Tributes from across the world have been paid to Marion Frank, Hon DSc, the internationally renowned radiographer who died on Thursday at the age of 90. Known as "the great dame of radiography," she was a hugely influential and important figure in the profession, particularly in training and education.
"Marion was personally known to many radiographers around the world for her activities over the years, and was a very highly respected member of the profession. She fostered many overseas students during her time at the Middlesex Hospital in London, and for many years continued to offer them encouragement to participate in the international aspects of radiography. Marion will be sorely missed by all," wrote Dr. Sandy Yule, chief executive officer of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT).
Frank was superintendent radiographer of the Middlesex Hospital in London and principal of the Middlesex School of Radiography for many years. She was a past president of both the Society and College of Radiographers in the U.K., and a past board member of the ISRRT. She fostered many radiographers and students, both from the U.K. and overseas, and received the ISRRT Dien Van Dijk Award last year.
Frank, who received an honorary doctorate from London's City University for her services to radiography and the institution, touched so many people. "She was an incredible medical radiation technologist role model for so many," noted Rita Eyer, the ISRRT vice president of the Americas Region. "Her passion for our field inspired so many radiographers. Although I never met her, after hearing about her from so many ISRRT members, especially in regards to her assistance, kindness, and generosity, I do feel as though I knew her."
Frank acted as a mentor for many leading radiographers, including Dr. Tyrone Goh, a Singapore-based past president of the ISRRT.
"Anyone who met her will have been touched by her sincerity to help radiographers from all over the world," he wrote. "She was a great lady who sacrificed all for international radiography."
For the tenth ISRRT World Congress, Goh recalls giving her a business class ticket to fly from London to Singapore, as well a suite at the Westin Stamford Hotel. She used the airfare to sponsor three radiographers from Africa, and she used the suite to accommodate six participants, while she herself stayed at a budget hotel near the Westin.
"For me, Marion was the 'great dame of radiography,' " commented Niru Kolmannskog, former ISRRT vice president for Europe/Africa. "I had the pleasure of getting to meet and work with her for the ISRRT project of collecting data about the history of radiographers. She was full of energy and very generous, and her apartment was open for all radiographers."
Frank touched so many people with her generosity and love of the profession, and her legacy will live on, according to Cynthia Cowling, the ISRRT's director of education, who is based in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. She added that her most memorable "Marion moment" was as a student, when she took her viva exam. She had the good fortune to have Frank as her examiner, and she gave Cowling great self-belief and confidence in her own ability.
"Marion was an inspiration to many souls such as me, and it was a privilege to have known her and stayed in her flat in London, at which many a radiographer from all around the world was always most welcome," said Stewart Whitley, radiology advisor with U.K. Radiology Advisory Services in Preston, U.K., and ISRRT treasurer. "Marion was always encouraging people to get more involved in radiography -- at the U.K. Radiology Congress a few years ago, she frog-marched me to the British Institute of Radiology booth, where she made me become a member!"
Philippe Gerson, director of international relationships at the French Society of Radiographers (AFPPE) and ISRRT's current vice president for Europe/Africa, expressed his deep sadness when he heard the news about Frank's death.
"Marion was like a grandmother to me," he said. "I had my first trip to Africa with her to Tanzania in 1994 for the first ISRRT workshop. Without her and her support, I wouldn't be an ISRRT vice president now. I have received the Dien Van Dijk Award, and it was thanks to Marion that I got it. But I keep hearing Marion's voice, and she says to me, 'Don't be sad, carry on your job to help radiographers all over the world.' "
Note: For more tributes to Dr. Marion Frank, please click here.