Peggy, Ann, and Eloise at Casey House 20th Anniversary

March is Women’s History Month and as we celebrate and reflect on those who have cleared the path before us, I want to take the opportunity to highlight Margaret “Peggy” McCaig and Eloise Strand. They are two leaders and pioneers who have left an indelible mark in our organization – giving their time and talents in service to this community.

In recognition of Peggy and Eloise’s long-standing work and dedication in promoting our mission and care, their peers elected them to receive the rare distinction of Life Director. It is my personal privilege to know them closely and to celebrate them as the trailblazers they are.

Margaret “Peggy” McCaig

An early supporter of hospice at home, Peggy’s determination and generosity of spirit charted a path forward as a member and Chairman of the Board, and as member of the Montgomery Hospice Foundation.

Her tenure as a board director is full of anecdotes showing her resolve, like asking her own brother Mike McCarthy to join her and others in propelling the cause for care at the end of life. Peggy encouraged us when we had growing pains, and continues to be a fervent supporter of our achievements.

As a Life Director, she remains an ardent advocate for Montgomery Hospice. Resolute and understated, unconcerned with personal accolades, Peggy McCaig is a powerhouse who doesn’t take no for an answer, and it is thanks to qualities such as hers that organizations like Montgomery Hospice are able to care for neighbors and their families.

Peggy and Ann at Hospice Cup XXXIII

Eloise Strand

Eloise’s story is as multifaceted as her character. A retired Army Colonel, she holds master’s degrees in both occupational therapy and health care administration. She has devoted her life to learning and giving back to the community, always remembering that love triumphs.

Ann and Eloise in Annapolis, MD

Her participation with Montgomery Hospice began in 1985 when she started volunteering, showing not only extraordinary care to her patients but also a special dedication to grieving families. Eloise worked as a bereavement volunteer for many years before joining the Board, first as a director and later as a Board Chairman.

Wise and understanding, she led the Board of Directors during a time that culminated in the construction of Casey House – our inpatient hospice facility – bringing to fruition one of our most cherished endeavors.

As a Life Director, Eloise has always confronted issues with a fearless determination to do the right thing for dying patients and their families.

I am truly honored to have been able to witness and learn from both Eloise and Peggy. It is their devotion to causes like end-of-life care and their passion for giving back that is truly inspirational, and for that we not only give them high praise this Women’s History Month, but are also greatly indebted.

– Ann