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Salus University VP Academic Affairs to Step Down

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Anthony Di Stefano OD MEd MPH
Anthony F. Di Stefano

Elkins Park PA, (18 July 2013)  Salus University has announced that Anthony F. Di Stefano, OD, MEd, MPH, vice president of Academic Affairs, will step down on June 30, 2014. A graduate of the University’s founding college, Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Dr. Di Stefano began his PCO academic career as an assistant professor of Public Health and chair of the Public Health department in 1974. He became vice president of Academic Affairs in 1989.

Salus president, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, said, “As Dr. Di Stefano prepares to step down from his position next year, I cannot help but reflect upon the impact he has had on Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Salus University, as well as all of those students – myself included – he has positively influenced over his tenure at our great institution.” 

Dr. Di Stefano was the architect of many of the new accredited degree programs and innovative program delivery methods established during his 24 years as head of the Academic Affairs department. Dr. Di Stefano takes great pride in leading the continued transformation of the optometry program through such initiatives as Curriculum 2000. His strong commitment led to a vibrant research program distinctive among private schools of optometry. Throughout his 45 years at the institution, Dr. Di Stefano has been guided by his deep commitment to public health values, both domestically and internationally.  He served as the World Council of Optometry (WCO) executive director and senior public health strategist from 1996 to 2008.

Salus University’s graduate Public Health programs, begun in 2010, were a direct result of Dr. Di Stefano’s commitment to the Salus mission to “protect and advance the health and wellbeing of the public.”  After stepping down on June 30 of next year, Dr. Di Stefano will take a year’s sabbatical, during which time he intends to develop “world class programs” in public health for the University. In an internal announcement he noted, “PCO afforded me an opportunity to earn my Master of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1974. This experience was transformative in my professional life and I hope to ‘pass it on’ through my continued work at Salus.”

Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, the University’s immediate past president, who worked closely with Dr. Di Stefano for many years said, “No one has contributed more to Salus University over the last 25 years than Tony Di Stefano.” Dr. Mittelman adds that “Tony’s innovative and insightful thinking in how to integrate the health sciences, public health, rehabilitation and patient education into the academic environment has served as the foundation for much of what we do at Salus today.“

A native of Rome Italy, Dr. Di Stefano spent his boyhood in North Philadelphia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in biology from La Salle College (now University) in 1968 and in 1973, earned both a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) and a Master of Education (MEd) degree in health education from Temple University. In 1974, he obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. 

The University has begun the search process for a successor to Dr. Di Stefano and has engaged the search firm Isaacson and Miller, whose team will be led by Sean Farrell (sfarrell@imsearch.com).

Salus University was established by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in July 2008. Now the University’s founding college, PCO was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1919, and has long been recognized as a leader in the education of healthcare professionals. Salus University has three additional colleges: the George S. Osborne College of Audiology, the College of Education and Rehabilitation, and the College of Health Sciences.  Information on the thirteen accredited graduate and professional degree programs offered by Salus University can be found at http://www.salus.edu/

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