PCO and Salus To Give Out Presidential Medals

It takes a special community to ensure that the institution continues to be a leader in health science education.

In 1995, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Salus University’s  founding college, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), seventy-six people of note were awarded the President’s Medal of Honor. On Friday, April 26, 2019,  thirty-five additional notable individuals will be awarded Presidential Medals to commemorate the 100th anniversary of PCO and the 10th anniversary of Salus.  

Every Saturday leading up to Friday April 26, we will highlight a few of the new awardees.

DianeDiane Adamczyk, OD ’85, FAAO

Dr. Diane Adamczyk has served as the director of Residency Education at SUNY College of Optometry since 1999, where she is also a professor. A graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), she completed a residency at the Newington VA Hospital in Newington, Conn., and began her career as a low vision specialist. Dr. Adamczyk regularly lectures internationally on topics ranging from glaucoma to ocular pharmacology and has authored many articles and textbook chapters including co-authoring Primary Eyecare in Systemic Disease. She is actively involved in the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA), and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). She was also the 2016 recipient of the Salus University Alumni Association Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award.

Derrick Artis, OD ‘89, MBA

Derrick ArtisDr. Derrick Artis dedicated his career to the advancement of optometry. He is the former chief operating officer of Vision Source, a network of over 3500 independent optometrists. He retired in January 2018 after ten years on the management team at Vision Source and a successful transition of ownership to Essilor of America. Prior to Vision Source, he served as the director of Professional Affairs at Johnson and Johnson (J & J) Vision Care, Inc. Prior to joining J&J, he was the director of Professional Services at For Eyes Optical Company in Hialeah, Fla. Dr. Artis practiced optometry in the Washington, D.C. area for over ten years, founding Visual Eyes optometry with Teresa Grillo, OD ‘96 in 1997.  He served as chairman of the Washington D.C. Board of Optometry from 1996 to 2000 and was vice president of the state association for two terms. Dr. Artis worked alongside Mike Rosenblatt, OD ‘90 to lead Washington D.C.'s efforts to secure therapeutic drug prescription privileges. He is a Fellow of the AAO and received an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Miami. Dr. Artis has authored numerous publications and lectured across the globe on contact lenses and eye care.  He received a U.S. patent for the invention of a contact device and was awarded the Wesley-Jessen Innovation in Contact Lens Patient Care Award in 1998. Dr. Artis has been a member of the American Optometric Association and the National Optometric Association for 30 years. As a student at PCO, Dr. Artis was elected the national president of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) and voted National Student of the Year by the National Optometric Student Association in 1988. He is the 2006 recipient of the Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award and was selected as the National Optometric Associations Optometrist of the Year in 2007. He has served on the Salus University Board of Trustees since 2014.


G.Richard Bennett, MS, OD ‘79, Resident ’80, FAAO, FNAP

Richard BennettDr. G. Richard Bennett graduated PCO in 1979 and completed his residency in Primary Care at TEI in 1980. He is currently the director of the Glaucoma Center of Excellence at TEI, a lecturer in Retinal Disease and Glaucoma, and professor of Optometry, as well as a past PCO Trustee. He was also an adjunct associate professor of Ophthalmology at Hahnemann Medical School of Medicine (now Drexel University School of Medicine). Dr. Bennett was the Eye Group Coordinator of the Nemours Health Clinic in Wilmington, Del., and maintains a private practice in Philadelphia. He is a Fellow of the AAO, and serves as a referee for the American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics and Journal of the American Optometric Association and is also a reviewer for Optometry and Clinical Vision Science. Dr. Bennett lectures extensively and is an active clinical researcher. He has authored or co-authored over 50 published articles and presented a number of his papers at conferences and symposiums. Currently, Dr. Bennett is a principal investigator of the Ocular Hypertensive Treatment Study (OHTS), a multi-center clinical glaucoma trial funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bennett’s professional activities have included serving as president for the Pennsylvania Academy of Optometry (PAO); board member for the Philadelphia County Optometric Society; a member of the AOA and International Perimetric Society. He is the recipient of numerous awards including PCO Teacher of the Year; the Optometric Recognition Award five times from the AOA; the Distinguished Alumni Award from Clarion University; the Alfred I. DuPont Physician of the Year Award; and Distingusihed Practitioner from the National Academy of Practice in Optometry of the National Academies of Practice.