Alumni News

2014 Alumni Reunion - Friday, June 27, 2014 starting at 7:30 p.m.

For more reunion information

At the Joseph Toland 24th Annual Excellence in Education Conference held in Elkins Park on May 4, Professor Joseph Toland, MD, was surprised by an announcement made by Dr. Susan Oleszewski, Salus Chief of Staff. A campaign begun by Dr. Oleszewski and colleagues to honor Dr. Toland in retirement, committed to raising $50,000 to name The Eye Institute (TEI) classroom, the “Toland Classroom.” 

In an internal communication to PCO alumni and past TEI residents, Dr. Oleszewski noted that “Dr. Toland’s commitment to Salus, TEI, and resident education for over three decades is second to none.” She went on to say, “… For those of us who have been around a long time, we are aware that Joe was central to helping a number of states across the country get diagnostic and therapeutic privileges during the ’70 s and ’80s.  His professional courage, as an ophthalmologist testifying in front of state legislatures to advance optometry, has made him very special in our eyes.”

Dr. Oleszewski explained too that Pennsylvania was one of the last states to get therapeutics; however, TEI providers were always able to practice therapeutic optometry “because Dr. Toland put his signature to a ‘Standing Orders’ document” and noted too that, “Joe’s willingness to do this represented the confidence he had in all of us.  He took a professional risk to ensure that our clinical program was cutting edge.”

To date the group has raised more than $30,000 towards their goal. Contributions can be accepted by credit card or check. Credit card payments can be made with the University’s Office of Institutional Advancement by calling Jeanne Zearfoss at 215.780.1395. Checks may be made payable to “PCO Foundation” with “Toland Classroom” noted on the memo line, and mailed to: Salus University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 8360 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027.

New NEI Grant Awarded; Dr. Scheiman is Study Chair

The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded an $8 million, U10 grant to the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) Investigator Group. Salus University Clinical Research associate dean, Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, is the Study Chair. There will be eight clinical sites for the study, including The Eye Institute of Salus University and Dr. Michael Galloway will head the TEI project.

Convergence insufficiency (CI) is a common binocular vision disorder, affecting 5-10% of school-age children. In addition to visual discomfort, children with CI and their parents report symptoms affecting reading performance, such as loss of place, loss of concentration, reading slowly, and trouble remembering what was read.

This study is a five-year, randomized clinical trial designed to determine whether the successful treatment of convergence insufficiency leads to improved attention and reading in children 9- to 14-years old.

The most common clinical measurement of visual function is visual acuity, measured by means of a Snellen chart.  Recently, its use has been expanded not only to measure visual acuity, but also to measure the progress of disease or the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. In a test-retest mode however, the main difficulty with a Snellen chart is the lack of a precise scoring system. Traditional line-by-line scoring typically requires only that 50-80% of the letters in a line be identified correctly in order to score a successful reading of the entire line. Thus, the variability in line-by-line scoring is inherently high.  When letter-by-letter scoring (which inherently has a lower variability) is used, test-retest visual acuity measurements are known to be - up to a factor of two - more precise.

We have developed a unique method of scoring Snellen chart responses through the use of LogMAR transformations that account for each letter read. The final, cumulative letter-by-letter LogMAR value is converted into an effective Snellen fraction. The mathematical processes are embedded in an EXCEL-based tool and are transparent to the practicing clinician. This letter-by-letter, LogMAR-based, scoring tool is available from this web site. In addition, the tool has a similar ETDRS spread sheet for those who use ETDRS charts.

We have designed this tool for clinicians, who are untrained in LogMAR use, so that they can: 1) apply these visual acuity data as a refined diagnostic tool, 2) assess progression of eye disease, or 3) quantify the efficacy of treatment of certain pathological eye conditions with greater precision.  Potentially, this tool has broad applications for clinicians who, for a variety of reasons, have been hesitant to incorporate LogMAR principles into their clinical patient databases. Moreover, this tool has possible beneficial medico-legal implications. It could protect clinicians who are struggling to quantify visual performance in a manner that is: a) subtle enough to have scientific credibility, b) sufficiently established to supply a defensible metric acceptable to scientists worldwide, and c) robust enough to stand up in courts of law.

Instructions to Download, Customize & Use the Effective Snellen Chart.

Snellen Chart Scoring Aid

This software is provided by the copyright holders and contributors "as is," and any express of implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall the copyright owner or contributors or Salus University be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data or profits, or business interruption), however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.

Users may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software application without the expressed consent of the authors. This product is provided without warranties or conditions and is provided "As Is". To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall the U.S. Army, the authors, or Salus University be liable for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages whatsoever arising out the use of this product.

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