Niskayuna - Margaret “Peggy” Brolly Leonard, MS, RN-BC, FNP, of Niskayuna passed away suddenly at Ellis Hospital on September 15 with her family by her side. Born in Brooklyn on October 25, 1947, she was the cherished and devoted daughter of the late Cornelius and Virginia (Van Riper) Brolly and the loving sister of John Brolly, as well as the late Annamarie Suarez and James Brolly. She was predeceased by her husband Ronald Leonard, in April 2019.
A graduate of St Vincent’s Elementary School, Catherine McAuley High School and Nassau Community College, Peggy earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees as well as Post Masters Certification in Family Nurse Practice from Adelphi University, where she maintained a close association for decades. A nationally recognized leader in healthcare innovation – especially in the field of care management/care coordination – she was Vice President for Medicaid, Government and Community Initiatives for MVP Healthcare until her recent retirement and continued to serve the company as a consultant in the area of quality assurance. She also appeared as a spokesperson for MVP in a television ad campaign. For more than 20 years she was a nurse educator at The College of New Rochelle. She also spent a decade as host of the national award-winning radio show Community Nurse on-Call on WHPC. Her leadership extended far beyond her employment. Over the years, she chaired dozens of organizations and efforts. At the time of her death, she was chairwoman of the New York State Board of Nursing, co-chair of New York State Department of Health Workgroup on Health Homes and President of the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Foundation. Peggy was also the author of more than 20 books and journal articles on topics such as care management, community health, nursing education, policy and activism. Her great success in developing innovative programs earned her a national reputation in her field of case management and one of only five Lifetime Achievement Awards presented by CMSA in the 30-year history of the organization. She is the recipient of dozens of additional professional awards as well as the YWCA of Northeastern New York Woman of Achievement Award.
Peggy had a large and devoted group of friends from her days at St. Vincent’s that gathered regularly, and from Catherine McAuley HS, who all served as a testament to the importance of friendship. Her dedication to the field of nursing yielded another significant group of devoted friends from across the country, including her “Amigos” from MVP. Later in life, she moved to Niskayuna where she was befriended by a tightknit group dubbed the Cella Chicks who get together regularly to dine or enjoy the music of singer Colleen Pratt.
However, Peggy’s greatest love was her family. She was happily married to Ronald for 34 years and together they enjoyed entertaining at the vacation home in Lake Luzerne, travel, music and celebrating their Irish heritage. She was a proud mother. Once she had grandchildren, she was a devoted Grandma and always made herself available to attend Niskayuna Wild Turkeys swim practices, concerts, viewings of The Polar Express or to help rehearse for the latest play audition.
She is survived by her daughter Niskayuna Town Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw (David) and her Emmy Award winning son Harold “Billy” Murphy (Hanne), as well as Elise Leonard, Christine Cook (Irving), Erica Amruso (Nicholas), grandchildren National Gold Award Girl Scout Caroline McGraw and Piper and Beckham Murphy, as well as Lauren Leonard , Andrew and Eric Hattorff , Meaganne Taraskas, great grandchildren Adelynn Leonard, and Jude and Rowan Ward, brother John Brolly (Jennifer), nephews Peter Suarez, Philip “PJ” Brolly and niece Jessica Brolly Jepko (John), great nephew and niece Kyle and Cynthia Jepko. She also had a special bond with her cousins Loren, John (Christine) and George Malenchek, Linda Crew (Andy), Thomas Brolly (Doreen) and Barbara Brolly Kekkonen (Paul). And, of course, her grand dogs, Jetes and Mo.
The family wants to thank everyone at New York Oncology Hematology, especially Lawrence Garbo, MD, Randi Daniels, NP, and Nichole Generalli, St Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, and Jani Kulesa, Susan Savage, Amy Bellcourt, Maureen McGuinness and Mickie Baldwin.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 21, at 10:00 a.m., at St Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, 1801 Union Street, Niskayuna. Interment to follow at Most Holy Redeemer RC Cemetery. Calling Hours will be Friday, September 20, 4:00-8:00 p.m., at Cannon Funeral Home 2020 Central Avenue Colonie. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions to:
The Case Management Society of America Foundation - http://www.cmsafoundation.org