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Denise Frank: A Tribute to an Inspirational Partner and Friend

I first connected with Denise Frank in the spring of 2018 when she cold-emailed me after a webinar I hosted. Shortly thereafter, Denise came on board as a consultant to help me with the increasing volume of clients that needed help with Accreditation – there was no better person as she was formerly the Accreditation Manager for the program, and I was ecstatic to have her on board. As our professional relationship grew and our conversation expanded, we realized we aligned on the idea that Accreditation for drug wholesalers was broken, and that we could fix it. A short 9 months of determined work later, we officially launched NCDQS's accreditation program together in the Fall of 2019. We worked closely on the organization until we said our abrupt goodbyes last month.


Denise often said she was old enough to be my mom, but our relationship was unique – she was my business partner, mentor, teacher, and friend.


Something that always struck me about Denise was that she never put her interests above those of others – and, in fact, would almost always put others’ interests above her own. So it’s easy to say that Denise had an incredible heart and see why she was surrounded by many friends. Her standards and moral code were unquestionable, and she empowered everyone around her to be their true, authentic selves. Denise's genuine love inspired those around her to spread the same kindness. She taught me that helping others is a way to help yourself, and she was rich in friendship, loyalty, and respect because of the energy she invested in the people around her, especially young people.


Another thing that struck me about her was that she was tenacious in her quest for knowledge; almost as tenacious as she was in her efforts to teach and mentor others. Her commitment to learning and sharing her knowledge was truly incredible.


To say Denise had a successful career would be an understatement – her accomplishments were so wide-ranging, I honestly had trouble keeping up with all of the things she was involved with. With over 35 years of experience in pharmacy practice, management, regulatory compliance, technician training, and pharmacy and wholesaler accreditation and inspection, she was a pillar in the field.


In 1991, she became the youngest female appointed to the Minnesota State Board of Pharmacy. In 2016, she received an award for 20 years of participation in HELPS International Medical Missions in Guatemala, where she spent 24 years of her vacations serving on volunteer medical teams in remote, underserved rural areas. In 2019, Denise and I founded NCDQS. And finally, in 2020, she formed a Cannabis Task Force with quality leaders to develop globally recognized standards and best practices for the industry.


Denise's legacy is one of unwavering dedication, kindness, and a commitment to improving the lives of others – especially patient safety! She has left an enduring mark on all who knew her, and her influence will continue to be felt for years to come. We will honor her memory by continuing the work she was so passionate about and by embodying the values she held dear.


Rest in peace, Denise. Your spirit and contributions will never be forgotten!


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