Our History

Stratford VNA, Established 1919

Stratford VNA's circa 1920'sNursing 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 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. Continue reading…