Veteran’s Readiness Initiative Honored with Philanthropy Award

Union League Group Picture AwardSalus University’s Veteran’s Readiness Initiative (VRI), an interdisciplinary program that provides vision, hearing, balance, speech and cognitive health screenings to area veterans, was recently awarded the 2018 Union League Veteran’s Club Table Philanthropy Award.
Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, University president, Dr. Linda Casser, coordinator of Interprofessional Education, and Dr. Karen J. Hanson, special consultant for Program Development, were all on hand to accept the award during a special ceremony at The Union League of Philadelphia.

The Union League Veteran's Club Table represents 600 members of the military and veterans of the Union League and the Philanthropy Award is presented to charities and organizations that work to provide exemplary resources and services to help local veterans.

Launched in 2015, the VRI is a partnership with Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center Rehabilitation Medicine Services and Veteran’s Resource Centers at local community colleges. Through this program, optometrists from The Eye Institute, audiologists from the Pennsylvania Ear Institute, and certified speech-language pathologists from the Speech-Language Institute work with graduate students to provide multisensory screenings to veterans.

“The VRI is a way for Salus [and its healthcare clinics] to address sensory barriers to reintegration,” said Dr. Hanson. “Academic success requires that you’re able to use your senses for a long period of time and sometimes coming out of the military, those sensory abilities are impaired.”

Mittelman Speaking VRI AwardWhile the focus of the program is for student veterans, the screenings are open to veterans of any age. Those who participate receive specialized hearing, balance, vision, cognitive-communication, and traumatic brain injury screenings.

Veterans are also given education and further information about the impact these impairments can have on academic and workplace performance. Anyone who does not pass the screening is also referred for follow-up care at the VA Medical Center and/or one of the University’s clinical facilities.

For more information about the Veteran’s Readiness Initiative, please contact Dr. Karen Hanson at or 215.780.1532.