HARTFORD, Conn. – Florence Wald, a former Yale nursing dean whose interest in compassionate care led her to launch the first U.S. hospice program, died Nov. 8. She was 91.
Wald’s daughter, Shari Vogler, said Saturday that Wald died of natural causes at her Branford home.
Wald was dean of the Yale University School of Nursing in the 1960s when she updated its curriculum to include a stronger focus on comfort for dying patients and their families.
Wald’s passion for hospice was sparked when she heard a lecture by the founder of St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. She left Yale to study at that center but returned to organize Connecticut Hospice in 1974, widely accepted to be the first U.S. hospice program.
The hospice movement, which includes more than 3,200 programs nationwide, focuses on providing care for terminally ill patients and their families.