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 6 Results:

  • Optical Illusions  vs. Eye Candy (Win) 14-12  
  • Eye Ballers  vs. Eye Q (Win) 17-14
  • Blazin' J's vs. OD Dirty PAstards (Win) 30-40
  • Cookies & Cream vs. C.F. Eyecare (Win) 34-46
  • Monstars vs, Zookeepers (Win) 53-32

Week 6 results are below with updated league leaders and stats attached!

We Salute

The University community warmly welcomes its newest members:

  • Lesley Anders, Coordinator of Online Communications/Webmaster
  • Elizabeth Sedunov, AuD, Clinical Educator, Osborne College of Audiology
  • Mary Jo Thomas, OD, Instructor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry

The University community offers sincere congratulations to the following members: 

  • Dr. Michael R. Spinell ’70, associate professor, TEI, who, under the pseudonym M. Richards, is the author of “The Dog Knows…But He’s Not Talking,” a fictional mystery. (

  • Ms. Jo Surpin, chair, Board of Trustees, who has been named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2014 Women of Distinction.

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.


Dr. Sarah Appel is the co-director of the SPARC program, not the Feinbloom Low Vision Center as indicated last month.

Derek Kramer ’15OD was the top scorer for the NBEO Part I exam for Salus PCO, not the national top scorer as reported last month.

Meet the CPPD Staff 

The Center for Professional and Personal Development is now staffed with three counselors to assist students. New counselors Dr. Regan Lin-Kin (left) and Dr. Angelika Montalbano (center) are now working with Ms. Natalie Leckerman, MSS, LSW (right).  

Audiology students, Jenessa & Susan working together to get their patient, Low Vision Rehabilitation student Emily, ready for the ABRs.
Audiology students, Jenessa & Susan working together to get their patient, Low Vision Rehabilitation student Emily, ready for the ABRs.

Audiology Students Conduct Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Recordings


Second year audiology students conducted auditory brainstem response (ABR) recordings on fellow Salus students who had some sort of hearing loss during a lab last week. The students who were acting as patients for the evening were encouraged to rest or doze off, while the audiology students measured their ABRs. This type of testing is useful in learning how the hearing brain works, and the extent of hearing abilities.

The lab was supervised by Dr. Pienkowski and Dr. Genna.

Salus First University to Endorse HR 5304

The University became the first University or college to issue an endorsement of a federal bill – HR 5304 , the Audiology Patient Choice Act – that, if enacted, will grant audiologists limited licensed physician (LLP) status within Medicare, allow Medicare patients direct access to audiologists and, as a comprehensive Medicare benefit, give recognition to the profession of audiology so that it is recognized within the full scope of practice.

The endorsement, signed by Salus President Michael H. Mittelman, OD, MPH, Provost Janice Scharre, OD and Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) Dean Victor H. Bray, PhD, states that HR 5304 will “bring about a much needed modernization in the way audiology services are available to Medicare beneficiaries.”

The bill is a bi-partisan effort of US Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and has the full support of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA). In late September, ADA members staged a “fly-in” to Washington, DC, where they met with staffers of Congressional members.  Federal health insurance for members of Congress and their staffs does not require a referral from a primary care physician before seeing an audiologist.

The goal of making audiology an autonomous profession with LLP status on a par with other, frontline healthcare doctoring professions such as optometry, dentistry, podiatry, was one of great importance to the late Dr. George S. Osborne, the founding dean of the University’s audiology program. Dean Bray and the many OCA alumni who are working to gain supporters of the bill are confident that Dr. Osborne would be in the forefront of their efforts. With audiologists licensed in all 50 states to offer these services and with the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree the profession’s entry level degree, HR 5304 is the next logical step in elevating the profession. 

Audiology Students in Appalachia

For the second year, third-year students and faculty from the Salus Osborne College of Audiology traveled to Appalachia to hold a hearing clinic at Redbird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky, where they saw almost 200 patients in two days.

Led by assistant professor, Dr. Jonette Owen, the Class of 2016 student volunteers were Alyssa Acquavita; Stephanie Borja; Nina Buckley-Ess; Stephanie Fischer; Mary Ann Murphy; Jason Rickman; Alyssa Rohrbach; Ashley Romano; Natalie Rupert, Rachel Timmons and Katherine Tribulski.

Ms. Tribulski kept a short blog of the group’s trip, admitting that she and her fellow students were so busy during the day and so tired at night, she had no chance to write more than a few lines for each day.

The poverty level in Appalachia is high – on average, about 17% of Kentucky’s citizens live below the federal poverty level. The county served by Red Bird Mission ranks in the top 20 poorest counties in America, with the percentage of people living below the poverty level at about 37%. Humanitarian medical trips are a necessity for most citizens living in these areas.

Toland Classroom Dedicated

On October 19 the Toland Classroom at The Eye Institute (TEI) was dedicated to Joseph Toland, OD '54, MD. Last year a group of PCO alumni, spearheaded by Dr. Susan Oleszewski ’76, decided to honor the man who was instrumental in allowing TEI optometrists to practice therapeutic optometry at a time when Pennsylvania didn't have therapeutics for optometrists. They organized a donor campaign and surprised Dr. Toland with the announcement of their intent at the annual Joseph P. Toland Excellence in Education event in May.

Dr. Toland and family

At a reception following the dedication, Dr. Mittelman and Dr. Oleszewski spoke of their former teacher and his influence on their lives. After her remarks Dr. Oleszewski invited the TEI faculty, staff and campaign donors in attendance to share their stories about Dr. Toland and the remembrances were always affectionate and often humorous. Dr. and Mrs. Toland and their family were in attendance.  

PA Class of 2016 Wins Contest

Congratulations to the Physician Assistant Class of 2016! In honor of Physician Assistant Week, held every year from October 6 – 12, the students organized a photo shoot and submitted this winning photo to the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

October, 2014

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.


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.


University Safety and Security Reports

The annual crime data report that fulfills the Clery Act disclosure requirement to report crime statistics to the US Department of Education has been accessible to the public on the University’s website for some years now. In addition that report Safety and Security director, Wayne Pancza, and lead security officer, Gary Hughes, have created a criminal activity log, which will be updated on the website as an incident occurs.