Post-Professional OTD, Program Director
Fern Silverman, EdD, OTR/L
is an Associate Professor and director of the Occupational Therapy Masters and Doctoral programs at Salus University, and has an extensive clinical background in pediatrics, with an emphasis on school-based practice. She has been an Occupational Therapy faculty member for 10 years and was instrumental in guiding the Salus MSOT program through the new program accreditation process. Dr. Silverman’s doctoral work focused on service delivery models for children receiving occupational therapy services in schools. Current research interests center around community participation and inclusion for children with disabilities and their families. She currently serves as a consultant to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on accessibility issues. Dr. Silverman has presented nationally and internationally on various aspects of inclusion and pediatric practice, and has published numerous articles and textbook chapters on related topics. Learn more about Dr. Silverman
Remedial Vision Rehabilitation, Coordinator
Dr. Mitchell Scheiman
is a nationally known optometric educator, lecturer, author and private practitioner. He is the author of “Understanding and Managing Visual Deficits: A Guide for Occupational Therapists”, and Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Guide for Occupational Therapists” published by Slack Incorporated. Dr. Scheiman has a long and close relationship with occupational therapists. He works closely with occupational therapists in his practice co-managing patients and has lectured to close to 7,000 occupational therapists in the past 20 years. He has specialized in vision therapy for the past 40 years. Dr. Scheiman is currently Dean of Research at Salus University. He has written three books for optometrists covering the topics of binocular vision and vision therapy, pediatric optometry, and learning related vision problems and he has published over 165 articles in the professional literature. He is a Diplomate in Binocular Vision and Perception and a Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Learn more about Dr. Scheiman
Health and Wellness, Coordinator
Ruth S. Farber, MSW, PhD, OTR/L
has been studying ways to facilitate participation (a key component of health) for people with chronic conditions or disabilities for over a decade. She has taught Occupational Therapy graduate students for the past 23 years and is currently an Associate Professor at Salus University (and a professor emeritus from Temple University). Her online doctoral teaching was recognized by the National University Technology Network, with the Shirley Davis Award for Excellence in Blended Learning (2010). Her research on women with multiple sclerosis (MS) or disabilities has been published in AJOT and Rehabilitation Psychology among other journals. She has specifically studied health promoting behaviors that are associated with increased health-related quality of life and participation. Her research has been presented nationally and internationally. Learn more about Dr. Farber
Marjorie Scaffa, PhD, MSOTR/L, FAOTA
has a Master’s degree in occupational therapy from Virginia
Commonwealth University and a PhD in community and public health from the University of Maryland. Dr. Scaffa founded the occupational therapy program at the University of South Alabama in 1993 and has chaired the department for much of the program’s history. In 1999, she received the award of Fellow of the AOTA. She has clinical experience in a variety of settings including inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, home health, hospice, and mental health/substance abuse inpatient and outpatient services. Dr. Scaffa is known nationally and internationally for her many contributions to community-based practice and enhancing the role of OT in health promotion and prevention, and has co-authored the central OT textbook on this topic and the AOTA official document.
Dr. Anthony Di Stefano
, was the architect of Salus University’s Public Health programs. The Salus Public Health degree and certificate programs were specifically designed to bridge the gap in public health training in fields such as optometry, occupational therapy, and blindness and visual impairment. Dr. Di Stefano has extensive teaching experience in the areas of community health, epidemiology, healthcare policy and organization. He currently is a professor of Public Health at Salus and has represented the University through its academic programs worldwide. Dr. Di Stefano is committed to serving the global community by protecting and enhancing health and well being as our first human right and shared responsibility.
Learn more about Dr. Di Stefano
Low Vision Rehabilitation, Coordinator
Audrey J. Smith, PhD, CLVT, COMS
is dean of the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation and holds the rank of professor. Dr. Smith is a certified low vision therapist and Orientation and Mobility specialist with more than 40 years of experience in teaching, personnel preparation, low vision clinical work and research in the field of Low Vision Rehabilitation (LVR). She has made low vision education and rehabilitation presentations at national and international conferences on blindness and low vision. Dr. Smith has also authored texts on enhancing visual efficiency and written several book chapters and journal articles on the topics of functional vision assessment and training, and visual access for persons with low vision. Learn more about Dr. Smith
Dr. JoAnne Wright PhD, OTR/L, CLVT, FAOTA
has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years, is a gerontologist and a low vision therapist. She has a PhD in Occupational Science and a certificate in gerontology and low vision. She was faculty at the University of Utah for over 15 years and was instrumental in starting the Life Skills Clinic, a faculty community practice with her own practice in Low Vision Occupational Therapy. She has taught low vision content at the university, nationally and internationally. Her clinical experience and research involves adaptation and rehabilitation with an emphasis on older adults aging in place and veterans returning from war and their functional vision related to school and employment. She has presented locally on emergency preparedness with vision loss. Currently she is the Dean of Health Sciences at Salt Lake Community College and continues as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah.
Steve Whitaker, PhD, OTR/L, CLVT
is a practicing occupational therapist and certified low vision therapist. For over 35 years, Steve has been teaching, doing research and providing clinical services in low vision rehabilitation. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Steve was a member of the faculty at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University) where he conducted NEI, NASA and NIDRR funded research, and taught in the optometry and vision rehab programs. A research fellow of the Academy of Optometry, Steve’s paper on the Visual Requirements for reading received the Garlen Clay Award for the most influential paper over a 5 year period. He has recently co-authored (with Dr. Mitch Scheiman) An Introduction to Low Vision: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists, published by Slack, Inc. He currently is an outpatient occupational therapist at Moss Rehabilitation hospital and Moore Eye Foundation where he treats people with a variety of visual and neurological conditions.
Low Vision Rehabilitation (Interdisciplinary experts)
Dr. Lynn Greenspan, OD (PhD Candidate)
is central lecturer on optics of the eye and optic principles, as well as a lab instructor on ocular motility and eye movement lab at Salus University. Her clinical specialty is Neuro-Visual Rehabilitation for Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic Director at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital Vision Clinic, Malvern, PA. Her PhD topic includes the effects of acquired brain injury on the visual system and the utility of visual findings as key indicators in post-concussion syndrome. Special areas of interest involve eye movements, electrophysiology, color vision, and the near triad (accommodation, convergence, pupil function). Future plans include development of new evidence based diagnostic and therapeutic mechanisms for concussion assessment and treatment. Learn more about Dr. Greenspan
Duane Geruschat, PhD
is an Associate Professor at Salus University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation and a Research Associate in Ophthalmology in the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Beginning his career in 1976 as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, he has worked in low vision clinics and has dedicated the majority of his career to low vision research. He has published extensively on low vision and is currently involved with research on retinal chip implants for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa and gene therapy for lebers congenital amaurosis. From 2005-2012 he served as the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, the international journal of record in blindness and low vision. Learn more about Dr. Geruschat
Learn more about our Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program