JD Epstein, a 1967 graduate of the College of Law and a 1965 graduate of the University of Illinois, has died.
JD spent a majority of his legal career dedicated to the practice of health law, an interest that was spurred by his early career experience working on the Medicare program as legal counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He is widely recognized as one of a handful of especially influential lawyers in the U.S. who led the movement to recognize health law as a distinct and vital specialty. His reputation and client base extended across the entire country. He was frequently called upon to speak at professional conferences nationwide and was listed in “Best Lawyers” at a national level, as well as being a “Super Lawyer” in Texas. He was a Past President and Founding Fellow of the American Health Lawyers Association and the recipient of the American Health Lawyers Association’s David Greenburg Award for Meritorious Service. JD served as the President of the American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys and, in 2011, was named by Best Lawyers as the Best Healthcare Lawyer in Houston, Texas.
JD also was a generous supporter of charitable and educational institutions, including serving on the Board of Visitors for the College of Law and the Development Board for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In addition, JD and wife Beth endowed the Epstein Health Law and Policy Program at the University of Illinois College of Law to promote research, policy analysis, public service and public engagement on critical issues in healthcare delivery and health status.
Of JD and his generosity, classmate Mickey Brown said, "Quite the character in our Class of 1967, a class which featured a number of characters. He loved his play time, often more than his book time, but his quick mind always pulled him through. J.D. was a driving force, along with a few others, in creating the Class of 1967 Scholarship Fund. His philanthropic achievements rivaled his professional achievements."
Bill Turner, Assistant Dean for Advancement at the College of Law added, "JD’s relationship with the College of Law during his alumni years exemplified the fullest extent of service, professionalism, philanthropy and grace. JD and Beth have been wonderful friends and advocates for Illinois Law, and we are grateful to honor their legacy through the Epstein Health Law and Policy Program."