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Salus University President, Professor Enshrined in National Optometry Hall of Fame

Dr. Michael H. Mittelman was enshrined in the National Optometry Hall of Fame alongside 2020 inductee Dr. Satya Verma.

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Salus University President, Professor Enshrined in National Optometry Hall of Fame
Drs. Satya Verma and Michael Mittelman (rear admiral, U.S. Navy, retired).

(PRESS RELEASE) Salus University highlights from Optometry’s Meeting 2021, the annual meeting of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), prove it was a banner year for the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University. Culminating in some truly memorable moments, by the conclusion of the event, PCO/Salus achieved two National Optometry Hall of Fame inductions and a student quiz bowl championship.

During Optometry’s Meeting, Salus University president Dr. Michael H. Mittelman was enshrined in the National Optometry Hall of Fame alongside 2020 inductee Dr. Satya Verma, associate professor and director of externship programs, optometry. For 22 years, the Hall of Fame has honored doctors of optometry who have made significant contributions to the optometric profession. Both Drs. Mittelman and Verma were officially recognized during the optometry profession event, which took place in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Mittelman’s career started in the U.S. Navy after he received his Doctor of Optometry degree from PCO/Salus in 1980. In 1989, he was the first optometrist designated as an aerospace physiologist and used his extensive training to develop the Navy Aerospace Optometry program, earning his aeromedical Wings of Gold. After serving 33 years in the Navy, Dr. Mittelman retired and began his position as Salus president in 2013.

Dr. Verma received his initial optometric training at the School of Optometry, Gandhi Eye Hospital in Aligarh, India, in 1964. In the early 1970s, he came to the U.S. and served as an associate in optometry at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry before he transferred to PCO/Salus, where he has been involved in academia for more than four decades. He earned his Doctor of Optometry from PCO/Salus in 1975. The recipient of numerous accolades and awards, Dr. Verma was selected as a Delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and for a Primary Care Health Policy Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – one of only four optometrists ever selected for the honor.

In other events from Optometry’s Meeting, Tyler Lesko ‘22OD took home the AOSA Optometry Student Bowl championship for PCO/Salus. The competition put college rivalries center stage as optometry schools battled to be the smartest, loudest and most creative during the 30th Optometry Student Bowl, powered by Essilor. Lesko, no stranger to hard work and high pressure as a third-year optometry student, competed against students from 23 other schools in the high-speed, high-stakes test of optometric knowledge. The last time the coveted crystal trophy made it back to PCO/Salus was in 2015 when Dr. Nicole Rist, a PCO/Salus alumna, won in Seattle, Washington.

Optometry’s Meeting is where doctors, optometric professionals, students and industry come together to further the optometry profession. The event provides education and networking opportunities for doctors and optometry professionals.

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