Alumni News

NJAAO Annual CE Program

Through their efforts and CE program over the past years, NJAAO members have funded the NJ Academy of Optometry Harold Simmerman Clinical Excellence Scholarship, awarded annually to a deserving fourth year optometry student from New Jersey. For 2015 program information.

October, 2014

Alexis Abate Appointed Director of Communication  

Alexis Abate, Director of Communications

Alexis Abate, MS, was appointed director of Communication for the University, to become effective October 1. In his announcement to the University community, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman said, “I look forward to working with Alexis as we proceed with the Salus branding and marketing efforts. Her background, experience and expertise will serve the University well, as she leads our efforts to ensure that our name and reputation find a wider audience as we continue our mission to become the best institution in the nation for the education of healthcare professionals.

Ms. Abate has been marketing coordinator for The Eye Institute for the past six years. As director of Communication, she will report to Dr. Mittelman and have multiple responsibilities that include the development of an innovative communications strategy designed to engage audiences and stakeholders across multiple constituencies within Salus; creation and implementation of strategies to ensure the University’s outreach efforts and multiple-market visibility are maximized and the building of relationships with the media and surrounding communities to advance our position with relevant constituents. Ms. Abate also will be responsible for Salus University’s varied and integrated communications, including web-based media and publications; community relations; marketing of research and education programs; public outreach events and activities; and other current programs. 

Ms. Abate holds a BA in Communication/Mass Media Writing from LaSalle University and a Master of Arts in Communication Arts, Public Relations and Advertising from New York Institute of Technology.

We Salute

The Salus community extends congratulations to the following members on their recent successes:

  • Dr. Sarah Appel,  co-director, Feinbloom Low Vision Clinic, on the publication of a position paper she co-authored for the American Academy of Optometry about the evaluation and treatment of students with visual impairments. Paper. 
  • Dr. Neil Draisin '71 and Dr. Bill Monaco, associate dean, Biomedicine, for being profiled in recent issues of the "How I See It" section of Focus, the magazine of the AOA (American Optometric Association).

CER Awarded New Grants

Dean Audrey Smith announced recently that the College of Education and Rehabilitation (CER) Department of Low Vision and Blindness was awarded two five-year grants by the US Department of Education to support the College’s personnel preparation programs in Orientation & Mobility and Teachers of the Visually Impaired. The grants totaled $2.3 million.

Dr. Smith said, “My heartfelt appreciation and congratulations goes out to the CER and Sponsored Programs Administration team effort … with special thanks to team leaders, Dr. Fabiana Perla and Ms. Lynne Dellinger.”  In thanking everyone, Dr. Smith noted that everyone had worked tirelessly to produce quality grant applications whose caliber enabled Salus to be selected from a large competitive pool of many other university applicants throughout the country.

September, 2014

InfantSEE Community Event a Success

The Salus community welcomed speaker and entertainer Tom Sullivan, AOA representative Glen “Bubba” Steele, OD, FCOVD, and Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA) president, Dr. Marianne Boltz ’96, to campus on September 5 and 6 for InfantSEE early eye care intervention events. InfantSEE is a public health program managed by the American Optometric Association (AOA) that promotes comprehensive eye exams at six to 12 months of age because of the rapid development of vision during a baby’s first year of life.

On Friday evening, from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., optometry students attended an event at the Hafter Student Community Center and heard from Dr. Mittelman, and Dean Lori Grover, in addition to Dr. Steele, Dr. Boltz, who presented the University with an InfantSEE resolution from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Sullivan, who spoke of his commitment to InfantSEE and its importance in his funny, sometimes irreverent and always interesting delivery style. Mr. Sullivan, who was born prematurely, was blinded as an infant due to complications in an incubator.  

On Saturday morning, Salus staff and local professionals who work in the areas of early childhood development, occupation and physical therapy, and in community programs with young mothers and babies attended a breakfast at The Eye Institute and heard presentations from Dr. Steele, Dr. Eileen Schanel-Klitsch, Salus faculty member and psychologist whose specialty is working with children with vision impairments, Dr. Ruth Shoge, chief of Pediatrics at TEI, and Mr. Sullivan. Dr. Marianne Boltz also attended this event.

The message at both events was the importance of early intervention. In addition to vision impairments, connections were made to the impact of those impairments on a baby’s development and how greater emotional and developmental delays are related to them. An example given by Mr. Sullivan on Saturday morning was that “chewing is a visual response. How can babies learn to chew if they can’t see someone do it?”  The events were informative and interesting and the audiences were left with the challenge to help raise public awareness of early intervention and the InfantSEE program, which is offered to the public without charge.  

June, 2014

Optometry’s Meeting    

Philadelphia was the focus of the American Optometric Association in late June, as members arrived for their annual Optometry’s Meeting. This year’s meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center provided the opportunity for many alumni, faculty and students to meet locally at a national conference.

The University hosted a fundraising cocktail reception at the National Constitution Center on June 27, where more than 300 attendees mingled amidst banners, exhibits, soaring ceilings and walls of windows showcasing nearby Independence Hall.   

After a short Salus video and a warm welcome by Salus president, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, the annual  Alumni Association Awards were presented by Kenneth Savitski, OD ’87, president of the Alumni Association. The 2014 honorees are Rita R. Chaiken, AuD ’03, Audiology Alumna of the Year, who received her award at the American Academy of Audiology annual conference in April; Glenn S. Corbin, OD ’82, Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year; Ms. Marcia Shaull, Public Service Award; Felix M. Barker, II, OD, and Pierrette Dayhaw-Barker, PhD, professors emeriti, Distinguished Service Award; and Anthony F. Di Stefano, OD ’73, MPH, MEd, Special Recognition Award.

To read more about the honorees…                  

2014 Alumni Reunion Photos For more reunion information

Snellen Chart Scoring Aid

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.

Instructions to Download, Customize & Use the Effective Snellen Chart.

Snellen Chart Scoring Aid

This software is provided by the copyright holders and contributors "as is," and any express of implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall the copyright owner or contributors or Salus University be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data or profits, or business interruption), however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.

Users may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software application without the expressed consent of the authors. This product is provided without warranties or conditions and is provided "As Is". To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall the U.S. Army, the authors, or Salus University be liable for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages whatsoever arising out the use of this product.

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