduate certificates, the second class of Public Health graduates, 29 international graduates who received a Master of Science in Clinical Optometry (MSCO) from the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry. (Enjoy this small sample of the slideshow we will be posting next week.)


Accreditations Awarded

The University’s Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapies programs have each received important accreditation status.

The Physician Assistant program was granted seven-year continuing accreditation status in March by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC- PA). The next ARC-PA review date is March 2021. 

The Occupational Therapy program received full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association  (AOTA) earlier this month.

Earlier this year, Dr. Mike Mittelman was interviewed by Dell Poncet, editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal. The interview - "Social Capital" - originally available only to the paper's subscribers,  has now been made available to everyone. (Interview)  

President Michael H. Mittelman, OD ’80, MPH, FAAO, announced the appointment of Janice Scharre, OD, FAAO to the position of provost earlier this month. In his announcement to the Salus community Dr. Mittelman said, ”Dr. Scharre brings a history of success in key areas that include her considerable experience in academic affairs, accreditation, research, program expansion, increasing national test rates, and creating collaborative programs with area universities and colleges.

Dr. Scharre currently serves as interim associate vice president of Academic Affairs and facilitated the development of the Salus PCO Scholars program a few years ago. A graduate of Illinois College of Optometry, she is an academic leader whose 25 years of experience includes appointments as vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of optometry for Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). >>> More

March 19, 2014

Conicelli and Toyota Make Matching Contributions to Salus University’s Vision Care Program

Conicelli Toyota presented a $5,000 check to The Eye Institute of Salus University for our “Looking Out for Kids” vision care initiative in the Norristown Area School District on Wednesday, March 19. The $2,500 donation was met with a matching gift from Toyota.

Pictured from left-right are:  Conicelli’s General Manager, Dominic Conicelli, Jr.; Internet Director of Sales, Lori Hammond; our own Chief of Staff, Dr. Susan Oleszewski; Conicelli’s Human Resources Manager, Donna Conicelli and Salus University president, Dr. Michael Mittelman. The donation will help provide vision care services and eyeglasses to uninsured and under-insured public school children in the Norristown community.

For more information about the “Looking Out for Kids” vision care initiative, visit or email