Current Student News


Salus intramural basketball has begun. On Thursday nights at the Hafter Student Community Center you can watch men’s and women’s teams battle for the season’s championship. With  seven men’s teams and five women’s teams this should be another exciting season.  

Week 2 Results:

  • Optical Illusions 2018 (1-1) vs. Ophthalmus Prime 2018 (0-2) :
    17-7 (Optical Illusions)
  • Eye Candy 2016 vs. Eye-Q 2017 (1-0): 
    20-15 (Eye-Q)
  • C.F. Eyecare (0-2) vs. Old Dirty (O.D.) PAstards (2-0): 
    55-47 Old Dirty (O.D.) PAstards (2-0)
  • Monstars 2016 (2-0) vs. 20/20 Crossover 2017 (0-2): 
    46-25 Monstars
  • Cookies and Cream 2015 (1-1)vs. Blazin' J's:
    56-25 (Cookies and Cream)

First Class of Optometry Scholars Students

The University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) Scholars Program is the nation’s first accelerated Doctor of Optometry degree program. The first cohort of 10 students were welcomed into this highly selective, continuous, three-year program in July and are scheduled to graduate in June 2017.

Students enrolled in the Scholars Program earn the credit equivalency of students in a traditional four-year program. President Michael H. Mittelman, OD ’80, MPH, said, “This unique program further demonstrates our intense commitment to providing an innovative, professional education that serves the needs of our students and their patients."

The program continues the legacy of innovation and professional leadership begun with Pennsylvania College of Optometry decades ago, and the pedagogical and clinical aspects of the Scholars curriculum underwent careful planning and great scrutiny in the years leading up to the program’s launch. “As a multi-disciplinary health sciences University, we are proud to be on the leading edge of healthcare education aimed at  meeting the growing needs of patients and communities,” explained Dr. Janice Scharre, Salus provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.” The Scholars Program, which attracted far more candidates than available slots, is based on best practices and the first class is stellar in every respect, as are the faculty that will be responsible for their training.”   

The program’s unique curriculum emphasizes lecture and laboratory instruction, small group learning, case-based learning, and online and web enhanced instruction. Guided independent study offers students the ability to work individually and in small groups with faculty mentors.

“Like every one of our doctor of optometry graduates, the students will benefit from extensive, structured patient care experiences and a very favorable student-to-faculty ratio,” explained Dr. Lori Grover, dean of the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry.  Salus PCO students receive invaluable faculty mentorship as they develop the critical thinking and clinical competencies necessary for optometric practitioners.”

Students accepted into this program are carefully screened and accepted based on qualifications, history of academic performance and career path.


SOSH Trip 2014: Haiti               

by  Frank Mai ’16OD, SOSH president

On August 7, 2014, this year’s SOSH (Students in Optometric Service to Humanity) team of twenty-five students and two optometrists traveled to Cap Haitien, Haiti, where they examined 1,150 patients over four days of clinical operations. More than  2,400 pairs of glasses and sunglasses were dispensed.

The glasses for this year’s mission were donated to SOSH by Lions Clubs, social organizations, and private contributors. Our patients were referred by local physician, Dr. Guerline Roney, from a nearby clinic in Cap Haitien - the Vision Plus Clinique for glaucoma and cataract surgeries. Our team was accompanied by a local group headed by Joseph Telemaque, whose help proved invaluable. Joseph provided us with drivers and translators during our stay and, without his organizational skills, our SOSH team wouldn’t have been able to give direct help to patients.

We arrived at the Port-au-Prince Airport in the capital and then took a bus on winding roads through the mountains until we finally got to Cap Haitien – an approximate seven hour trip. We stayed at the Mont Joli Hotel where, every night, SOSH officers would pack suitcases with the appropriate amount of glasses, sunglasses and pharmaceutical drops for the following morning’s clinics, and leave the suitcases in the lobby ready for transport. Every morning at 7 :45 a.m.,  twenty-seven SOSH members packed into two vans with our five translators. The drive to each of the five clinic sites - Grand Riviere, Lorie, Robiya, and Vertieres - took about an hour.

Each clinic was set up as a series of stations. The first station was where Joseph would register our patients. At the second station, each patient’s history was taken and  the chief complaint, background, and associated symptoms were assessed. The third station was where visual acuity was measured at a 10 ft. testing distance. At the fourth station, extraocular muscles, pupils, and the patient’s external ocular health were examined and any pathology was noted. The fifth station was tonometry, where gloaucoma was ruled out. At the sixth station, a ret rack was used to determine the patient’s prescription. The seventh station was direct ophthalmoscopy to examine the back of the eye, and, finally, the last station was a final examination, with the doctors taking a look at all remarkable information on the exam forms.

When the patients were finished, they were then given proper pharmaceutical drops and received appropriate prescription glasses for their needs at the eyeglass dispensary.  With the the help of our translators, our doctors educated the patients on  the use of their prescription glasses, and whether the glasses  were for distance or near. Many patients who did not need an eyeglass prescription were given non-prescription sunglasses. By the end of their examination, a patient was able to leave with appropriate glasses or drops and, if a referral was needed, Joseph recorded their names in a handbook and gave them a referral form.

The trip was an inspirational experience that all SOSH members will hold close to our hearts for years to come. It was rewarding to able to utilize our knowledge and skills to help those who would overwise be denied the gift of sight. We were proud to be able to improve the quality of life for so many Haitians who would be without any vision care without vists by volunteer groups such as SOSH.

We would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters whose efforts and donations made this mission trip possible. Thank you Dean Jim Caldwell, Ms. Monae Kelsey, and the University’s student government Executive Council. A special thanks to our optometric advisors who traveled with us, Dr. Bhawan Minhas and Dr. Lindsey Perno, our faculty VOSH-liasons Dr. Gwen Amos and Dr. Mark Street, and lastly, thank you SOSH officers and members of the  Class of 2016 who participated: Melissa Keller (vice president), Bridget Veglia (treasurer), Brad Sparks (office manager), Roma Desai (internal fundraiser), Emily Jones (external fundraiser), Carrie Christopherson, Victoria Galbreth, Mary Gouris, Stefanie Hwang, David Lai, Jacky Lam, Vivien Li, Lili Liang, Youseff Neema, Jared Scheff, Jenna Sembrat, Daniel Situ, Kelci Walters, Helena Wang, Ting Wei, Belinda Weinburg, Shirley Yan,  Kristin Yandrich, and the Class of 2017 underclassmen liaison, Nicole Yoder.


Landmark Audiology Legislation

The first significant update of audiology licensure in Pennsylvania since 1984 was signed by Governor Corbett on July 2, 2014. The Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Licensure Act (Act 106 of 2014) contains requirements reflective of national standards, updates terminology and, beginning January 1, 2015, will require all applicants for licensure to have a doctoral degree in audiology.

According to Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) dean, Dr. Victor Bray, Salus OCA faculty member Dr. Sherman Lord ’10 was instrumental in getting the legislation passed in his capacity of vice president of Governmental Affairs for the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology (PAA). 

In an update to his colleagues Dr. Lord noted that the bill’s passing required compromise and collaboration, and he cited members of the Pennsylvania legislature, our Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) colleagues, Pennsylvania Speech Hearing Association, the three Pennsylvania Doctor of Audiology (AuD) university programs, several physician groups, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. 

In addition to the scope of practice update, the other important changes to the law include the following:

  • By their request, no longer will Teachers of the Hearing Impaired be licensed under this Act.
  • An audiologist is defined as an "independent practitioner."
  • Beginning on January 1, 2015, all new applicants for an audiology license must possess a doctoral degree in audiology as determined by the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Licensure Board).
  • Reduces the number of physicians on the Licensure Board to one.
  • Provides the Licensure Board with the power "To recognize the national professional organizations in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology that have established definitions of the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology. The board shall have the power to adopt those definitions to the practical definitions of the practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology for licensees under the board."
  • Certification other than the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in audiology may now be accepted as documentation necessary to waive the examination requirement (e.g. board certification through the American Board of Audiology)
  • The Licensure Board may now issue a provisional license to recently graduated AuD students as well as audiologists moving to Pennsylvania who are awaiting their application approval to become fully licensed.


Salus PA Student Elected to SAAAPA Board   

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

In late May, at the national meeting of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), then first-year student Bethany Rohrs ’15PA represented the University’s PA Program in the Student Academy of the AAPA Assembly of Representatives (AOR).  The Student Academy was created to represent the unique views and needs of PA students.  The AOR is their governing body and is comprised of one representative from the student society of each Physician Assistant program nationwide. 

According to Physican Assistant program director, Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., as the Salus AOR representative, Ms. Rohr was the liaison between the Salus 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.  Ms. Rohr participated in debate and discussions pertaining to the resolutions, while representing the interests of the students in Salus’ PA Program.  The executive branch of SAAAPA is led by the Board of Directors, who are elected by AOR representatives at the annual AAPA conference. 

Additionally, Ms. Rohr ran and was elected to 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.  She 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.  Ms. Rohr looks forward to promoting the PA profession while representing Salus University at the national level in her new role this upcoming year, while beginning her second-year clinical rotations next month.

Congratulations to Alta Fried '14OT (center of photo), on the publication of her inspiring story! Read all about it in Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners current issue.

Accreditations Awarded

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.

New SLP Program Offers Info on Campus

In honor of May, the “Better Hearing and Speech Month,” the faculty and staff of the Department of Speech–Language and Pathology (SLP) in the College of Education and Rehabilitation provided the Salus community with information regarding the profession of Speech-Language Pathology and an update on the program’s accreditation and construction of the Speech Clinic in the Breyer Office Park building on the Elkins Park campus.

Department chair and program director, Dr. Carolyn Mayo, and SLP faculty and staff were on-hand during lunchtime outside the University’s Café on two days to present information on: Communication Milestones; Stroke Awareness; Health Literacy; Vocal Hygiene for Professors; Accent Modification and Reflux Prevention.

The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree program will welcome its first class in the 2014-2015 academic year.


PhD White Coat Ceremony

A white coat ceremony was held late last month for Ms. Wafa Al-Otibi, a student in the PhD Biomedicine program from Saudi Arabia, who could not be present for the ceremony held in August.

Pictured above are Ms. Al-Otibi, Dr. Pierrette Dayhaw-Barker, founding dean of the Biomedicine program and Ms. Noura Aldossary, who received her white coat in August.