​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.


Christopher J. Quinn, OD ’85, FAAO

Quinn.jpgDr. Christopher J. Quinn is the founder, owner and president of optometric referral center Omni Eye Services in New Jersey. Dr. Quinn holds academic appointments at the New England College of Optometry, SUNY College of Optometry, University of Houston College of Optometry, PCO, Southern College of Optometry and University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. Dr. Quinn is the immediate past president of the AOA, a past president of the NJSOP, and a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) - Vision Care Section. He received numerous scholarships and awards for his outstanding academic performance during his time at PCO. He is a Fellow of the AAO and a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academy of Practice in Optometry. Dr. Quinn is on the medical staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and is Board Certified by the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Quinn has been extensively published in professional journals and books. He is the principal author of the AOA's Clinical Practice Guidelines on Care of the Patient with Conjunctivitis and is currently a contributing editor to the Review of Optometry. He is a recognized authority and sought-after to lecture nationally and internationally on the treatment and co-management of eye diseases.

Joseph P. Shovlin, OD ’80, FAAO

shovlin-final-edited.jpgDr. Joseph Shovlin joined Northeastern Eye Institute in 1985 and practices in their Clarks Summit and Scranton, Pa., offices. He is a board certified optometrist, the immediate past president of the AAO, as well as a Fellow of AAO. He is a distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Optometry, and a member of the AOA and the POA. He is a diplomate and past chair of the section on Cornea and Contact Lenses of the AAO, past chair of the Contact Lens section of the AOA, and a former voting member of the of the Ophthalmic Advisory Panel of the FDA. He is a member of the International Society of Refractive Surgery, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the American Public Health Association. He is a past member of the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute, NIH, and an advisory panel member of the Pennsylvania Lions Sight Conservation and Eye Research Foundation. He serves as the associate clinical editor of the Review of Optometry, clinical editor of the Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, and consulting editor of the Contact Lens Spectrum and Primary Care Optometry News and the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. He is on the journal review board of Optometry Clinics, the Journal of the American Optometric Association, and has held editorial board appointments to International Contact Lens Clinic and Making Contact and Optometric Management. He has over 300 publications to his credit. He is listed in Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare and Who's Who in Science and Engineering. He received the AOA’s Cornea and Contact Lens Section Achievement Award, as well as the National Optometrist of the Year award for the National Keratoconus Foundation/NKCF, and the National Academy of Practice’s James A. Boucher Award. Dr. Shovlin has received Academic Distinction and the Clinical Excellence Award from PCO and was a recipient of Salus University Alumni Association’s Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award in 2011.

Joel Silbert, OD ’73, FAAO

dr-silbert-edited.jpgDr. Joel Silbert is a nationally recognized expert in contact lens. He joined PCO’s faculty in 1974. Currently, he serves as a professor, director of Contact Lens Programs and chief of the Cornea and Specialty Contact Lens Service at TEI, as well as chairman of the Credential Committee at TEI. He has been a clinical mentor and educator to generations of students as well as residents in primary care and contact lenses.  He also maintains a private practice in N.J. Active in national and international continuing education, as well as in clinical research, he served as a principal investigator at PCO for the CLEK Study on keratoconus, a national multi-center study funded by the NIH. He has also conducted many clinical investigations for contact lens manufacturers. Dr. Silbert has written numerous articles, ophthalmic textbook chapters, served as associate clinical editor for the Review of Optometry and Contact Lens Forum, and authored two editions of Anterior Segment Complications of Contact Lens Wear, a reference textbook for practitioners. Dr. Silbert has been honored by the AOA Cornea & Contact Lens Section with the 2011 Achievement Award; the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators with the Lester E. Janoff Memorial Award for Excellence in Contact Lens Education, Publication and Research; the NJSOP;  and PCO for Faculty Member of the Year. He is a diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lens, and Refractive Technology Section of the AAO, and has served on the executive committee of that section and is past chair of the Association of Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE). His latest chapter in a peer-reviewed 2019 publication will be devoted to new advances in clinical diagnosis and management of dry eye disease, in Elsevier's Advances in Ophthalmology and Optometry.