Celebrating the Class of 2024 at the Ninth Annual Residents' Day
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Celebrating the Class of 2024 at the Ninth Annual Residents' Day

Residents' Day group picture

The ninth annual Residents’ Day at Salus University was a major success, welcoming both on- and off-campus residents back to the Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, campus on Saturday, May 18, to celebrate the residents’ near completion of their programs.

Elizabeth Astruc headshot photoThe festivities began bright and early at 8 a.m. with resident lectures. Attendees chose between Posterior Segment- or Anterior Segment-related presentations. After a short break, attendees returned to lectures, choosing between Glaucoma/Low Vision/Contact lens-related lectures or Neuro Ophthalmic Disease/Visual Science Potpourri-related lectures. All presentations were Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE)-approved, thus providing attendees the opportunity to receive continuing education credits.

In the afternoon, the residents and attendees celebrated the completion of the presentations with a luncheon.

I was a PCO/Salus resident during the 2019-2020 year and was unable to participate in the traditional Residents Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then I have wanted to ensure each resident gets to share the spotlight and highlight how much growth and learning has occurred over their residency year,” said Chad Killen, OD ‘19, Resident ‘20, FAAO, director of on-campus residency programs. “The optometry profession is like an extended family and our PCO residency program exemplifies that. It was great to honor the hard work and dedication of each resident as well as their residency coordinators, the faculty, and their mentors. Dr. (Shital) Mani (director of off-camous resdiency programs) and I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things these residents do after their year with us. We have no doubt they’re going to be the leaders of the next generation of optometrists.”

Brandon Garces headshot photoAt the luncheon, the Bernard Blaustein Resident Excellence Awards were bestowed to on-campus resident Brandon Garces, OD ‘23, Resident ‘24, and off-campus resident Ana Elizabeth Astruc, Resident ‘24. 

“I feel honored to receive the award,” said Dr. Garces. “It makes me feel like my hard work has paid off and is recognized. It is a true blessing.”

Dr. Astruc attested to the impact of the recognition. “[The award means a lot and shows me that my hard work does not go unnoticed,” she said. “My residency has made me more confident, with patient care, decision making, and also knowing when I need help. The Residents' Day event is a great reminder of the support we have in the other residents and our community.”