Dr Anne Szarewski – 1 September 1959–24 August 2013
Dear Friends and Colleagues
It is with great sadness that I have to convey to you the news of Anne Szarewski’s untimely death. She passed away in her sleep at home on Saturday 24 August 2013. I know that, like me, you all had a great fondness and respect for Anne as a friend, colleague and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, a role Anne thoroughly enjoyed and excelled in for 10 years. There have been many tributes paid to Anne already as she was unique and she will be greatly missed.
Rarely does one clinician have such an impact on the world of medicine. Working as a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Cancer Prevention at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, and prior to that at Cancer Research UK, she worked steadfastly towards the prevention of cervical cancer. Anne also had a huge following of loyal patients at the Margaret Pyke Centre in London where she worked as a senior doctor in contraception and sexual health. She truly cared about the wellbeing of her patients and their choices. She also earned the respect and love of the nurses with whom she worked.
For many, however, Anne will best be remembered as a superb lecturer; entertaining doctors, nurses and scientists nationally and internationally with thought-provoking lectures. She brought sexual health issues to life, never shying away from the controversies surrounding contraception. She wrote extensively, with her numerous scientific papers, articles and books providing easily accessible messages.
On a personal level she was a tremendous friend with an encyclopaedic knowledge of opera, the theatre and literature. Many thought that her music tastes stretched no further than Wagner but Anne had eclectic tastes. She visited the recent David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum twice as she enjoyed it so much.
Anne was a good listener and could always be relied upon to provide sound advice. She was generous with her time, knowledge and kindness. She fought hard with a fierce loyalty for the causes and the people she believed in. She made us all feel part of her family. I know you would join us in sending our sincere condolences to Anne’s husband, Lester, as he mourns her loss. It has been a great privilege for me personally to have known Anne, to have worked closely with her and to be her friend.
Honorary Treasurer and Officer, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, London, UK; Consultant in Community Gynaecology and Reproductive Health Care, Newcastle upon Tyne; Diana.Mansour@nuth.nhs.uk
NB. An appreciation of Anne, including contributions from some of her many colleagues and friends, is planned for the January 2014 journal.