Town Manager John S. Mangiaratti wishes to recognize the work of Acton Public Health Nursing Services as it celebrates 100 years of providing services to the residents of Acton
ANS played a vital role in supporting Acton residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The team performed contact tracing, provided education and guidance on the constantly changing pandemic, worked with the Vaccination Task Force to provide COVID-19 inoculations in a clinic setting and a mobile unit for homebound residents and supplied on-the-spot help whenever needed.
ANS made it a mission to educate residents about the pandemic, providing timely health information and resources. Nurses worked closely with the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and the district's Health team to disseminate important information about COVID-19 protocols to students, parents, teachers, and the community.
ANS began with a single nurse. In 1918 and 1919, at the height of the Spanish Flu pandemic, Acton had a visiting physician for the schools. In 1921, a nurse was assigned to the school.
It was not until March 13, 1922, when Town Meeting voted that the Board of Health should hire a dedicated town nurse. The town voted to appropriate approximately $2,500 to fund the initiative.
ANS is celebrating 100 years since Ida Briedenbach was appointed as the first dedicated Town Nurse on May 17, 1922. Her salary was $825, with an additional $633 for a Ford sedan. The town has had at least one dedicated nurse since.
In 1966, ANS became a Medicare Certified Home Health Care agency to provide services to those requiring in-home support, in addition to their work in helping residents stay healthy with preventive services and programs, including vaccination clinics, blood pressure, and podiatry clinics, walk-in wellness hours and health discussions.
Today, ANS provides a myriad of services to residents, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and certified home health services in the home after an illness, injury, or surgical procedures. Public Health Services include a variety of clinics, health discussions, and Horticultural Therapy classes, including the six-week "Balance Matters!" program with additional Balance Maintenance classes to promote safety from falls at home and in the community.
A celebration of ANS will be held on Tuesday, May 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Human Services and Senior Center, 30 Sudbury Road. The event will include light refreshments and speakers and is an opportunity for residents to mingle with the ANS staff.
While ANS hopes that residents remain safe and healthy, if you, a family member, neighbor, or friend needs help, call ANS at 978-929-6650.