Saturday Spotlight: Presidential Medals Awardees

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.

Dr-Susan-Oleszewski-2017.jpgSusan Oleszewski, OD ’76, Resident ’78, MA, FAAO

Dr. Susan Oleszewski’s roles in her four decade career at PCO and Salus included classroom and clinical educator, vice president for Patient Care Services, where she shepherded the $11-million dollar renovation of The Eye Institute (TEI); chief of staff for the University and vice-president of Institutional Advancement and Community Relations. She founded the Looking Out for Kids (LOFK) initiative and was central to raising over $600,000 to support vision care services and eyeglasses for economically disadvantaged children in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. Dr. Oleszewski received Salus University Alumni Association’s Special Recognition Award in 2018.
 
Carlo Pelino, OD ’94, FAAO

Dr. PelinoDr. Carlo Pelino is chief of TEI’s Chestnut Hill satellite location and has a referral retinal practice. He lectures extensively in his areas of interest such as internal and external ocular diseases in both domestic and international programs. Dr. Pelino is one of the chief optometric advisors to WebMD as well as an advisor to several ophthalmic industry companies. He has conducted research in the area of visual function and writes regularly in ophthalmic literature. Dr. Pelino is active in the Salus community, serving on several University-wide committees and is a board member of the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) Retina Special Interest Group (SIG) as well as a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA). Dr. Pelino is a Fellow of the AAO and his training had an emphasis on medical and surgical management of vitreo-retinal diseases.
 
Leonard J. Press, OD ‘77, Resident ‘78, FAAO, FCOVD

dr_leonard_press.jpgDr. Leonard J. Press formerly served as chief of the Pediatric Service at TEI. He is recognized internationally for his work in the field of learning related vision problems and served as a consultant on visual disabilities for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). In this role, he reviewed requests for test accommodations on examinations that certify MDs to practice medicine in the United States. In 1982, Dr. Press was recruited to the SUNY College of Optometry, to serve as the chief of the Vision Therapy Service, where he was associate professor of Clinical Optometry for 15 years before entering into full-time private practice. He was a co-author of the Clinical Practice Guidelines in this area for the AOA, as well as a co-author of the AOA Clinical Practice Guideline on Amblyopia. The recipient of numerous awards for his research, writing, and clinical work, Dr. Press has received the Scientific Achievement Award from the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) on two separate occasions, in 1995 and in 2002, and the EC Nurock Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He received the Skeffington Award for Excellence in Optometric Writing from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) in 1992 and also served as president of COVD. Dr. Press was honored by his peers as Optometrist of the Year by the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) in 1999, and served as president of the organization. He was honored twice by the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, in 2015 with the Advancement of Sciences Award, and in 2018 with the William & Diana Ludlam Educators Award. He was honored as the PCO Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year in 2003, which cited him for his outstanding contributions in the field of children's vision and vision-related learning problems.
 
The author of three optometric textbooks as well as multiple monographs and textbook chapters, Dr. Press continues to see patients in Lakewood, N.J., in his role with Press Consultants, P.C.  He serves as editor-in-chief of Vision Development & Rehabilitation, the Journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and as associate editor of Elsevier's Weekly online service, Practice Update Eyecare. He also serves as a section editor for Elsevier's annual volume on Advances in Ophthalmology and Optometry. Dr. Press is the proud middle member of a three generation PCO family. His father, Israel Press, OD ’44 and his son, Daniel Press, OD ‘07 also attended.