Founded in Branford
by Liza Carroll
In 1910, when there was only a handful of District
Nursing Associates in Connecticut, Dr. Charles W.
Gaylord, Branford's Health Officer, recognized a
need for a nursing agency in Branford. He arranged
an organizational meeting and by the following week
a slate of officers was presented.
On November 1, 1910, Miss Maude Britt was hired as
the first nurse at a salary of $65 a month. For
patient visits she had to pay her own transportation
costs. In her first year Miss Britt saw three
cases and assisted Dr. Gaylord in an operation on a
small boy with diphtheria. That was an all night
visit and the child did not survive; all too often
the result in those days. Miss Britt made 123 calls
that first month, quite a few in a town of only
The nursing agency got underway with only $48.50 in
its treasury, but fundraising was on-going. Things
really began to look up when the Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company retained the Association nurse to
care for its medical cases in Branford - a
relationship that continued for many years. Early
funds also came from Christmas Seal sales, all of
which had to go for the care of TB cases.
In 1918, Dr. Gaylord died, and it was decided to
establish the Gaylord Public Health Office in his
name in two rooms rented from the Community Council;
the first time space was provided for the staff
nurse. In 1922 the Branford Visiting Nurse
Association was formally incorporated and promptly
bought a house at 29 South Main Street, where the
theater is now.