Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut records
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut was founded in 1904 as the Visiting Nurse Association of New Haven. It began its first full year of service in 1905 under the leadership of Lillian E. Prudden, its first board president. That year, the agency's first visiting nurse, Miss Mary Grace Hills, made 1500 home visits. Since its establishment, the Association has had as its objective "to meet community health needs" of New Haven and surrounding areas. In 1920, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, Yale University's Department of Public Health, and the City Department of Health, the Association initiated a health center demonstration project to provide preventative and curative health services. In 1922, to provide more effective nursing care services for families and patients, services became generalized; that is, one staff nurse would provide all public health nursing services to one family instead of several staff nurses visiting the same family.
During the 1960s, the Association provided community health care to East Haven, New Haven, West Haven, and Milford. It was able to do this with support from United Way, groups such as the New Haven Foundation, and the cooperation of local departments of health. Also, the agency entered into a contractual arrangement with the City of New Haven Department of Health to provide nursing staff for sixty of New Haven's public and parochial schools. In addition, the association served twenty pre-kindergarten centers sponsored by the City's Department of Education.
The VNA of New Haven was much involved with multiple other community social and health agencies and school districts. For instance, in 1961, the agency participated in the Cooperative Care Project, which provided care to mentally ill patients and their families for a five year period. The association also worked with the Conte School Demonstration Project to implement a public health nursing service in the elementary schools of selected New Haven districts. Working with Yale-New Haven Medical Center, the association also helped in a demonstration project for comprehensive family health care services.
During the late 1960s and 1970s, the agency had to curtail its preventative health care services. It became difficult to direct efforts toward meeting the home care needs of the chronically ill, the handicapped, and the elderly while simultaneously maintaining the New Haven school nursing services. . The agency's clientele, as in other cities, was living increasingly longer and needed assistance to cope with the effects of long-term illness (rather than acute illness). These trends prompted in the agency’s shift away from health prevention services. Changes such as these, along with escalating costs of institutional care increased governmental and public awareness of the advantages of in-home health care services.
After several years of collaborative working relationships, a formal contract became effective with Connecticut Hospice, Inc. (1978) for the Visiting Nurse Association to provide home health aides and nursing and physical therapy services to patients in the Hospice Home Care Program. The Visiting Nurse Association of New Haven, since its founding, has responded to changing social and health problems and continues to be in the forefront in meeting its community's needs.
Almost a decade after the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut started, Milford Visiting Nurse Association was founded in 1919. The minutes of the February 15, 1944 board meeting document planning for the agency's twenty-fifth anniversary in April 1944. In that meeting, Mrs. Harold Hawkins, a former agency president, informed the group that Mrs. Snyder's (formerly the agency's board secretary) home was burglarized. Much of her personal property was stolen together with the records of the Association. These were never recovered. Therefore, details covering that period were not available. The agency was originally known as the Milford Public Health Nursing Association, but in 1948, when the agency officially incorporated, its name was changed to the Milford Visiting Nurse Association.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, in response to restructuring health care systems, the association did a study of the effectiveness of its services and the impact of Medicare certification. The study's report indicated that the Association would have difficulties finding a qualified nursing director and that it faced administration problems. The report recommended a joint meeting of the Milford Visiting Nurse Association with the New Haven Visiting Nurse Association board of directors to develop a plan for coordinating services. The two agencies met on September 15, 1966, and a contract was signed. It enabled the Milford VNA to purchase nursing supervisory and administration services from the New Haven Visiting Nurse Association. The home care and maternal/child care services offered by the Milford VNA were continued under the supervision and consultative services of the New Haven VNA.
The Agency was founded in May 4, 1904, with the first full year of service beginning in 1905. This collection includes records mainly from the 1930's to 1990's, with the exception of the Home Economics Committee minutes from 1920-1931 and history of nutrition service (1911-1949). The documents are of the Association's service evaluations, National League for Nursing accreditation, committee planning for meeting community health and service needs, annual reports (1960-1993) and service manuals.
Gift of Joanne Walsh, 1995.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Center staff, updated by Bethany Myers
- Access Restrictions
This collection is unrestricted.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
This series includes the Association's committee reports and minutes (1932-1976). It provides documentation of evaluating service programs (1975-1979) as well as National League for Nursing and American Public Health Association Accreditation Reports (1966-1979); short and long-range plan (1980-1987); events and accomplishments (1959-1965); and financial data (1943-1973).
This small series consists of a chronological development of agencies services (1905-1979) and records of the Associations's celebration of its 70th anniversary (1974).
See also History of Nutrition Services in Series I (Box 1, Folder 8).
Found in this series are studies and projects done in relationship with other community agencies. These projects include the development of the first hospice program (1969-1978), a community needs assessment study (1982), and the home health aide projects (1967).
Included in this series are manuals of policies and procedures for the implementation of patient care services and for documentation of care provided back in the home and clinics.
This series includes annual and board meeting minutes (1972-1978); reports of annual committee and board president; and a loose-leaf book of board meeting minutes (1937-1958).