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Chapter 14 : Lillian Wald and the Foundations of Modern Public Health

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Abstract:

Infectious diseases are not chance events but events that occur as a result of the infected host’s contact with their environment. As the germ theory of disease was taking shape in the latter part of the 19th century, deplorable living conditions in major European and American cities made them rife for tuberculosis (TB), typhoid fever, and even cholera. Lillian Wald coined the term “public health nurse” in 1893 for nurses who worked outside hospitals in poor and middle-class communities. Specializing in both preventative care and the preservation of health, these nurses responded to referrals from physicians and patients, giving free treatment or charging according to the resources of the patient. The school nurse is the one who ultimately certifies that children have had the required immunizations before school entrance. Jacob Schiff recognized the immense value of Wald and her nurses to the neighborhood. In 1895, Schiff found a larger and more suitable place than their previous residences in the Lower East Side of the city, a home on Henry Street. In 1909 there were about 1,400 public health nurses in the United States. In 1912, Lillian Wald was elected as the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing. In health care and public health, times have changed, but today’s underserved, uninsured populations who have needs similar to those of those residents of the Lower East Side of New York would welcome another Angel of Henry Street.

Citation: Gaynes R. 2011. Lillian Wald and the Foundations of Modern Public Health, p 295-310. In Germ Theory. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817220.ch14

Key Concept Ranking

Infectious Diseases
0.9383273
Typhoid Fever
0.60015786
Scarlet Fever
0.4877969
Rheumatoid Arthritis
0.4877969
Scarlet Fever
0.4877969
0.9383273
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Citation: Gaynes R. 2011. Lillian Wald and the Foundations of Modern Public Health, p 295-310. In Germ Theory. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817220.ch14
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Citation: Gaynes R. 2011. Lillian Wald and the Foundations of Modern Public Health, p 295-310. In Germ Theory. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817220.ch14
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Lillian Wald as a young nurse in uniform. 10.1128/9781555817220.ch14.f1

Citation: Gaynes R. 2011. Lillian Wald and the Foundations of Modern Public Health, p 295-310. In Germ Theory. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817220.ch14
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References

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1. Buhler-Wilkerson, K. 1993. Bringing care to the people: Lillian Wald’s legacy to public health nursing. Am. J. Public Health 83:17781786.
2. Frieden, T. R. 2009. Lessons from tuberculosis control for public health. Int. J. Tuberc. Lung Dis. 13:421428.
3. Semenza, J. C. 2010. Strategies to intervene on social determinants of infectious diseases. Euro Surveill. 15(27):18. http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId;eq19611.
4. Wald, L. 1915. The House on Henry Street, p. 125. Henry Hold and Co., New York, NY.
5. Wald, L. 1915. The House on Henry Street, p. 2643. Henry Hold and Co., New York, NY.
6. Wald, L. 1915. The House on Henry Street, p. 4465. Henry Hold and Co., New York, NY.
7. Wald, L. 1934. Windows on Henry Street, p. 70110. Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, MA.
8. Williams, B. 1948. Lillian Wald, Angel of Henry Street, p. 7585. Julian Messner, Inc., New York, NY.
9. Williams, B. 1948. Lillian Wald, Angel of Henry Street, p. 96105. Julian Messner, Inc., New York, NY.

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