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The

VNA

is 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 typhoid 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 6,000.

     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.

 

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