We will miss you, Peggy

Peggy Girshman

Peggy Girshman

It is with sadness that we share the loss of a very special woman, talented journalist, and active NASW board member, Peggy Girshman. She died suddenly yesterday on March 14, 2016. Peggy had been attacking a diagnosis of amyloidosis for the last several years and, according to her husband Mitch Berger, “Peg went out like a true journalist, at her desk, writing (while also playing Scrabble online with her arch-nemesis, my brother Dan). Let the record show that she was winning.”

Peggy was the founding editor at Kaiser Health News, former executive editor of Congressional Quarterly, and had a number of roles at NPR, including deputy senior science editor and deputy national editor. Her award-winning work included a national Emmy, two Peabody awards, and an AAAS Science Journalism award. She had been a member of the NASW board for 10 years, first elected in 2006. Peggy could always be counted on to contribute to discussions with a mixture of passion, sincerity, and self-deprecating humor that built consensus, even if the opinion was a contrarian one.

If you received any kind of grant from NASW over the last ten years, chances are Peggy was on the committee. An active member of the Grants committee and the Career Grant program since their founding and always the first board member to raise her hand to help select travel fellows, Peggy advocated fiercely for members and journalists to have access to needed resources. She was also the founding treasurer of NASW’s finance committee and led the workshops committee as NASW’s vice president in 2011 and 2012. She continued to contribute to the workshops committee as a member thereafter. Her sharp eye, intelligence, and wit will be dearly missed, as will her compassion for each of us. We have lost a friend and science writing has lost with us.

There will be no funeral, and a memorial service will be planned by the family later in the spring. For those who wish to honor her, Peggy was adamant about no flowers (no matter how much she liked the spring kind) and requested donations to Planned Parenthood instead. We invite members to share their tributes to Peggy on our website in the comments section of this article. Be sure you are logged in to allow for posting.

Mar. 15, 2016