IFEM expresses sadness and offers deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Associate Professor Joseph Epstein, IFEM Founding Member and Charter Signatory, who recently passed.
Joe was a pioneer of emergency medicine in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, and as a mentor to the generations of emergency medicine physicians who followed him.
Joe will be remembered as a tireless and passionate figure whose vision and determination enabled both the establishment of our college, and its maturation into the established and respected entity it is today.
In addition to serving as ACEM President from 1988 to 1992, Joe was also the recipient of the ACEM Medal, and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
In recent years, Joe remained a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in EM practice and leadership, and improved Indigenous health engagement and outcomes.
A short video introduction to the recent International Conference on Emergency Medicine was prepared on behalf of Joe, welcoming delegates to the event, and thanking Joe for his immense contributions.
A message from Professor Jim Ducharme:
"Joe Epstein believed in IFEM in an almost reverent way - he advocated for its inception and its direction as described in its goals. What I remember most is his making the creation of the charter a very special event by having the charter printed up on special parchment made by an order of nuns in Australia. His love of photography ensured that every step was recorded with the photos he took.
I also remember Joe as a friend, someone who gave support without having to be asked. Joe had a no-nonsense mindset: he did not suffer fools lightly. He spoke his mind openly but only after great reflection, his thoughts all the more noticeable because of his Australian drawl. He would always be the backbone of any project with which he was involved, if only through strength of personality. That strength was a key part of why IFEM came to pass"