By Salus University

April 2019

Elkins Park, Pa. – It takes a special community to ensure that Salus University continues to be a leader in health science education, just like its founding College, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), set out to do 100 years ago. That’s why on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Science History Institute, 10 individuals will be awarded the first-ever Salus University Presidential Medals of Honor to commemorate an important milestone: 10 years of the establishment of Salus University.

The award ceremony will be part of a larger centennial celebration of PCO. The new recipients for the medals were nominated by the University’s Centennial Committee. Each recipient was chosen for their significant contributions to their profession and/or for their service to the institution.

Among those to receive the first-ever Salus University Presidential Medals of Honor is Michael H. Mittelman, OD, MPH, FAAO, FACHE, Salus University president.

“The Salus Board is thrilled that Dr. Mittelman is being recognized for his achievements at PCO, Salus as well as being an ‘ambassador’ for the school while serving in the Navy,” said Jo Surpin, Salus University Board Chair. “As president he has provided the leadership necessary to continue the transition from PCO to Salus University while preserving our legacy.”

Dr. Michael H. Mittelman served with distinction for more than three decades in the United States Navy in a succession of increasingly responsible, mission-critical command positions, and achieving the rank of Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and serving as Deputy Surgeon General. He was a trailblazer for optometry in the military as the first Navy aerospace optometrist, the first optometrist to command a major naval hospital; the first and only clinician to lead the Navy Medical Service Corps; the first non-medical doctor to serve as a combatant command surgeon in the U.S. Pacific Command; and the first non-medical doctor to serve as the command surgeon for the U.S. Joint Forces.

After 33 years, Dr. Mittelman retired from the U.S. Navy, a Rear Admiral and former Deputy Surgeon General, and returned to his alma mater to become Salus University’s sixth president in 2013. Dr. Mittelman is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the AAO. He is a past recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the AOA and of the Armed Forces Optometric Society’s Orion Award.

The full list of the awardees and their bios can be found on the University’s Centennial website: salus.edu/centennial.

About Salus University Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology. Salus operates four clinical facilities in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, and speech-language pathology services. The University has more than 1,200 students and more than 14,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit www.salus.edu.