Women and Adversity: Dean Florence Wald
Pioneer of Hospice in the U.S.
After working at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London with Cicely Saunders, founder of the Hospice movement, Florence Wald organized a study to determine the feasibility of forming a Hospice facility in America. She and her colleagues opened the first Hospice in 1971 in Branford, CT. In 2014 there were more than 4,000 Hospice care facilities in the U.S.
Florence Schorske was born in 1917 in New York. As a child, she had a chronic respiratory ailment and spent several months in the hospital. This experience led her to study nursing. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received a master’s degree in nursing from Yale University School of Nursing and a second one in mental health nursing, also from Yale. Later she taught in the program and became its dean in 1959. She was instrumental in training prison inmates to care for dying inmates.
She married Henry Wald, and they had two children. Henry died in 2000 and Florence died in 2008 at the age of 91.
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