A Life Well Lived
Celebrating the legacy of Alan S. Crandall
Phoebe Harkin | | Quick Read
Alan S. Crandall was more than a masterful surgeon; he was a tireless humanitarian, a trusted teacher, and a much-loved friend. His career, spanning four decades at the John A. Moran Eye Center alone, was unique in both its reach and its impact. He is notably the only physician to have received four internationally recognized awards for his humanitarian contributions: the American Glaucoma Society Humanitarian Award, the AAO Humanitarian Award, the ASCRS Humanitarian Award, and the inaugural ASCRS Foundation Chang Humanitarian Award.
As the founder and Senior Medical Director of Moran’s Global Outreach Division, Crandall worked tirelessly to not only increase access to eye care in developing countries, but also help those who could not afford care in his own community in Utah.
Robert H. Osher, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Medical Director Emeritus, Cincinnati Eye Institute, USA, remembers Crandall. “I was fortunate to have been close with Alan for four decades. Our friendship began in the early 1980s, when he was one of the original faculty of the Video Symposium, along with Dick Lindstrom, Roger Steinert, Sam Masket, and Doug Koch. Although he was the quiet one in the group, he was always the most experienced. A gifted surgeon, Alan traveled the world sharing his expertise with surgeons on every continent. He was also a bona fide innovator – the glaucoma surgeon who first adopted small incision cataract surgery. And his support for his younger colleagues, like Ike Ahmed and Bob Cionni, was truly inspiring.
Out of the operating room, Alan was an excellent athlete and fitness enthusiast. He was also a genuine humanitarian who willingly gave his time to help countless patients in developing countries recover or preserve sight. Yet despite his celebrity status, Alan was humble and approachable. He would stay long after our courses had ended, patiently answering question after question until the last attendee was satisfied. Alan was warm, kind, selfless, and a man of total integrity. He was a consummate gentleman, an ambassador, and a man good to the core. I will miss teaching and laughing with Alan. I will miss his friendship, his smile, his grace. Ophthalmology has lost one of our most respected and treasured colleagues.”
Liliana Werner, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Co-Director, Intermountain Ocular Research Center at John A. Moran Eye Center, comments, “In 2014, I had the great honor to present Alan and Julie Crandall with a painting by my mother, Nilma Pacini Werner, based on a photograph taken during an outreach trip to South Sudan. To me, this image shows the person Alan was. He always supported me professionally, he was someone I could call a friend, and I will simply miss him! It is a great loss for his family and for many around the world who had the opportunity to interact with him.”