After graduating from Mount Holyoke College and receiving her nursing degree from Yale University in 1941, Florence Wald devoted her life to caring for others.
During World War II, Wald served in the Signal Corps. After the war, she taught nursing at Yale and eventually became Dean of Yale’s prestigious School of Nursing. Her most lasting impact was bringing the HOSPICE movement to the United States from Europe. Learning of the HOSPICE movement, Wald went to Europe, studied the movement, and then, in 1971, returned to the United States to establish the first HOSPICE unit in this country. Since then, the movement has spread rapidly because of the great need it fulfills. HOSPICE, now a household name, has made it possible for tens of thousands to die at home surrounded by loved ones and friends.
Throughout the remainder of her life, Wald continued her work with HOSPICE to ensure that services were available to all. She was also instrumental in bringing HOSPICE to prisons in the state of Connecticut.