Bhawan Minhas, OD, FAAO, Resident ‘13, recently announced Chad Killen, OD ‘19, Resident ‘20, Low Vision Rehabilitation resident at The Eye Institute (TEI), and Jessica Vickery, OD, Resident ‘20, Ocular Disease/Specialty Contact Lens resident at Mid Atlantic Cornea Consultants in York, Pa., as the recipients of the Bernard Blaustein Resident of the Year Award for the Residency Class of 2020. The award is presented annually to a distinguished resident who has shown exceptional clinical promise and aptitude during their residency year at the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO).
 
Dr. Minhas, director of PCO’s On-Campus Residency Programs, shared the embodiment of what it means to be a recipient of the award.
 
Dr. Jessica Vickery“In the spirit of Dr. Blaustein, who has always been an example of clinical expertise and collegiality, individuals considered for this award are recognized for their clinical acumen, thirst for knowledge, willingness to share their knowledge for the benefit of improved patient care, and outstanding growth during their residency training,” she said. “This year, we had seven outstanding nominations and it was a difficult decision for the selection committee to choose only one, as they are all deserving of this award. We are happy to announce that this year, the selection committee has chosen TWO award recipients.”

The nomination letters also included praise for the recipients.
 
"This is our first year as a contact lens and cornea residency, which Dr. Vickery took on as a challenge full force. She helped keep us organized and on time with deadlines for our accreditation materials, and she acclimated quickly to a fast paced highly medical corneal practice,” noted Sarah Bell, OD ‘12, from Mid Atlantic Cornea Consultants in her nomination of Dr. Vickery. “Dr. Vickery’s ability to adapt in unforeseen circumstances is extraordinary and I think it is safe to say we would not have been able to adapt to the changes in the last year without her help."

Dr. Chad Killen"During his residency, he has eagerly sought out adaptive technology resources that address our patients' complex visual issues,” wrote Sarah Appel, OD ‘79, Resident ‘81, in her nomination. “He has shared his knowledge of these valuable resources with patients, interns and staff."
 
The recipients expressed deep gratitude in learning they had been named as award recipients.
 
“I am so honored to be awarded with the Bernard Blaustein Resident of the Year Award. Dr. Blaustein’s great rapport with his patients and dedication to continued learning are qualities I strive to embody as an optometrist. My residency has been full of challenges, but with every difficult clinical case and late night comes amazing learning opportunities,” wrote Dr. Killen. “I will be forever grateful to my co-residents, attending doctors and all of the staff at The Eye Institute for encouraging me to think critically and become a better clinician.”
 
Dr. Vickery’s acknowledgement made note of her mentors at Mid Atlantic Cornea Consultants, Drs. Sarah Bell and Sudeep Pramanik.
 
“They continuously worked with me to enhance my patient management skills as well as my academic endeavors,” wrote Dr. Vickery. “It is a surreal feeling to receive an award in honor of Dr. Bernard Blaustein that reflects his commitment to optometry and dedication to improving patient care.”
 
Salus PCO congratulates Drs. Killen and Vickery for this prestigious award. Watch the videos below to hear special messages from the nominators to the award recipients.
Erin Kenny, OD ’15, FAAO, Resident ’16, chief of William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center, and Andrew Meagher, OD ‘15, FAAO, Resident ’16, PCO assistant professor
Dr. Sarah Bell, residency program supervisor, Mid Atlantic Cornea Consultants
Dr. Sudeep Pramanik, medical director, Mid Atlantic Cornea Consultants