Yale School of Nursing Convocation to Feature Hospice Founders and Noted Ethicist
The Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care at the Yale School of Nursing will honor the founders of the American hospice movement at its annual convocation on February 15 at 4 p.m. at the Yale School of Nursing.
The keynote speaker will be Cindy Hylton Rushton, an assistant professor of nursing at Johns Hopkins University and a clinical nurse specialist in ethics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Her topic will be, “Being With Patients on Their Final Journey.” Rushton will explore the difference between simply “doing to” patients and offering true caring during the dying process.
Following the address, the School of Nursing’s Excellence in Caring in Chronic Illness Award will be awarded to Florence and Henry Wald.
Florence Wald, a former dean of the Yale School of Nursing, and her husband, Henry, left successful careers to establish hospice in the United States. Florence Wald was dismayed at the painful and futile treatments that dying patients in American hospitals had to endure and the lack of information they received about their own conditions. She traveled to England to work as a nurse at St. Christopher’s Hospice with founder Cicely Saunders and to study the business and administrative aspects of a hospice.
Henry Wald gave up his engineering firm to get a master’s degree in health facility planning. His graduate work included a feasibility study for an American hospice.
In 1974, their groundwork led to the first hospice program in the United States, which provided home care in New Haven. Eventually, an inpatient facility was opened in Branford to provide symptom and pain management and family support. Florence Wald is currently active in establishing hospice care in prisons.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that the Walds changed the way we experience death,” said Ruth McCorkle, director and founder of the Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care. “They were pioneers in the fight for the dignity of terminal patients.”
McCorkle, a noted cancer researcher, founded the center to advance research on supportive care for patients and families facing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
To make a reservation to attend the convocation, please call 203-737-5501.