“Health care reform” . . . Those three words have become a part of our national language, especially in the last few years. It’s an ongoing process. Did you know it has been ongoing for almost 200 years? Whose name do you associate with health care reform? Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? How about Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, to a prominent British family who expected her to marry a wealthy man, someone befitting her social standing. Florence, however, had other ideas. In fact, she had what she felt was a divine calling to minister to the ill and the poor. Against her family’s wishes, she became a nurse and embarked on a career that changed medical care from then on.
Of especial note was a new emphasis on sanitation in hospitals. The practices Florence Nightingale instituted reduced the death count at a British base hospital during the Crimean War by two-thirds. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform.