The death of Dr. Michael L. Schoenfeld, the former president of the American Optometric Association and a board member of the National Optometric Society, left Hawaii’s leading optical surgeons with an agonizing decision.
They had spent years trying to convince him that his vision was the same as their own and that he had a job to do, but to no avail.
They said he was too frail to perform an operation that would have saved his life.
Dr. Schönfeld, 58, a longtime resident of Honolulu, had been working as a consultant at Honolulu hospitals for more than 30 years and was among the few optometrically trained surgeons in the state.
He had been at Hawaii hospitals for decades and was considered one of the most respected optometradists in the country.
But in the past few weeks, his health had deteriorated rapidly, and doctors had said they feared for his health, his family said in a statement released by the hospital.
Dr., Schönfield was a longtime member of OPA and had been president of its board since 2003.
He was also a board director for the National Ophthalmology Association and was the chief of staff to then-Hawaii Gov.
Gary Locke, according to the statement.
He joined OPA in 2006 as its president.
His death was sudden, and the Ophthalmological Society of America (OSA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Surgery (AAOS) were devastated.
“He had spent decades working with us, mentoring us, and helping us achieve our goals,” said Dr. Scott E. O’Brien, the president of OSA.
“His legacy lives on in our profession and we are so sorry that this is the end of that.”
The board also issued a statement saying that Dr. L.J. “had been a mentor to us all for decades.
We have lost one of our most important members of the community.
The board mourns his passing.
We are saddened and heartbroken at his loss.”
“He was a terrific and caring man and a mentor who helped us to achieve many things together,” said John A. Aikens, a professor of medicine at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine and director of the OSA’s Institute of Ocular Medicine.
“Dr. Schonfeld’s death is a devastating loss for the medical profession and his family.”
The Ophthalmarthology Association of Hawaii, the state’s leading optometral association, said Drs.
Schonsfeld and L.R. have been a part of its history.
It said that the group will continue to provide medical support to Dr. Hirschfeld, as well as to Drs., M.C. Bousman, R.W. Mink, Randal and Leland M. Osterman, the board’s vice presidents, and its board of directors.
“While we are saddened by the loss of Drs Schoen and L’Engle, the group is united in our commitment to Dr L. J. and our vision for the profession,” the statement said.
“As we mourn Dr. Shoenfeld’s passing, we will continue our long-standing efforts to provide the highest standards of care for our patients.”
The Associated Press reported that Drs Denny and Rolf Ostermann are the sons of Dr J.D. and R.A. Ostersmann, and that Dr Denny was a graduate of Olin College in Oregon.
The family did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Drs Hirschfield and Ostermansons children, Joseph and Rebecca, were not immediately available for comment.
They did not respond to a request for comment through a spokesman.
A spokesperson for Hawaii’s Department of Health said the OMA, Ophthalmia, and Ophthalma are mourning the loss.
She said Dr Schoenfield’s death was an “unfortunate and sudden death.”
“We are deeply saddened by his loss and his continued service to our profession,” said Emily Schatz, a spokesperson for the department.
“The OMA and Opharma are in close communication with the OAS and will be providing all available support to his family and friends.”
The state is scheduled to hold a funeral service at 10 a.m. on Friday at the O’ahu Family Memorial Park. Dr Hirschfeld, who served on the board of ONA from 2003 to 2007, had a long career in the optometry industry, beginning as a graduate student in the late 1970s.
He later joined the University at Buffalo School of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1990 and going on to earn a master’s degree in ophthalmology from the University Medical Center at Buffalo. Dr Schönfeld worked for