Published in Non-Clinical

Dr. Art Epstein—Forever Loved by the Eyecare Community

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Arthur B. Epstein OD, FAAO, FABCO, FABCLA, DPNAP passed away far too soon on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at the age of 71.

Dr. Art Epstein—Forever Loved by the Eyecare Community
This week, optometry lost one of its greatest leaders. If you are still reeling at hearing the news of Dr. Art Epstein’s passing, know you are not alone in your shock, disbelief, and grief. Dr. Epstein set the bar high for the rest of us by relentlessly asking questions, challenging the status quo, and pursuing a deeper understanding of our craft in the name of patient care.
I met Art while serving on a Johnson & Johnson Vision advisory board back in 2013, where he was by leaps and bounds the smartest and most passionate person at the table. Since then, we spoke regularly in weekly Zoom conversations, where I could always count on Art for those ah-ha! moments. His thorough understanding of the intricacies of where optometry has been to what the future might hold for the profession were incredibly insightful. His mentorship was priceless to me.
I’ve read most of the 300+ comments on ODs on Facebook, where individuals are sharing their memories, love, and appreciation for Art, reinforcing in my heart and mind how deeply he was adored by his colleagues. Just a few months before his passing, Art and I discussed what really matters in life—family, love, and making the best of each and every day—oh yeah, and not taking things too seriously. We both acknowledged that we wouldn’t change the past and that we’ve each deeply enjoyed our individual journeys in both optometry and in life. I’m so grateful I was able to have that openhearted conversation with him.
Just like me, Art was a native New Yorker who grew up in the Bronx and received his OD degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry. Art was also the college’s first resident in ocular disease. I followed Dr. Epstein to his alma mater, but the ways in which he charted his course for all of us extends far beyond knowledge—or even what it means to be an optometrist.
Art’s pioneering work in dry eye and ocular surface disease gave us all a unique insight into the tear film ecosystem and innovative methods to treat patients suffering from these conditions. His insatiable curiosity to decipher complex disease processes came from his engineering background—while his tireless efforts to continuously improve diagnostic and treatment protocols for thousands of dry eye patients at his world-renowned Dry Eye Center of Arizona within his Phoenix Eye Care practice came from the generosity of spirit and care that was all Art.
It was never a surprise to see his name at the top of the list of Newsweek’s America’s Best Eye Doctors. My heart goes out to our colleagues Dr. Cory Lappin and Art’s wife, Dr. Shannon Steinhäuser, who both worked shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Epstein and will continue to carry on the legacy of his work.
Truly, Art was an optometrist’s optometrist. I feel so privileged that Dr. Epstein shared his expertise and joyful presence with our community at Eyes On Eyecare. He was incredibly generous and beloved by everyone who knew him—and he will always be loved by those of us who will continue to honor him by caring for our patients and for each other.
We love you Art.
Matt Geller, OD
Co-Founder & CEO | Eyes On Eyecare
Matt Geller, OD
About Matt Geller, OD

Matt Geller, OD is the co-founder and CEO of Eyes On Eyecare—the #1 provider of clinical and career education for the next generation of optometrists and ophthalmologists through our all-in-one digital content platform.

Matt Geller, OD
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