Michael Mittelman, O.D.

Michael Mittelman, O.D.

Michael Mittelman, O.D., of Pennsylvania, received his optometry degree from Pennyslvania College of Optometry in 1980. Shortly thereafter, he was commissioned in the Navy Medical Service Corps and immediately impacted the needs of U.S. Marine Corps personnel and dependents through patient care. In 1989, Rear Admiral Mittelman became the first optometrist designated as an aerospace physiologist and used his extensive training to develop the U.S. Navy Aerospace Optometry program. He developed curriculum and provided instruction to hundreds of flight surgeons on eye care treatment, which enabled them to serve thousands of sailors, Marines and aviation personnel while deployed in isolated locations.

In addition to being the first Navy aerospace optometrist, some accomplishments of his distinguished Naval career include being the first optometrist to command a major naval hospital in Okinawa, Japan, 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. While serving in Japan, Dr. Mittelman directed the U.S. military medical response following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Dr. Mittelman is an active member of the AOA, having chaired the State Government Relations Center's Licensure and Regulation Committee, the Multidisciplinary Practice Section, and a special AOA project team on licensure by endorsement. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, associate fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, past president of the Armed Forces Optometric Society, and a diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry.

After 33 years of military service, Dr. Mittelman retired from his position as Navy Medicine's Deputy Surgeon General and was inducted as President of Salus University in 2013. He is able to bring his unique global perspective and professional medical education to the university. His other academic accomplishments include earning an MPH degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990 and graduating from the Naval War College non-resident program in 1991.

Among his many accolades are the AOA's Distinguished Service Award, the Armed Forces Optometric Society Orion Award, and Honorary Doctorate degrees from Salus University in 2010 and Southern College of Optometry in 2011. He also is a two-time recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, five-time recipient of the Legion of Merit Medal, three-time recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, two-time recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and numerous other military awards.

A highly decorated naval officer and influential medical professional, Dr. Mittelman supported the men and women deployed on land, at sea and in the air. His expansive career has made a lasting impact on the entire military.