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, MBA

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 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. She was also the 2016 recipient of the Salus University Alumni Association Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award.

Derrick Artis, OD ’89, FAAO

Derrick ArtisDr. Derrick Artis is the former executive vice president of Operations at Vision Source in Houston, Texas, and previously served as the director of Professional Affairs at Vistakon, a division of Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc.  Prior to joining Vistakon, he served as 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 10 years. He was appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Optometry in 1994 and served as the chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2000. He served as vice-president of his district optometry association for two terms and spearheaded a five-year campaign for optometry therapeutic drug prescription privileges in Washington, D.C., where he authored the bill and was the leading lobbyist. His efforts culminated in passing one of the most liberal drug laws for optometry in the country. Dr. Artis received a patent for the invention of a contact lens case that tracks the number of days that a disposable contact lens has been worn and was awarded the Wessley-Jessen Innovation in Contact Lens Patient Care Award in 1998. Dr. Artis has lectured on low vision; contact lenses; HIV and eye care; and practice management.  While a student at PCO, Dr. Artis was appointed as national president of the National Optometric Student Association; was a liaison to the American Optometric Student Association; and voted National Student of the Year by the National Optometric Association. He was the 2006 recipient of the Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award.

Richard Bennett, MS, OD ‘78, Resident ’79, FAAO

Richard BennettDr. Richard Bennett earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from PCO in 1978, and completed his residency in Primary Care at The Eye Institute (TEI) the following year.   He is currently the director of the Glaucoma Service of Excellence at TEI, a lecturer in Retinal Disease and Glaucoma and  also a past PCO Trustee. He is also an adjunct associate professor of Ophthalmology at Drexel University School of Medicine. Dr. Bennett is 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 American Academy of Optometry, 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. Dr. Bennett’s professional activities include serving as president for the Pennsylvania Academy of Optometry; board member for the Philadelphia County Optometric Society; and a member of the American Optometric Association and International Perimetric Society. He is the recipient of numerous awards including PCO Teacher of the Year, the Optometric Recognition Award from the American Optometric Association five times, and Distinguished Practitioner from the National Academy of Practice in Optometry of the National Academies of Practice.