AAO reception group photo

The Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University was front and center at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) centennial celebration “Academy 2022” recently in San Diego.

Held from Oct. 26-29 at the San Diego Convention Center, PCO/Salus faculty were well represented during the four days of lectures, poster presentations and exhibits. Fifteen Salus faculty presented posters, there were four new AAO fellows, 14 faculty members gave presentations, two faculty members gave symposium lectures, two faculty members delivered Grand Rounds and six residents had posters.

PCO/Salus faculty delivering informative lectures included Erin Kenny, OD ‘15, Resident ‘16, FAAO; Christin DeMoss, OD ‘17, Resident ‘18; Bisant Labib, OD ‘14, Resident ‘15, FAAO; Ashley Maglione, OD ‘15, Resident ‘16, FAAO; Elizabeth Marunde, OD, Resident ‘22; Carlo Pelino, OD ‘94, FAAO; Melissa Vitek, OD ‘95, FAAO; Siva Meiyeppen, OD, Resident ‘15, FAAO; Erin Jenewein, OD, MS, FAAO, Diplomate; and Kelly Malloy, OD ‘96, Resident ‘97, FAAO, Diplomate.

AAO poster and presenters“One thing that stands out is the PCO/Salus clinical specialties were very well-represented,” said Dr. Malloy, who gave two presentations on "Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Ocular Signs and Symptoms of Heart-Related Abnormalities” and "Keeping an Eye Out for Lacrimal Gland Enlargement," which was co-presented with Dr. Maglione. “Outside of the great lecturers from the PCO/Salus primary eye care department, many of the PCO/Salus lectures were from the faculty in the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease, Low Vision, and Peds/Binocular Vision departments.”

Among the PCO/Salus accomplishments at the conference are:
Resident posters:
Dr. Mittleman and Kovin Naidoo“This conference helps us to showcase the variety and complexity of cases we see on a daily basis at The Eye Institute (TEI),” said Dr. Malloy. “The fact that we are becoming known for our specialized eye care in various clinical specialties helps to distinguish PCO/Salus from other schools, and helps us advance ourselves as one of the top optometry schools in regard to optometric specialization.”

Dr. Malloy added that many lecturers that are not currently affiliated with a University either graduated from or did residency training at PCO/Salus.

Two current PCO/Salus students were also recognized at the conference. Beck Branton ‘23OD and Kelsey Miller ‘23OD, were the recipients of the Practice Excellence Award through VSP Vision Care.

Each year, almost all colleges of optometry host alumni receptions and PCO/Salus was no exception. More than 200 alumni, former and current residents, faculty, staff and friends enjoyed light hors d’oeuvres, drinks and the company of each other.

Dr. Trego and two studentsDuring this reception, Kovin Naidoo, BSc, BOptom, MPH, OD ‘95, PhD, DHL (Hon), Global Head: Advocacy and Partnerships, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, received his 2022 Presidential Medal of Honor award from Salus president Michael H. Mittelman, OD ‘80, MPH, MBA, FAAO, FACHE. Dr. Mittelman also mentioned these events are are a great way for him to connect with alumni and listen to what they are saying.

“There is nothing more energizing to see than energized PCO alumni,” he said. “There was a real buzz about what was going on in the College.”

He added that preceptors who had hosted PCO/Salus externs — as well as externs from the University’s other programs — expressed their praise for the students.

“Our externs always come to the top. I know our externs are fabulous, no matter where they go,” said Dr. Mittelman.