NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

Two Lives Well Lived | NCPA Executive Update | July 14, 2017

by NCPA | Jul 14, 2017

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

A week ago today, I was in San Antonio talking with NCPA Past President John Carson and his wife Beverly at the Texas Pharmacy Association Awards luncheon. I had no way of knowing that would be the last time I would talk with them.

The deaths of John and Beverly Carson in a car accident last Friday night is a reminder of some things most of us already know: People we love and respect can be here today and then, in the blink of an eye, be gone. I think most of us have had that realization at some time. This is a recent and stark reminder.

John Carson served the NCPA membership as president in 2000-01. His influence on community pharmacy and the San Antonio community lasted an entire lifetime. And his influence on me has made an impression throughout my career.

If you didn't know John, he was one of those understated people with a long list of notable accomplishments who would never dare boast about them. Not only did pharmacy lose a great leader last Friday, but so did the more than 1 million people of the city of San Antonio.

Their son, Jeff Carson, who serves on NCPA's Board of Directors, said his father cared deeply about his patients. "Always the innovator, the dreamer," he said. "There are a lot of patients that fall through the cracks that need just a little bit more care, a little bit more attention."

In some ways meeting John was a paradox. You might expect an accomplished, boot-wearing, steer-wrestling, big man to walk into a room and in a Texas drawl demand everyone's attention. John did command the room's attention, but it was his humility, generosity and business acumen that made people want to be around him.

John and Beverly opened Oakdell Pharmacy in 1969. Pharmacy and ranching ran deep in his blood and he became the seventh pharmacist in the Carson family. He was active in his state association, with NCPA and as an alumnus of the University of Texas College of Pharmacy.

It was through the world of pharmacy that I knew John and Beverly, yet at their service yesterday, pharmacy was clearly only one facet of them. Consistent with their Texas roots, they loved raising Longhorn cattle. John was a man of great faith. Beverly was head cheerleader for the family – no matter the size of the accomplishment. And, their family was the center of their universe.

One of the ways in which he made an impression on me was that he was an encourager. Do you know the type? Hopefully, every person at some point in their lifetime will meet up with an encourager. An encourager lifts you up and carries you, even if it's just a short distance. They give you what you need at that moment to help you understand whatever obstacle you may be feeling is not insurmountable. They don't tell you what you should do or how to do it but they believe that you will find a way, no matter the challenge. I've met just a few people like this in my life. I keep them on speed-dial.

Last Friday, I talked with John and Beverly for just a few minutes of the usual banter. "Hi, Beverly. Who’s this guy with you?" (John had recently lost 60 pounds.) He talked with me about some things he would like to see happen in pharmacy. The luncheon speaker was about to start, so I had to go back to my seat. "See you in Orlando (for the NCPA Annual Meeting in October)," I said, starting to walk away. John turned in his chair, looked at me, and his last words to me were praise for the job NCPA is doing for the membership. An encourager to the end.

There's a lot of angst in the world at large and in the world of pharmacy, too. Through their lifetimes of service and encouragement, John and Beverly Carson did more than their part to make both worlds better for everyone else around them.

If you did not know John and Beverly, think about the people you do know who are making both worlds a better place and thank them today. You never know when that window of opportunity may suddenly close.

Doug Hoey