Medal Monday: Harold Wiener, OD ’50, FCOVD
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Medal Monday: Harold Wiener, OD ’50, FCOVD

President’s Medal Recipients

Many people have been part of the proud history of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) and Salus University.  Alumni, faculty, and friends of the College helped establish PCO as a pioneer and leader in the field of optometric education and the profession of optometry. The following people - highlighted on Medal Mondays - were honored on May 20, 1995 at the 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration for their outstanding contributions to the College and the field of optometry and vision care.

During the weekend of the Centennial Gala Celebration, additional alumni, faculty, and friends were honored.

Harold Wiener, OD ’50, FCOVD

Although Dr. Wiener is quick to credit his Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) education because “it gave me my start,” the real clue to his distinguished career was his No. 1 priority: “What mattered to me was, ‘How could I help my patient?’”

a-harold-wiener-headshot1He calls his acceptance to PCO “a miracle.” He had applied to Columbia University’s optometry program only to learn the school was closing. At work shortly after receiving that disappointing news, Dr. Wiener was asked by a soda salesman why he was so down. Hearing the answer, the salesman told Dr. Wiener that he knew someone at the then Pennsylvania State College of Optometry (later shortened to PCO). The salesman made a call, and eventually Dr. Wiener got an interview with Dr. Jacob Nevyas, the College’s registrar and friend of the salesman. A few months later, the Class of 1950 acceptance letter arrived.

Since his graduation from the College, Dr. Wiener devoted his practice to children and adults with visually related learning problems. His early interest in teaching special needs children led him to the profession of optometry.

Dr. Wiener is nationally known as a lecturer, author, and practitioner of developmental and behavioral optometry. In 1982, he chaired a special committee at PCO to advise faculty and administration on curricular changes incorporating behavioral optometric practice.

In 1984, Dr. Wiener received the Scientific Achievement Award from the New Jersey Optometric Association. Dr. Wiener was president of the Alumni Association in 1990 and 1991 and served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1994. He also established the Harold and Ginny Wiener Scholarship in 1999, named for himself and his partner, Ginny.

Dr. Wiener has received many awards, including a President’s Medal at the PCO 75th anniversary in 1995; Optometrist of the Year; the Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year Award from PCO’s Alumni Association; Outstanding NJ Optometrist (the E.C. Nurock Award) – the highest symbol of recognition from the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians; and the Dr. Gerald Getman Award for contributions to behavioral and developmental vision from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. He has also written three books for the Optometric Extension Program and one for the general public titled “EYES OK-I’M OK.”