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Celebrating Former ASHP CEOs: Gloria Niemeyer Francke, Pharm.D. (April 28, 1922 - August 3, 2008)

By Paul Abramowitz posted 08-07-2017 16:25


As part of ASHP’s yearlong celebration of our 75th anniversary, we are recognizing our three former Chief Executive Officers — Drs. Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Joseph A. Oddis, and Gloria N. Francke —who have helped shaped ASHP into the remarkable organization it is today.

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this blog to Dr. Gloria Niemeyer Francke, an icon in American pharmacy, whose impact throughout the profession and its professional organizations stands the test of time. Dr. Francke was a pioneer in hospital pharmacy and her contributions to ASHP’s direction, growth, and success are invaluable.

In 1950, Dr. Francke became ASHP’s first Chief Executive Officer and held this position until 1960. During this time, Dr. Francke assumed a number of editorial roles with the American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, as well as other pharmacy publications. She was an author of and oversaw numerous essential ASHP publications including the first comprehensive audit of U.S. hospitals’ pharmaceutical services, Mirror to Hospital Pharmacy[1], the first Comprehensive Bibliography on Hospital Pharmacy[2], and Ten Years of the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists 1942-1952[3]. The publication of these works served as a keystone to a future of improved patient services and increased professionalism among hospital pharmacists. These and other publications can be found in the Donald and Gloria Francke Memorial Library at our new headquarters, which I hope you will visit if you are in the Washington, D.C., area.

In the formative years of ASHP, Dr. Francke was instrumental in unifying ASHP and our state affiliates and strengthening ASHP’s national presence. She was highly sought out for her insight and advice by leaders throughout the profession, and her efforts helped ASHP become a very prominent voice for all pharmacists.

Dr. Francke was also very well respected in international pharmacy circles. She represented ASHP to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)’s Section of Hospital Pharmacists on four occasions between 1953 and 1960, and was a devotee of the Women in Pharmacy luncheon held each year at the FIP’s World Congress. Dr. Francke paved the way for many other women in pharmacy to follow in her footsteps and hold executive positions at all levels. The Gloria N. Francke Fund, established within the ASHP Foundation’s Joseph A. Oddis Endowment, supports activities for the development of women pharmacists’ leadership and international pharmacy advancement.

During her long career, Dr. Francke held many distinguished positions including Drug Literature Specialist at the National Library of Medicine, Executive Secretary at the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and Chief of the Program Evaluation Branch, Alcohol and Drug Dependence Service at the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C.

A clear reflection of Dr. Francke’s tremendous influence in pharmacy is her receipt of many prestigious honors and awards, including the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award and the Donald E. Francke Medal from ASHP and the Joseph P. Remington Honor Medal from the American Pharmacists Association. She also received the Lifetime Achievement in Pharmaceutical Practice Award and Andre Bedat Award from FIP. Dr. Francke earned her recognition by making outstanding contributions to the field of pharmacy, leading ASHP in its early years, serving as a visionary for the profession, and providing mentorship to many. Dr. Francke’s unremitting devotion to advancing our profession may be her most enduring legacy.

During ASHP’s yearlong 75th anniversary celebration, we will commemorate Dr. Francke, whose memory lives on in her association work, writings, and all those who have been influenced and guided by her. Please join me in recognizing Dr. Francke for her many exceptional contributions that helped make pharmacy the patient-care focused profession that it is today.

Thank you for everything you do for your patients, ASHP, and our profession.



[1] Francke DE, Latiolais CJ, Francke GN, Ho NF, Mirror to Hospital Pharmacy, 1964.

[2] Francke GN, Comprehensive Bibliography on Hospital Pharmacy: Including Publications to January 1951, 1951.

[3] Berman A, Francke GN, Francke DE, Ten years of the American Society of Hospitals Pharmacists, 1942–1952. Bull Am Soc Hosp Pharm. 1952; 9: 279–421.




08-09-2017 19:51

Gloria was a great support to many of us.  Just last week at the Kappa Epsilon Annual Convention in New Orleans she was talked about as a role model and advocate of all things pharmacy.  Great blog--always something to re-appreciate about Gloria.

08-08-2017 19:43

One of pharmacy's all time greatest leaders and includers!  She was ahead of her time and because of her we have advanced to where we are today!  Thoughtful and progressive, nationally and internationally.  She was a wonderful person to chat with too!

08-08-2017 09:52

Excellent write up. Check out a recorded Conversation