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.
Written by New Milford VNA & Hospice Volunteer Historian