Saturday, July 20, 2024

Stratford VNA: 105 Years of History Serving Stratford

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Stratford Visiting Nurse Association, Inc.

Courtesy of Mary Therien, President/CEO of Stratford Visiting Nurse Association, Inc., and Nancy Glovinski

Did you know that our Stratford VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) was first named one of the HomeCare Elitetm in 2009, again in 2011, and every year since?

How many home care agencies have been operating for 105 years and consistently awarded being in the top 25% of home care agencies nationally for clinical, financial and quality outcomes, patient satisfaction and outcome improvement.

In 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Stratford VNA was additionally named one of the Top 500 Agencies in the country, and in 2018 was named one of the Top 100 Agencies in the country. This highly-esteemed award exemplifies the quality of care provided by Stratford VNA. Several times we have been named to the Top Workplaces list, and in 2013 were named the Top Workplace in Fairfield County.

In July, 1993, Stratford VNA became the first non-profit organization in the state to achieve accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

We have come a long way since 1919, but with growing changes in education, medicine, and procedures, we must be ready at all times to meet new challenges.

Nursing work was started in Stratford as a peace time activity by the local chapter of the American Red Cross in 1919.  Mrs. C. Kennedy, wife of the Episcopal Rector, was the first President.  Mrs. Kennedy was a woman of unusual vision and patriotism, and it was due to her splendid leadership that this work grew and prospered, making a most effective contribution to the welfare of the community in the early days.

The first Public Health Nurse was Miss Beatrice Olson, whose personality and nursing skill endeared her to all. She carried her little black bag, and either walked or rode on the streetcar to visit her patients. The Town Selectmen built a small office for her on the first floor of the old Town Hall; and under conditions that today would seem impossible, she achieved remarkable results.

Early in our existence in 1919, the State Tuberculosis Commission appointed us the agent for the Tuberculosis Seal Sale Program. The work of the Christmas Seal drive was carried on by the Tuberculosis Committee of the Nursing Association until 1962, a period of 43 years, when we were incorporated into the Greater Bridgeport Area Tuberculosis Association.

In 1920 we opened a Tuberculosis Clinic, with Dr. Lynch of Laurel Heights Sanitarium in charge. That was also the year of the first great influenza epidemic, and under the supervision of Miss Olson, our nurse, the Board Members of the Public Health Nursing Association did heroic work for our community.

Our next office was located in the Whiting House, a colonial house standing on the site now occupied by our new Town Hall. Following this home, we were moved back to the old Town Hall on the second floor, where we remained for a number of years. Here is where we started to show our strength in Public Health Nursing to the community.

In 1922 we accepted the responsibility for conducting the Red Cross Roll Call for the Stratford Chapter, and this we continued to do until April, 1944.

From 1924 to 1926, many hours were spent in the study of a cost per visit, and when you realize we had to satisfy the Metropolitan and the John Hancock Insurance Companies of the wisdom of our expenditures, you may be sure this study had to be both complete and thorough. Our cost per visit was $1.00.  We served both of these companies for many years.

Pictured Below:  1925 Nurses

In 1930 we arranged and financed a Health Survey of Stratford by Dr. Ira Hiscock of Yale. This report was printed in the 1931 Town Report.

For several years we promoted an X-Ray Program in the local schools under the supervision of the State Department of Health; and a follow-up program, where indicated, was carried out.

In 1949, the name of our organization was changed from the Stratford Public Health Nursing Association to the Stratford Visiting Nurse Association, Inc.

In June, 1956, when the old Town Hall was torn down, our headquarters were relocated to Room 217 of the new Town Hall. On July 1, 1960, the two registered nurses from the Department of Health integrated with the Visiting Nurse Association nurses.

In 1972 our offices were moved to the Health and Welfare Building located directly across the street from the Town Hall. In 1989 we moved our offices to a house located at 2526 Main Street near the Stratford Railroad Station. In August, 1993, our offices were relocated to north Stratford at 88 Ryders Lane on the second floor.

2526 Main Street Office

Stratford VNA moved one more time when we were able to purchase and renovate our current building at 3060 Main Street in 2018.

Stop by and visit us (pun intended), call with questions, let us help you with home health care!

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