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John A. Moran Eye Center Mourns the Passing of Dr. Alan S. Crandall

A Statement from Moran CEO Randall J Olson, MD

It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Alan S. Crandall, on Friday, October 2, 2020, following a sudden illness. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the John A. Moran Eye Center and the University of Utah, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Crandall family.

Dr. Crandall was a brilliant, caring surgeon who dedicated his many talents to helping others in Utah and around the world. His boundless compassion and deep commitment to improving the lives of his patients forever impacted everyone who knew him. Over his 39 years in our department, his care and consideration for his colleagues shaped a culture of family at Moran. We will miss him dearly.

A masterful surgeon, Dr. Crandall focused on the medical and surgical management of glaucoma and cataract, as well as complicated anterior segment surgery. He skillfully handled the most challenging cases, and his surgical skills were legendary. Frequently invited to lecture and train around the world, Dr. Crandall was always happy to share his knowledge. He invented several surgical techniques, and was involved in many clinical research studies that led to better surgical outcomes and improved care.

Alan S. Crandall, MD
Alan S. Crandall, MD

Dr. Crandall was named by Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today as one of 50 international opinion leaders, and The Ophthalmologist recognized him as one of the 100 most influential people in the ophthalmic industry.

As the founder and senior medical director of Moran’s Global Outreach Division, Dr. Crandall worked tirelessly to save vision by increasing access to eye care in developing countries and helping those who could not afford care in his own community. He trained hundreds of surgeons around the world and performed countless free surgeries to restore sight in Utah, on the Navajo Nation, and in more than 20 countries, including Ghana, Nepal, and South Sudan.

Dr. Crandall will be remembered as a giant in ophthalmology who generously gave of his time to advance the field. At Moran, he held the John E. and Marva M. Warnock Presidential Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and served as senior vice chair and as director of glaucoma and cataract. He is a past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). Dr. Crandall was notably the only physician to receive four internationally recognized awards in ophthalmology for his humanitarian contributions: the American Glaucoma Society Humanitarian Award, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Humanitarian Award, the ASCRS Humanitarian Award, and the inaugural ASCRS Foundation Chang Humanitarian Award. His other awards included the Health Care Heroes Award for Excellence in Health Care—Community Outreach and the Vocational Excellence Award for Humanitarian Service by Rotary International. Dr. Crandall was a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Ophthalmology.

As a teacher and mentor, Dr. Crandall was exacting in his training. His goal was to produce the best surgeons possible, and he was never too busy to assist and encourage the physicians, technicians, and staff around him. He took special pride in seeing his students excel and become leaders in the field.

Dr. Crandall was a friend to everyone who knew him and universally respected and adored. To know him was to love him, and we grieve with everyone whose life he touched.

The Moran Eye Center is recognized as a center of excellence in large part because of Dr. Crandall and his devotion to our mission of providing hope, treatment, and understanding for all. His kindness knew no bounds, and the example he set is deeply embedded in all of us. His memory will always shine as a beacon of inspiration and his legacy will always endure.

We salute Dr. Crandall for a life well-lived and wish him godspeed.

Randall J Olson, MD
CEO, John A. Moran Eye Center
Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Utah

Alan S. Crandall, MD
Dr. Alan S. Crandall examines a patient during an outreach trip in Tanzania in 2018.

Celebration of Life

It was our honor to celebrate the life of Alan S. Crandall, MD, on October 9. If you were unable to join us live, you can view a recording here.

In lieu of flowers, the Crandall family has asked that donations be made to the Global Outreach Division at the John A. Moran Eye Center, 65 Mario Cappechi Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132. The family will be notified of your gift. You may also make a donation here.