Arthur B. Epstein, OD, FAAO, FABCMO, DPNAP.

NEW YORK—Colleagues and friends from across the optometric profession are mourning the loss of Arthur B. Epstein, OD, FAAO, FABCMO, DPNAP, who passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Highly regarded throughout the U.S. and international optometry community, Dr. Epstein was a prominent, active, singular personality and well-respected clinician. He shared his views on many eyecare and optometry-related issues widely, through his writings, lectures, in-person and broadcast appearances and through his Optometric Physician e-newsletter. Epstein had been a longtime contributor to Review of Optometry and executive editor of Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, both publications of the Jobson Optical Group. He was also a very visible and active optometry expert in the arenas of contact lenses, dry eye and ocular surface disease, and a participant in many major optometric organizations and associations in the U.S. and  internationally. He co-founded Phoenix Eye Care PLLC and Dry Eye Center of Arizona with Dr. Shannon Steinhäuser, his wife and colleague.

Noted Marc Ferrara, CEO of Information Services, Jobson Medical Information, publisher of Review of Optometry, “Art always pushed us to be better, at whatever we were doing, by questioning conventional wisdom and challenging the way things were. He led the profession forward through his determined example and strong point of view.”
Added Michael Hoster, publisher of The Review Group of Jobson, "Art was a longtime contributor to Review of Optometry, as well as a close friend to Rick Bay and Jim Henne, 'Uncle Frank' Fontana and many of us who had the pleasure to work with him over the last several decades. Art never shied away from voicing his opinion about all matters of the optometric profession—no matter how potentially controversial. In fact, Art thoroughly enjoyed authoring provocative editorial pieces about the state of optometry, industry innovation, scope of practice expansion or socio-political developments in his "Off the Cuff' editorial in Optometric Physician each week. He always emphasized what he thought was best for eyecare providers, their practices and their patients—without any fear of repercussion. That level of steadfast conviction, dedication and passion rarely is on display in public forums today, and was a signature characteristic of his personal and professional complexion. He's going to be missed tremendously."
Added Paul M. Karpecki, OD, FAAO, chief clinical editor, Review of Optometry, "This is a huge loss for the profession and all of us. While Art was certainly true and consistent to who he was, somewhat fiery and provocative, underneath all of that he was a good, kind man who underwent some tough times in his life but always overcame the situation and rose further from it. He had an incredible following with great admiration from most of the profession. It’s still hard to comprehend he is no longer with us. I miss him already and so will the profession."
Dr. Epstein was a native New Yorker who grew up in the Bronx, N.Y., later moving to Great Neck on Long Island, N.Y. He resided in Phoenix, Ariz. He graduated from the City College of New York, CUNY, with a B.S. in psychology and received an OD degree from the State University of New York, State College of Optometry, where he also served as the college's first resident in ocular disease.
Dr. Epstein co-founded Phoenix Eye Care, PLLC with Dr. Shannon Steinhäuser.  Dr. Epstein headed the practice’s Dry Eye - Ocular Surface Disease Center and served as its director of clinical research. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry, a fellow of the British Contact Lens Association, a distinguished practitioner of the National Academies of Practice, a fellow of the American and New York Academies of Optometry and a full member of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists. He is also a member of the American Optometric Association, the AOA Contact Lens & Cornea Section, the Arizona Optometric Association, and served as a founding board member of the American Optometric Society. He founded and served as president of the American Board of Clinical Optometry. 
Dr. Epstein was a sought after speaker, having presented more than 1,000 invited lectures on a variety of eyecare topics in the U.S. and throughout the world. He was also a prolific author with many hundreds of articles, scientific papers and book chapters published. He was a contributing editor for Review of Optometry and executive editor of Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses. He founded, and serves as chief medical editor of Optometric Physician, the first e-journal in optometry. Dr. Epstein was a reviewer for numerous clinical and scientific journals in the eyecare field.
Active in the profession, Dr. Epstein was a past chair of the Contact Lens & Cornea Section (CLCS) of the American Optometric Association and a founder and past president of the Optometric Dry Eye Society. He led and was a primary strategist of the American Optometric Association’s response to the international fusarium keratitis outbreak and was frequently quoted in news media throughout the world including an appearance on Good Morning America. As chair of the CLCS he spoke before the U.S. Congress regarding contact lens safety.  
Dr. Epstein was ranked first in the U.S. in Newsweek's America's Best Eye Doctors in 2021 and second in this year's Newsweek ranking, a survey done partnership with Statista, based on a survey over 10,000 optometrists, ophthalmologists, clinic managers, and other healthcare professionals across the US to narrow down the 350 best doctors: 175 optometrists and 175 ophthalmologists.
Details about services and any future salutes to Dr. Epstein were still being finalized at VMAIL's press time. VMAIL will provide details when they become available.

To read more about the dry eye pioneer, go to Review of Optometry's tribute titled Optometry Remembers Charismatic Icon Art Epstein.