ACTON – City Manager John S. Mangiaratti wishes to recognize the work of Acton Public Health Nursing Services (ANS) as he celebrates 100 years of providing services to Acton residents.
ANS has been instrumental in supporting Acton residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The team conducted contact tracing, provided education and advice on the ever-evolving pandemic, worked with the vaccination task force to provide COVID-19 inoculations in a clinic and mobile unit for residents housebound, and provided on-site assistance whenever needed. .
ANS is on a mission to educate residents about the pandemic, providing them with timely health information and resources. Nurses worked closely with the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and the district health team to disseminate important information about COVID-19 protocols to students, parents, teachers and the community.
ANS started with one nurse. In 1918 and 1919, at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic, Acton had a visiting doctor for the schools. In 1921, a nurse was assigned to the school.
It was not until March 13, 1922, when the town assembly voted that the board of health should hire a dedicated town nurse. The city voted to allocate approximately $2,500 to fund the initiative.
ANS is celebrating 100 years since Ida Briedenbach was named the first dedicated city nurse on May 17, 1922. Her salary was $825, with an additional $633 for a Ford sedan. The city has had at least one dedicated nurse since.
In 1966, ANS became a Medicare-certified home health care agency to provide services to those who need home support, in addition to their work to help residents stay healthy through services and preventative programs, including vaccination clinics, blood pressure and podiatry clinics, walk-in wellness hours and health talks.
“Over the decades, ANS has helped tens of thousands of Acton residents maintain and restore their health through a range of services,” City Manager Mangiaratti said. “The City of Acton is very grateful for the services of the dedicated staff and leadership of the Acton Nursing Services team. It’s amazing that for 100 years someone has always been there to help our residents stay healthy.
Today, ANS provides a myriad of services to residents, including certified nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and home health services at home after illness, injury or surgery. Public health services include a variety of clinics, health talks, horticultural therapy classes, including the six-week “Balance Matters!” program with additional balance maintenance classes to promote fall safety in the home and community.
An ALC celebration will be held on Tuesday, May 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Seniors and Social Services Center, 30 Sudbury Road. The event will include light refreshments and guest speakers, and is an opportunity for residents to mingle with ANS staff.
“We hope you will join us in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ANS next month. Our staff love meeting the many wonderful residents of Acton, and it’s an exciting opportunity to interact with our team outside of a healthcare setting,” said ANS Director Heather York.
While ANS hopes residents remain safe and healthy, if you, a family member, neighbor or friend need assistance, call ANS at 978-929-6650.