Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Lillian!

Today is the birthday of Lillian Wald, credited with the founding the field of public health nursing. Lillian Wald was born to a life of privilege yet found her calling in nursing. Summoned to help a sick woman by a little girl, Lillian walked through a battered neighborhood and into a filthy tenement house to tend to the woman's needs. Afterward Wald wrote,"that morning's experience was a baptism of fire. Deserted were the laboratory and academic work of college. I never returned to them... I rejoiced that I had a training in the care of the sick that in itself would give me an organic relationship to the neighborhood in which this awakening had come." 

Much is said today about social determinants of health and the "Lifecourse" perspective. This visionary nurse had it right many years ago when she helped to establish banks, libraries, vocational training and clubs all in addition to physical and mental health services. Her Henry Street Settlement lives on today, more than one hundred years after its inception. 
In Rock County we too are involved on our own Henry Street. Our public health nurses have a home base on Henry and Riverside Street in Beloit, WI. We go out from there to serve the whole person, honoring the memory and carrying on the tradition of this great lady. 

Happy Birthday Lillian!

1 comment:

  1. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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