Our History

Addie Strong on the Centennial of New Milford Visiting Nurse and Hospice

1918 – 2018

One hundred years.  You might think that’s a long time, but to me, it’s just a fragment.  I’m Adeline “Addie” Strong, and I am watching over all of you.  One hundred short years ago I was engaged in the struggle for women’s suffrage.  Yes, there was a women’s movement, even in New Milford.  During and after the First World War, women were realizing their strength and their need to have a voice and take charge.  The war also brought home the scourge of the worldwide flu epidemic.  My good friend, Ina Beach, and I realized that urgent nursing care was needed, and the best way to do this was to form an independent agency.  However, it was 1918, and we knew that we needed to enlist the help of a male backer. We reached out to John Plumb, rector of the Episcopal Church.  He was a forward-thinking clergyman, who knew that the real value of the Church rested in what it did in the greater community.  With donations from generous supporters we began by hiring one nurse.  Thus, the New Milford Visiting Nurse Association was born.  That was probably the greatest achievement of my life.  We saved lives, and brought public health awareness to our rural town.

The recent events in our country hearten me, and make me proud of women who are speaking out.  Women are strong, capable, and natural leaders.  I look at New Milford Visiting Nurse & Hospice, and see a century of care hundreds of strong women have given to our community.  I also see how much they are needed right now in this very challenging health care climate, and how much their expertise will be needed in the years to come.  Well done, New Milford Visiting Nurse Association! I look forward to our future!

Written by New Milford VNA & Hospice Volunteer Historian