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    Community mourns loss of ophthalmic leader, Roger Steinert, MD

     

    “I met Dr. Steinert over 15 years ago when I first joined the industry. He was Allergan Medical Optics’ medical monitor and remained with us as we became Advanced Medical Optics…over 7 years of dedicated support to everything we did in Surgical Ophthalmology. His gentle way of coaching change, expanded our thinking and was behind so many of the achievements we made as a company and as individuals. 

    Having previously spent my entire career in pharmaceuticals, I personally had never been in ophthalmology nor medical devices when we met. I found myself with  responsibilities that span Strategic Planning, R&D, Medical Marketing and Business Development. Had it not been for Roger, I never would have come up to speed fast enough for the demands of our business. He provided support and encouragement, not to mention basic medical education, which I so desperately needed!   

    But my fondest memories of Roger are when he and April were together. They simply lit up the room with joy.  Eddie  and I (along with many others) joined April and Roger on the beach in Laguna, one unusually wind-swept evening, as they were married. Surrounded by family and friends, theirs was a relationship that filled us all with happiness. We meet many people in our lives but few are really memorable. Roger and April are the memorable ones. So while filled with deep sadness on Roger’s passing, I gratefully cling to the friendship of April.”

    Jane Rady, vice president of business development, surgical, Johnson & Johnson Vision

     

    “Roger Steinert was a dedicated and beloved teacher, mentor, friend, and colleague, whose seminal contributions to the field of cornea transformed the lives of millions of people around the world. We will continue to celebrate and carry on his legacy in the hundreds of trainees he has mentored over the years, and in the friends and colleagues to whom he was so devoted.”

    Joan W. Miller, MD, chair of Harvard Ophthalmology and chief of ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital

     

    “Roger made numerous contributions to the field of cornea that led to key advancements in laser-assisted corneal sculpting, cataract surgery techniques, and intraocular lens design. With his passing, we have lost a generous colleague and one of the field’s greatest contributors.”

    Reza Dana, MD, MSc, MPH, the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Ophthalmology, and director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

     

    "Life doesn't seem fair when we prematurely lose a hero, one of our very best by any standards.

    The loss is even more painful when we lose a dear friend. My friendship with Roger began about four decades ago when a small group of young the surgeons (Lindstrom, Koch, Steinert, Crandall, and Masket) became the nucleus of the first Videosymposium in ophthalmology. Roger supported my courses and, in turn, I accepted whatever favor he requested including chairing part of his break-away meeting in Hawaii, co-authoring his acclaimed textbook, and flying crosscountry to deliver his Gavin Herbert lecture at the prestigious institution he built from the ground up. Every major project he undertook was inevitably successful.

    Roger's scientific contributions were astounding, his leadership at OCB and ASCRS was legendary, his surgical skill was elegant, and his commitment to teaching was unparalleled. His accomplishments were a reflection of his endless energy and his burning desire to contribute to the betterment of our profession.

    Best of all, Roger was a good person. A real gentleman. Brilliant yet down to earth. Insightful. Quick to laugh. Courageous. A man of integrity. Amazing work ethic. And totally devoted to his soulmate, April.

    The loss of Dr. Roger Steinert is a setback to cataract and refractive surgeons worldwide. Knowing Roger Steinert was a blessing in my life and he will be remembered by his countless friends and admirers as one of ophthalmology's great treasures."

    Robert Osher, MD, course director and professor of Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati; medical director emeritus, Cincinnati Eye Institute

     

    “He was a very down to earth, personable person, and also an inspiriring leader. I last saw him about six or seven weeks ago; he was sitting there at a gala dinner in a wheelchair and I remember I had to help him stand to his feet for an ovation. He was determined to demonstrate not only to others, but to himself, that he could still contribute to his passion. I think that shows he was a very kind man, but what a fighter.

    He is the kind of person you’d want to have as your doctor. There are some that can be high and mighty, [but he had] a great presence and had great bedside manner with the patient who was scared of losing their vision. [He was a] great leader."

    David Pyott, former Allergan chief executive officer

    Continued

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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