Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 01 Maria And Peggy

The loss of a leader: Remembering Dr. Peggy Walsh

Jan. 29, 2016
Dr. Peggy Walsh contributed to the profession of dental hygiene for more than 40 years as a researcher, academian, mentor, and advocate. She will be dearly missed.
Peggy Walsh, Michele Darby, Maria Perno Goldie in October 2014 at the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice Conference. “This photo is bittersweet. I am honored to be with two great leaders in dental hygiene, and very sad that they are now both gone.”—Maria Perno Goldie

It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Walsh. Dr. Walsh (Peggy to many of us) contributed to the profession of dental hygiene for more than 40 years as a highly distinguished international and national leader, as well as an educator and researcher in the areas of dental hygiene, community-based oral disease prevention, and tobacco cessation.

We remember Peggy as an academician and scholar, with her dental hygiene theories and textbook with Michele Darby, focusing on the Human Needs Model and the Dental Hygiene Process of Care Model. I am proud to say that I contributed to the early editions of Dental Hygiene: Theory and Practice. Dr. Walsh was more than a leader, she was an icon. You can read more about Peggy’s many accomplishments in the UCSF School of Dentistry press release.

On a personal note, I owe a great deal to Peggy. She afforded me the opportunity to conduct research with her at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), in the early 1990s.

Peggy at the wedding of TJ and Rachel

She encouraged me (forcefully!) to continue my education, and I did subsequently obtain my BA and MS degrees. She also encouraged me to volunteer, and often said in the early days, “One day you will be President of ADHA!” I replied, “If that day ever comes, I want you to install me!” Well, the day came in June of 1997 in Atlanta, GA, and Peggy indeed installed me as ADHA President. I was so honored. Thank you, Peggy.

Her son TJ was her pride and joy, along with his wife Rachel, and their new baby Gemma, her granddaughter.

Dear Peggy, you will be missed by so many people who were positively affected by your warmth, courage, friendship, vision, tenacity, leadership, and mentorship. Heaven has a new angel.