News Release

Kaiser Family Foundation Remembers Peggy Girshman Through KHN Web Reporting Fellowship

A Founding Editor of Kaiser Health News Died Last Week of Complications from Rare Health Condition

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is honoring the late Peggy Girshman, a founding executive editor of Kaiser Health News (KHN), by naming its annual web reporting fellowship for young journalists the “Peggy Girshman Web Reporting Fellowship.”

Girshman died last week at the age of 61 due to complications from the rare disease amyloidosis, which she had battled for the past few years. Girshman joined the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2008 to help launch Kaiser Health News, which is an editorially-independent news service and major program of KFF. She retired in 2014. Over the course of a journalism career spanning four decades, Girshman won multiple Emmy Awards as a producer. Her stints at local and national outlets included 15 years at NPR, first as a reporter and then as a managing editor, and as a senior medical producer for “Dateline NBC.” The naming of the fellowship memorializes Girshman’s role as a mentor to countless young journalists at KHN and throughout her journalism career.

“Peggy played a vital role in the early days of KHN and was the heart and soul of a great team that took it from a concept on paper to a reality,” said Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman. “While our hearts are broken by the loss of Peggy, we hope to keep her memory alive through this fellowship for up-and-coming journalists at KHN.”

The Peggy Girshman Web Reporting Fellowship is designed for early career journalists with an interest in politics and health policy. Fellows produce original stories and multimedia content and collaborate with the many seasoned journalists at KHN, reporting on a wide range of health policy issues for KHN and its distribution partners.

Shefali Luthra is the current fellow. She is a former intern of the Texas Tribune where she covered state politics, women’s health and local implementation of federal health reform. Luthra is also a former KFF media intern and a recent graduate of Brown University. Young journalists interested in applying for the year-long fellowship can learn more about it here.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.