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 5 Results:

  • Eye Candy (Loss) vs. Eye Ballers 2016(Win): 20-12
  • Blazin' J's 2018 (Loss)  vs. 20/20 Crossover 2017 (Win)42-38
  • Zookeepers 2016 (Win) vs. Cookies and Cream 2015 (Loss): 37-36
  • Monstars 2016 (Win) vs. OD PAstards (Loss): 42-41



The University held its White Coat ceremony for first year Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy students on October 13th. Family and friends joined inthe excitement as the students received the symbol of their chosen professions and took the Oath to Professionalism,w hich they will repeatr at their commencement.

To see more photos>>

Salus University held its Fall 2014 commencement on October 1st and 55 graduates received their master’s degrees from Salus president Dr. Michael H. Mittelman. The ceremony took place at Congregation Keneseth Israel, located across the street from the University and the procession of graduates and faculty wound its way from the Hafter Student Center to the synagogue, as local police stopped traffic to allow the procession to pass.

This was the first interdisciplinary fall commencement, as Low Vision Rehabilitation graduate Abena Adjei Ntim joined 54 physician assistant graduates. Graduates and their families and friends were welcomed by Dr. Mittelman and then heard from Class representative Ayn Marie Larson. Keynote speaker Michael C. Doll, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, director-at-large, Board of Directors for the American Academy of Physician Assistants, spoke of the responsibility of taking care of patients and relating how patients can affect medical professionals’ lives rather than the other way around. He also assured the graduates they would “rise to the challenges” they will face, reminding them that they  had faced challenges during their journey to this day of new beginnings.

Congratulations to our newest Class of 2014 graduates!

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.

We Salute

The Salus community extends congratulations to the following members on their recent successes:

  • Derek Kramer '15OD, who was the PCO top scorer for Part Two of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

InfantSEE Community Event a Success

The Salus community welcomed speaker and entertainer Tom Sullivan, AOA representative Glen “Bubba” Steele, OD, FCOVD, and Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA) president, Dr. Marianne Boltz ’96, to campus on September 5 and 6 for InfantSEE early eye care intervention events. InfantSEE is a public health program managed by the American Optometric Association (AOA) that promotes comprehensive eye exams at six to 12 months of age because of the rapid development of vision during a baby’s first year of life.

On Friday evening, from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., optometry students attended an event at the Hafter Student Community Center and heard from Dr. Mittelman, and Dean Lori Grover, in addition to Dr. Steele, Dr. Boltz, who presented the University with an InfantSEE resolution from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Sullivan, who spoke of his commitment to InfantSEE and its importance in his funny, sometimes irreverent and always interesting delivery style. Mr. Sullivan, who was born prematurely, was blinded as an infant due to complications in an incubator.  
On Saturday morning, Salus staff and local professionals who work in the areas of early childhood development, occupation and physical therapy, and in community programs with young mothers and babies attended a breakfast at The Eye Institute and heard presentations from Dr. Steele, Dr. Eileen Schanel-Klitsch, Salus faculty member and psychologist whose specialty is working with children with vision impairments, Dr. Ruth Shoge, chief of Pediatrics at TEI, and Mr. Sullivan. Dr. Marianne Boltz also attended this event.

The message at both events was the importance of early intervention. In addition to vision impairments, connections were made to the impact of those impairments on a baby’s development and how greater emotional and developmental delays are related to them. An example given by Mr. Sullivan on Saturday morning was that “chewing is a visual response. How can babies learn to chew if they can’t see someone do it?”  The events were informative and interesting and the audiences were left with the challenge to help raise public awareness of early intervention and the InfantSEE program, which is offered to the public without charge.   


Landmark Audiology Legislation

The first significant update of audiology licensure in Pennsylvania since 1984 was signed by Governor Corbett on July 2, 2014. The Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Licensure Act (Act 106 of 2014) contains requirements reflective of national standards, updates terminology and, beginning January 1, 2015, will require all applicants for licensure to have a doctoral degree in audiology.

According to Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) dean, Dr. Victor Bray, Salus OCA faculty member Dr. Sherman Lord ’10 was instrumental in getting the legislation passed in his capacity of vice president of Governmental Affairs for the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology (PAA). 

In an update to his colleagues Dr. Lord noted that the bill’s passing required compromise and collaboration, and he cited members of the Pennsylvania legislature, our Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) colleagues, Pennsylvania Speech Hearing Association, the three Pennsylvania Doctor of Audiology (AuD) university programs, several physician groups, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. 

In addition to the scope of practice update, the other important changes to the law include the following:

  • By their request, no longer will Teachers of the Hearing Impaired be licensed under this Act.
  • An audiologist is defined as an "independent practitioner."
  • Beginning on January 1, 2015, all new applicants for an audiology license must possess a doctoral degree in audiology as determined by the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Licensure Board).
  • Reduces the number of physicians on the Licensure Board to one.
  • Provides the Licensure Board with the power "To recognize the national professional organizations in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology that have established definitions of the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology. The board shall have the power to adopt those definitions to the practical definitions of the practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology for licensees under the board."
  • Certification other than the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in audiology may now be accepted as documentation necessary to waive the examination requirement (e.g. board certification through the American Board of Audiology)
  • The Licensure Board may now issue a provisional license to recently graduated AuD students as well as audiologists moving to Pennsylvania who are awaiting their application approval to become fully licensed.


Salus PA Student Elected to SAAAPA Board   

L to R: Mrs. Vause, Bethany Rohrs
and Dr. Vause, Director of the Salus University Physician Assistant program.

In late May, at the national meeting of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), then first-year student Bethany Rohrs ’15PA represented the University’s PA Program in the Student Academy of the AAPA Assembly of Representatives (AOR).  The Student Academy was created to represent the unique views and needs of PA students.  The AOR is their governing body and is comprised of one representative from the student society of each Physician Assistant program nationwide. 

According to Physician Assistant program director, Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., as the Salus AOR representative, Ms. Rohr was the liaison between the Salus students and SAAAPA.  The AOR reviews, deliberations, and votes on resolutions that are submitted to the Board by the student societies.  The carried resolutions set the Student Academy agenda for the upcoming year.  Ms. Rohr participated in debate and discussions pertaining to the resolutions, while representing the interests of the students in Salus’ PA Program.  The executive branch of SAAAPA is led by the Board of Directors, who are elected by AOR representatives at the annual AAPA conference. 

Additionally, Ms. Rohr ran and was elected to the position of director of Student Communications.  In her new role on the SAAAPA Board, she will work on coordinating efforts at the national level to promote local action by individual student societies and PA students.  She will also serve as chair for the Communication and Outreach Volunteer Group to fulfill the mission set forth by the AOR resolutions.  She endorses the concept that effective communication requires timely, accurate exchange of information through multiple media to reach a diverse audience.  Ms. Rohr looks forward to promoting the PA profession while representing Salus University at the national level in her new role this upcoming year, while beginning her second-year clinical rotations next month.

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.


PhD White Coat Ceremony

A white coat ceremony was held late last month for Ms. Wafa Al-Otibi, a student in the PhD Biomedicine program from Saudi Arabia, who could not be present for the ceremony held in August.

Pictured above are Ms. Al-Otibi, Dr. Pierrette Dayhaw-Barker, founding dean of the Biomedicine program and Ms. Noura Aldossary, who received her white coat in August.