Dr. Toland and family at the Toland Classroom dedication.
Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry professor Joseph Toland OD ’54, MD, passed away on Sunday, December 4. In his announcement, President Mittelman—a student of Dr. Toland—called him a true icon, advocate, activist and leader who played a pivotal role in ensuring optometrists were able to practice at the levels at which they were being taught. As President Mittelman noted, “Without his courage to stand up to organized medicine back in the 1970s, it might have taken years for PCO to establish the current medical model for which it is renowned.”
Dr. Toland, a United States Air Force Captain and United States Navy Lieutenant, graduated from PCO in 1954 and Hahnemann Medical College in 1963, joining the PCO faculty in 1970 as professor of Ocular Pathology. Throughout his career, Dr. Toland ran his own ophthalmology practice in Olney, and served as director of Ophthalmological Services at The Eye Institute (TEI) and Clinical Instructor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was a member of Holy Redeemer Hospital staff for 35 years. Dr. Toland also served on the Pennsylvania Drug, Device and Cosmetic Board.
Dr. Toland’s accolades are many. He was named PCO Alumnus of the Year in 1974 and a 75th Anniversary Medal recipient in 1995. In 1982, TEI’s Module 3 was dedicated and named in Dr. Toland’s honor. In the more recent past, a group of PCO alumni organized a donor campaign and surprised Dr. Toland with their intent to dedicate the Toland Classroom at TEI, which was unveiled in October 2014.
Dr. Toland and students
Last year, Dr. Toland was celebrated his 45th year of service at Salus University. He is survived by his wife Helen (nee Metzing), son Joseph E., daughter Therese O'Brien, and grandchildren Billy, Olivia, Morgan, Joseph, and Kevin.
Viewing times are Thursday, December 8, from 7-9 p.m. and Friday, December 9, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at St. Hilary of Poitiers Parish at 820 Susquehanna Road, Rydal, PA 19046. Mass immediately follows the Friday viewing time at 10:30 a.m. Internment is at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at 3301 West Cheltenham Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150.
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