Saturday, November 15, 2008

Remembering the Entrepreneurial Founder of Hospice Care

Florence S. Wald, whose vision of bringing the terminally ill peace of mind and, to whatever extent possible, freedom from pain led to the opening of the first palliative care hospice in the United States, died on Saturday at her home in Branford, Conn. She was 91.

[...] Mrs. Wald, who was dean of the Yale University School of Nursing from 1959 to 1966, was the prime mover, in 1974, in starting the Connecticut Hospice, the nation’s first home-care program for the terminally ill. Six years later, a 44-patient hospice — where the dying could be comforted by their loved ones around the clock and where the staff would do what it could to alleviate suffering — opened in Branford.

“This hospice became a model for hospice care in the United States and abroad,” the publication Yale Nursing Matters said this week, adding that Mrs. Wald’s role “in reshaping nursing education to focus on patients and their families has changed the perception of care for the dying in this country.”
A touching reminder of what one motivated and dedicated person can achieve (NYT). Thanks to Phil for the pointer.

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