Wald was a nurse and former Dean of the Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing Program at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She is largely credited as the founder of the American hospice movement, according to the Hartford Courant. Wald's interest in the care of the terminally ill was piqued when she attended a lecture at Yale University presented by the English physician Cicely Saunders, an innovator in the field who later created the world's first purpose-built hospice. Saunders spoke about her methods of using palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients, with the intention of allowing those in the latest stages of their disease to focus on their personal relationships and prepare themselves for death. Wald resigned from her Deanship to study the British approach to care for the terminally ill. In 1971 she opened the first hospice facility in the U.S. in Branford.
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association