Letter from President-Designate Mittelman
May 31, 2013
This is the first of what I hope will become many direct communications from me to all of you about my transition to the president’s position at Salus University.
This past weekend marked a crossroads for us. Dr. Thomas Lewis presided over his last commencement ceremony and I was extremely honored to be officially welcomed as the president-designate of Salus. To read the complete letter
The annual Alumni Reunion, held May 3-5, had a few added attractions for the enjoyment of attendees. The weekend’s events were all planned with an eye to the theme: “Come Laugh with Us.”
On Friday evening two separate events were held and participants could choose between a happy hour at a local restaurant or a Philadelphia Orchestra concert. According to feedback from alumni and faculty who attended, both were a great start to the weekend, allowing people to get together before the main festivities. The happy hour in particular allowed local alumni and faculty unable to attend on Saturday the opportunity to visit with old friends.
On Saturday, May 4, morning campus tours offered alumni and their guests a chance to see the University’s campus, as well as its optometry and audiology clinical facilities, The Eye Institute and the Pennsylvania Ear Institute. A buffet lunch in the University’s Café followed. After lunch an optional guided tour of historic area points of interest by the Old York Road Historical Society took place. Participants were enthusiastic in their praise of the tour as well as the guide’s depth of knowledge.
Saturday evening a cocktail reception held in the Bennett Lounge of the Hafter Student Community Center was followed by the alumni dinner. Prior to the dinner, alumni and their guests were welcomed by President Thomas L. Lewis ’70, and awards were presented by Alumni Association president, Dr. Rob Spivack ’85, with PCO dean, Dr. Linda Casser and Osborne College of Audiology dean, Dr. Victor Bray.
This year’s awardees were Robert P. Bittel, Jr., OD ’83, FAAO, Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year; Robert M. DiSogra, AuD ’03, Audiology Alumnus of the Year; Harry Kaplan, OD '49, who was honored with a Special Recognition award, and the New Jersey Academy of Optometry (NJAO), which was presented with a Public Service Award. Current NJOA president, Dr. Clark Chang ’07, accepted the award on behalf of the membership.
Attendees were treated to a photo booth complete with props, a buffet dinner featuring recipes from ABC’s show, The Chew, wine tasting with a wine expert, a performance featuring New York comedian Hari Kondabolu - courtesy of the University’s Student Government and attended by Salus students - and the drawing of “I Care” raffle prizes and dancing to the music of a DJ.
On Sunday, the 23rd annual Dr. Joseph C. Toland Excellence in Education conference was held all day on campus. This year’s program featured new concepts in preventing, detecting and managing Chronic Ocular Conditions and offered participants eight hours of COPE approved education.
PCO Preceptor of the Year 2013
Last month PCO held a Preceptor Fair at The Eye Institute, giving second year students and preceptors a chance to meet one another. The PCO Preceptor’s Fair has become an annual event that affords second year students the opportunity to meet preceptors and talk with them as the students begin the externship site process. The process continues through late summer, when all externship placements for the students third and fourth years are approved and in place.
The 2013 Preceptor of the Year award was presented to Dr. Osama Said ’99 by Dr. Maria Parisi, Externship program director and Dr. Satya B. Verma, assistant director of the program.
Preceptors are practicing optometrists who welcome third and fourth year students into their private practices or their workplaces (e.g., Veterans Administration facilities, hospitals, etc.). The preceptors work with the students as clinical instructors and mentors for their externship rotation. A PCO student will complete a minimum of four externships before graduation. Students are required to complete one externship rotation each at The Eye Institute, a disease site, a hospital site and a private practice site. At present, there are more than 400 PCO externship sites in the US, with a few international sites also available.
We are creating a new Alumni Directory that will contain alumni contact information. To accomplish this, we have retained a company called Publishing Concepts (PCI).
Postcards and emails were sent from our partner, Publishing Concepts (PCI), in December requesting updated contact information. Follow up phone calls will be made. We have posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding our Alumni Directory project. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Jamie Lemisch, Alumni relations director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.780.1391.
The most common clinical measurement of visual function is visual acuity, measured by means of a Snellen chart. Recently, its use has been expanded not only to measure visual acuity, but also to measure the progress of disease or the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. In a test-retest mode however, the main difficulty with a Snellen chart is the lack of a precise scoring system. Traditional line-by-line scoring typically requires only that 50-80% of the letters in a line be identified correctly in order to score a successful reading of the entire line. Thus, the variability in line-by-line scoring is inherently high. When letter-by-letter scoring (which inherently has a lower variability) is used, test-retest visual acuity measurements are known to be - up to a factor of two - more precise.
We have developed a unique method of scoring Snellen chart responses through the use of LogMAR transformations that account for each letter read. The final, cumulative letter-by-letter LogMAR value is converted into an effective Snellen fraction. The mathematical processes are embedded in an EXCEL-based tool and are transparent to the practicing clinician. This letter-by-letter, LogMAR-based, scoring tool is available from this web site. In addition, the tool has a similar ETDRS spread sheet for those who use ETDRS charts.
We have designed this tool for clinicians, who are untrained in LogMAR use, so that they can: 1) apply these visual acuity data as a refined diagnostic tool, 2) assess progression of eye disease, or 3) quantify the efficacy of treatment of certain pathological eye conditions with greater precision. Potentially, this tool has broad applications for clinicians who, for a variety of reasons, have been hesitant to incorporate LogMAR principles into their clinical patient databases. Moreover, this tool has possible beneficial medico-legal implications. It could protect clinicians who are struggling to quantify visual performance in a manner that is: a) subtle enough to have scientific credibility, b) sufficiently established to supply a defensible metric acceptable to scientists worldwide, and c) robust enough to stand up in courts of law.
The Campaign For The Eye Institute
by Lynne C. Corboy, Director of Development
The major renovation and rebuilding of The Eye Institute is now completed. Our students and faculty now see patients in a facility that is modern, attractive, easy to navigate and accommodates technology more readily.
This $11.2 million project is being financed by a combination of bond funding, government grants, University capital budget and a fund raising campaign. The Setting Our Sights campaign seeks to raise $2.5 million for the project.
As of January 30, 2012, contributions total nearly $2.1 million. These generous donors include members of the Salus University Board of Trustees, faculty and staff as well as corporations and alumni. PCO alumni have been very generous with contributions of nearly $1.1 million, about half of the total so far.
The campaign is now focusing on a brick campaign. Donors of $500 and $1,000 will have a brick installed in front entrance of The Eye Institute engraved as they wish. All donors will be recognized on a large donor plaque in the main lobby of the new TEI, and other naming opportunities are available, from engraved bricks to room dedications.
To make a contribution online go to http://www.salus.edu/alumni/donateOnline.html.
For more information contact Lynne Corboy at 215.780.1392 or at Lcorboy@salus.edu.
Snellen Chart Scoring Aid
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