A message from Chief Executive Russell Harrison
We at Western Health are sorry to learn of the death of Joseph Epstein. Joe passed away on Monday, one day shy of his 81st birthday.
Joe's professional career was expansive and inspiring. He was a surgeon, emergency physician, President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, founding signatory of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine, director of the State Retrieval Service, advisor to ministers and governments, enthusiastic and generous teacher, inspirational leader and academic mentor to many.
Initially a surgeon at Western Health, Joe became a long serving ED director and established Footscray Hospital's ED (Sunshine was not built then) as a leader of emergency medicine practice and education for both doctors and nurses. His mentorship has led to Western Health clinicians taking up senior leadership positions throughout the health system, carrying on his legacy of providing the best care for all, no matter what their personal circumstances.
Joe's concern for First Nations people, particularly expressed through the ACEM Foundation, has contributed to significant increases in awareness of health inequity in emergency care and efforts to increase the number of emergency clinicians of First Nations heritage.
His passion and energy for emergency medicine as a specialty for doctors and nurses and his care and advocacy for his patients were second to none. Fittingly, Joe was honoured at last week's International Conference on Emergency Medicine held here in Melbourne where delegates from around the world acknowledged his contribution to improving care for emergency patients everywhere.
Joe will be sorely missed by all those who were lucky enough to have come into his orbit. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.To learn more about Joe's extraordinary career and impact, please read this tribute to Joe, published to mark his retirement in 2016.