HerstoryBound Healers: Lillian Wald

I’m celebrating Women’s History Month with new bounds, or everyday cosplays, every week in March. The theme of the first week is Healers.

Lillian Wald

Lillian Wald has been called the founder of modern-day public health nursing. She was a visionary and someone who believed in making healthcare accessible for all, not just those with the financial means.

The Sentinel Watch

Lillian Wald (1867-1940) was an American nurse, social worker, and advocate for public healthcare. In 1893 she founded what would become The Henry Street Settlement in an impoverished neighborhood in New York’s Lower East Side. She began by offering her services as a nurse to her neighbors. Eventually the organization offered healthcare, social services, and educational courses. It continues to this day, proving a wide range of services including mental health care, preschool, job readiness training, and COVID testing.

Henry Street Settlement’s mission is to open doors of opportunity for Lower East Side residents and other New Yorkers through social services, arts, and health care programs. The organization is distinguished by its commitment to listening to and learning from our neighbors—and then acting to meet the most pressing needs of our community.

The Henry Street Settlement

Wald also pioneered having nurses on staff at public schools. She believed healthcare is a right and should be easily accessed by anyone and everyone who needs it. You can read more about her here and here.

About My Look

I consider this ‘closet cosplay’ more than a bound. It’s not an outfit I’d wear out and about my daily routine unless my day included some kind of tribute to nurses or healthcare. But everything I’m wearing came out of my closet and was crafted to resemble the photo of Wald.

I chose a simple garment for the undershirt— I didn’t have anything quilted so I went with this thermal I got a few years ago for a Belle Disneybound. The skirt was purchased secondhand and originally made for a production of The Music Man. I wore it over a crinoline that was also purchased secondhand from a local theater.

To give the impression of a nurse’s hat, I pinched the back of a sailor cap. It was purchased at Spirit Halloween for my Robin Buckley look for Costober 2019. The shawl was a table covering and the white belt was from one of my daughter’s anime cosplays.

Finally, my favorite part. The top is a replica scrub made for Grey’s Anatomy. I found it at Savers, in their uniform section. I was so delighted to find it. I may have to do Grey’s character for Costober 2021!

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