Lillian Wald


Lillian Wald was a nurse who completed her work during the Progressive Era, 1890 – 1920, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Progressive Era was a time of reform, and Wald worked on improving the connection between nurses and their patients to establish a healthy environment for the patient. She created the Henry Street Settlement house to provide health and community services for the people of the Lower East Side.

The fundamental principle [of settlement work] remains: that people shall take up their residence in industrial communities, giving what they may have of public spirit, and partaking of the life about them; preserving their identity as individuals and endeavoring to keep the settlement free from the institutional form of philanthropic work. ... the relationship is reciprocal- Lillian Wald

Portrait of Lillian Wald.
Lillian Wald in a nurse's uniform, 1893. Source.