Brandywine Home Health Agency 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.
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On April 11, 1917 representatives of various churches and women's organizations in Coatesville met at the request of Mrs. Charles F. Innis, Chairman of the Health and Hygiene Committee of the Coatesville Century Club to organize and implement a home nursing service for the area. Miss Anna Harlan, president of the Club, stressed the importance of the organization as a general philanthropy and for this reason every church denomination and women's organization in the city was invited to cooperate. The new agency would be financed by the Associated Charities, patient fees, membership dues and contributions, and be known as the Coatesville Visiting Nurse Association. Mrs. Arthur Hoopes was elected the first president and Miss Minnie Creagh, a Red Cross Nurse, was employed.
The newly founded association provided home nursing visits to tuberculosis, acute and chronic disease patients, as well as supplying maternity care and school health services. During World War I, an infant care services program was instituted for working mothers employed in industries. The national influenza pandemic of 1918/19 had a strong impact on the Coatesville area, causing the deaths of hundreds of local residents. Miss Creagh and the association's twenty nurse volunteers worked heroically to care for their affected clients. During the 1940s and 50s, the agency was chartered by the Chester County Court as a non-profit organization (1944). With the exception of the orthopedic and prenatal clinics, all other clinics were integrated into the hospital setting. An intensive home care service (1954) was organized for patients with long-term illnesses, providing a health team approach which included physical, occupational, and speech therapy as well as medical social services.
The VNA's coordination of services with other social, health, and civil organizations was seen as an important community service along with health promotion and prevention of illnesses. As needed, for instance, physicians were brought in for particular cases. The agency participated in a health week featuring health classes and a community parade. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, services were expanded to include well-baby, orthopedic, mental health, prenatal, and dental clinics. The staff increased to four nurses. Also, reflecting a national trend towards mobility, the agency acquired two automobiles to eliminate the nurses' dependence on public transportation and to better utilize their time.
Home health care became one of the fastest growing industries in the United States beginning in the mid-sixties and seventies. It grew in both size and service. It was recognized as an important factor in the entire health care delivery system following the federal government's Medicare program. Coatesville Visiting Nursing Association was certified for Medicare participation in 1966. To meet the social as well as the health needs of the elderly with acute and chronic illnesses, services were expanded to include home-health aide. Also, a licensed practical nurse was employed. Adult Health Clinics were established for health teaching and promotion for senior citizen groups focusing on preventative health care. The orthopedic clinic was taken over by Coatesville Hospital (later Brandywine Hospital).
In collaboration with the Hospice of Chester County and Home Health Services of Chester County, the agency established a home-based hospice service in 1982. Changes in federal and state health insurance laws forced hospitals and community home health agencies to evaluate service for quality and cost-effectiveness. As a result of these changes, the agency and the Brandywine Hospital agreed to merge their expertise and resources in 1984, avoiding duplication of home health service for post-hospitalized patients. The agency also joined partnership with other health agencies to form Chester Valley Health Services in 1985 in order to provide supplemental support care that is full or part time nursing or homemaking service. In 1986, the pre-natal clinic was taken over by the Chester County Health Department due to increased demand of staff’s time. Since its beginning this organization has had two name changes in order to keep abreast of trends in home health services. The first occurred in 1981 when the name Coatesville Visiting Nurse Association was changed to Coatesville-Brandywine Home Health Agency, Inc. In 1985, Coatesville was deleted from the agency's name and became Brandywine Home Health Agency, Inc.
Gift of Philippe Ouellette.
- 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 materials documenting the Agency's founding and accomplishments. A complete set of monthly board of directors and annual meeting minutes (1917-1987) provides the best overview, from an administrative perspective, of their activities. In addition, contractual agreements for services with other health agencies, individuals, and schools of nursing (1962-1989) are available as well as committee reports (1956-1986). As far as administrative procedure, there are a revision of bylaws (1986), three board of directors of nursing manuals (1943-1987) and files relating to the agency's evaluation (1979-1988).
This small series consists of a typed manuscript of the agency's history (1917-1990), originally prepared in 1983 and revised in 1990. Included also, is a comprehensive history written by Elizabeth M. Baker, Board Member, (1917-1971) focusing on the establishment of health care services for the community.
Found in this series are the Agency's audited financial statements and correspondence from an accounting firm. Also included in this series are a file of appropriation from boroughs and townships (1970), a cash receipt ledger (1968-1977), and a saving account bank book (1938).
This series contains minutes, the majority for the period 1969-1987, of the following committees: evaluation, budget and finance, long-range planning, nursing, personnel, professional advisory, and reorganization.
This series includes correspondence of Linda W. Godshall, R.N., Director (1982-1989); medical certification (1966-1976); United Way of Chester Country (1981-1985); and staff memos (1980-1988). Files also include incoming and outgoing selected correspondence with coordinated funding agencies, community health agencies, board members, patients, and volunteers.
Found in this series are the Agency's philosophy, goals, services, policies and procedures (1984-1990), and in-service education program (1987-1988). There are files relating to the planning and implementation of the intensive home care service which include Eleanor M. Morris' file regarding adult health service (1977).
This series includes personnel policies (1920-1990); job descriptions (1990); staff nurses directories (1984-1988); and a nursing procedure manual (1966). Also included are a case history file (1944), clinical records (1987), and two poems, author unknown, titled "Visiting Nurse" and "Visiting Nurse Black Bag" (1940).
This series includes various materials used for public relations purposes such as pamphlets highlighting services provided (1935-1980) and annual reports (1944-1947). Some examples from this series are an advertisement (1986), tape for a slide presentation with accompanying narrative (1981 and 1983), invitation for annual meetings, a guestbook for Open House (1982), newspaper clippings (1947-1989) and a presentation in slide format entitled "Pictorial Story of a Day in the Life of a Visiting Nurse" (1960). A file for the booklet published by the Metropolitan Insurance Company, entitled, "Visiting Nurse" (1928) is also included.
In this series certificates of appreciation, memberships, and resolutions of acknowledgement of services can be found. Also here are the manuscript and printed versions of, Devotions by Katherine S. Miller, Board Member (1924-1956). The scrapbooks (1933-1987) contain a variety of local newspaper clippings which promote the Brandywine Home Health Services.
This small series includes dental and medical instruments, insulin syringes, as well as the Coatesville Visiting Nurse rubber stamp (1917-1981) and copper printing plate depicting a visiting nurse (1930).
Key: letters indicate duplicate photographs: p.4a is the duplicate of p.4.
The photographs in this series are of a public relations nature and depict nurses preparing for home-visiting; nurses working in the home, clinic, and school; and group, as well as individual, photographs of staff and board of directors. Also, the photographs record the work of volunteers and events, such as annual meetings and the open-house ceremony of the new headquarters. The small slide collection covers nursing services, images of nurses, and administrative support staffs' office activities.