Sen. Arthur L. Haywood, III, along with Pennsylvania state Rep. Napoleon Nelson, were on the Salus University campus recently to announce a $750,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant being used primarily for the completion of a lab for its new Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) program.
“Salus reaches out to people beyond this campus. We have a community challenge here, and that challenge is in part to develop more social cohesion, creating a better sense of community. And, Salus is part of that,” said Sen. Haywood, who represents the Fourth District, which has parts of Montgomery County that includes the University and Philadelphia County.
Sen. Haywood mentioned seeing the University’s “Big Red Bus,” a traveling healthcare clinic on wheels that serves area schools and related events, all around the surrounding communities. He tied his core message into a belief by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “Life’s most persistent indulgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
“And, Salus has a tremendous answer to that question,” said Sen. Haywood. “Each of us should look at ourselves to make sure that we as individuals can also answer that question.”
Rep. Nelson, who represents the 154th District that includes Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Springfield Township in Montgomery County, called Salus a “tremendous resource” not just for the residents of the district but for the Commonwealth as a whole.
“You are doing tremendous in this extremely difficult time where the cost of education continues to rise, where the cost of health security continues to increase, where all of us and our attention continues to focus on how are we both keeping each other safe, but also how are we caring for generations, both ahead of, and behind us,” he said. “Many of our residents are struggling with how to not only care for their aging adults and their households, but their aging adults along with their preschool children. That's the work that you do. And, that's the reason why it is so important that we in the Commonwealth provide this grant to you.”
Salus president Michael H. Mittelman, OD ‘80, MPH, MBA, FAAO, FACHE
, thanked Sen. Haywood and Rep. Nelson and emphasized the University thinks of itself as part of the fabric of the community.
“And, the work that we do, whether it be in the Philadelphia, Montgomery County or Chester County public schools, is in support of taking care of those kids who need glasses or conducting audiology screenings,” said Dr. Mittelman. “Now as we get ready to launch our Orthotics and Prosthetics program, we are just thrilled to be able to do this. And, frankly, without the help of the Commonwealth, it would be a lot more difficult.”
The University is expecting the inaugural cohort of students in the O&P program in the fall of 2022. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, arrived at Salus in September as the new director of the program after serving as the director of the Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) program at Northwestern University, which boasts the longest-standing P&O program in the nation.
The RACP grant money will enable the University to renovate space for O&P labs at the Elkins Park campus and is expected to be completed by the time the first class of students arrive. Some funding from the grant will be utilized to upgrade existing Blindness and Low Vision and Occupational Therapy labs.