We are community – the history of Community Nurse & Hospice Care.
Community Nurse & Hospice Care has been serving our community since 1916, when a group of concerned citizens organized themselves as the Fairhaven Mothers’ Club and raised $142 to hire a “Community Nurse.” She was Community Nurse & Hospice Care’s first official employee. This was the start of our steadfast commitment to our patients, families and community which has endured for over 95 years.
Throughout the early years the Community Nurse’s duties varied, focusing initially on well infant clinics and preventing infant mortality. But as the needs and demands of the community grew, so did the organization. In 1920, through town and community support, the nurse was “furnished with an automobile” and was housed in the basement of the Fairhaven Town Hall. Community Nurse Association of Fairhaven, as we came to be called, became integral in helping stem the tides of influenza outbreaks and caring for tuberculosis patients in the town of Fairhaven. Our services expanded to the treatment of all Fairhaven residents and then went well beyond the town line. In the 1990’s Community Nurse launched the first Medicare certified hospice program in the South Coast area. It was at this point that our name changed to Community Nurse & Hospice Care to reflect our complete service offerings. Since 1990 our service area increased and our nursing staff grew by leaps and bounds, we welcomed therapists, home health aids, and medical social workers to address the needs of our patients. We were quickly out growing our space in the Fairhaven Town Hall.
In 1993, through a generous donation, Community Nurse & Hospice Care found a new home. Last month we celebrated nineteen years in the Bradford Russell Home, our Fairhaven office at 62 Center Street in downtown Fairhaven. This historic home was first built as a private residence for a wealthy sea captain. In 1935 the George Cox estate donated the home to a group of women to run and operate as a not-for-profit home for aged women. The home was renamed the Bradford Russell Home and operated as such until the early 1990’s when Community Nurse & Hospice Care moved from the town hall. Community Nurse & Hospice Care is proud to be the steward of the Bradford Russell Home and to continue the tradition of providing not-for-profit, comprehensive, quality health care services to our community.
Our service area and offerings continue to grow. Our staff now travels past the Fall River area, up as far north as Middleboro and as far east as the Bourne. We have two bustling locations: 84 Rogers Street in Dartmouth and 62 Center Street in Fairhaven. Our continuum of care includes home care, hospice & palliative care and a private care division. As we grow, we are ever mindful of our continued commitment to comprehensive, quality services.
Over the years our size, our “neighborhood” and the roster of services we offer may have grown and evolved but Community Nurse & Hospice Care has stayed true to our original mission: We bring caring home. And we care for our neighbors when you need us.