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Industry mourns death of DeMino, ‘patriot of pharmacy practice’

BY Rob Eder

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — The industry has lost a true “patriot of pharmacy practice.”

Drug Store News is saddened to report the passing Friday evening of longtime industry veteran Leonard “Len” DeMino. DeMino was 81.

"The growth and success of the profession of pharmacy – and where it stands today in our American society and in healthcare delivery — is the result of it standing on the shoulders of giants. “In every sense of the word, Len is one of those giants,” National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson noted. “We will continue to see that in the future of pharmacy because we have all benefitted from the passion, commitment and love of Len for not only the profession of pharmacy, but the people that it serves. Len DeMino was a humanitarian who devoted himself to the promotion of human welfare and the advancement of pharmacy. Len embodied everything good about our nation and our industry."

DeMino — who served the chain pharmacy industry for more than 50 years — first joined NACDS as VP pharmacy affairs in June 1989, after more than three decades with the once storied mid-Atlantic regional powerhouse People’s Drug Stores (acquired by CVS in 1990), where he rose from staff pharmacist to VP. At NACDS, DeMino was a champion on state and national legislative issues, particularly on the third-party reimbursement front.

“NACDS tells the story of pharmacy as the face of neighborhood healthcare, and Len has lived that message every day as a patriot of pharmacy practice,” Anderson said at the time of DeMino’s official retirement in June 2009, as a senior pharmacy consultant to NACDS.

An early recipient of the NACDS Harold W. Pratt Award in 1988, DeMino also was a recipient of the American Pharmacists Association’s Bowl of Hygeia Award for community service. While at People’s, DeMino was active in industry affairs, serving as chairman of the Pharmacy Affairs Committee and as the NACDS representative to the Drug Enforcement Administration Pharmacy Working Committee. He also was a past member of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, and was active in the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

DeMino, a pharmacy graduate of George Washington University, also was highly active on the academic front, as an instructor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences at Howard University, and as a member of the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy Advisory Board.

“Len has utilized is spirit of optimism, combined with his second-to-none experience and achievement, to inspire long-time and new colleagues to pursue the best days of pharmacy that lie ahead,” Anderson noted in 2009. “He has created a legacy from which we will continue to benefit well into the future.”

DeMino is survived by his wife, Delores; daughter, Cristina and her husband Steve Finney; son, Joseph and his wife Anita DeMino; and his three grandchildren – Catherine and Michael Finney, and Anna DeMino.

Visitation services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Rockville Md., with a funeral mass scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leonard J. DeMino Pharmacy Scholarship Fund, c/o NACDS Foundation, 413 N. Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Drug Store News invites readers to share their memories of Len DeMino in a special memorial article, celebrating his life and career that will appear in the Oct. 10 edition. You can post your comments by clicking "post a comment" at the bottom of this page, by visiting our Facebook page, or you can send your comments directly to Rob Eder, editor of Drug Store News, at reder@lf.com.

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C.KNAPP DLUGOSZ says:
Sep-22-2011 01:28 pm

I had the honor and great good fortune of working with Len at NACDS. I will remember him always as a kind and dedicated man with a sly sense of humor. A consummate professional, Len was a credit to pharmacy -- not just chain pharmacy. I am a better person for having known him. He will be missed dearly. Cynthia Knapp Dlugosz

reder@lf.com says:
Sep-20-2011 12:49 pm

SUBMITTED BY PHIL SCHNEIDER, NCPA: Len DeMino was an outstanding mentor, especially to me during my 20-year work relationship and friendship. You knew you passed muster with Len when he called you kiddo, a distinction I'm proud to have earned. I always respected his optimism and insight on business and life. Those who had the privilege to know Len had their lives enriched. He was a true gentleman who will be missed by me, and many others.

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