A healthy community for all. 


To deliver unmatched, compassionate healthcare when and where it is needed. 

RVNAhealth began in 1914, when a group of civic-minded women met at the Main Street home of Mrs. Ebenezer Keeler and resolved to bring homecare nursing to Ridgefield. This was the start of the District Nursing Association. Following the precedent set by Florence Nightingale in England and the Henry Street Settlement on the lower east side of Manhattan, these women introduced public health nursing to Ridgefield.

The District Nursing Association (“DNA”) was established to assist the town health officer, visit the sick and needy, establish a school health program, and disseminate health information to the community. The DNA nurse attended to patients’ environment, nourishment, treatment, and medication. In addition to general care, the nurse often found it necessary to contribute clothes, food, equipment, and housekeeping services to people in need of relief. Irene Hoyt, one of the agency’s first nurses, became the symbol of the DNA, joining in 1927, and remaining on staff until 1972.

Introducing Round-the-Clock Service

Building on knowledge gained from experience and lessons learned from the growing public health movement, the DNA further advanced the concept of healing in the home and in the community. By 1977, the DNA was providing 24-hour service, seven days a week, with 38 full- and part-time professional staff.

During the 1980s we introduced many new services, including blood pressure clinics, a nursing registry, vision and hearing screenings, wellness seminars, and support groups. The staff then included physical and occupational therapists, a dietitian and a medical social worker. In 1983, the DNA Hospice program accepted its first patients as a member of Mid-Fairfield Hospice.

By 1993, the agency was accredited with commendation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In 2002, the DNA was accredited, again with commendation, by the Community Health Accreditation Program (“CHAP”). We are licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and certified as a Medicare provider by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration. The majority of our services are funded by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers. We also benefit greatly from other income, including contributions and grants, town funding and endowment income, to cover free care and community programs.

New Millennium, New Initiatives

In 2005, The Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, Inc., changed its name to Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association (abbreviated to “RVNA”) and began a strategic community education initiative to highlight our commitment to, and relationship with, the greater Ridgefield area. Today, our service area has expanded to 35+ towns across several counties in Connecticut.

In 2007, RVNA adopted progressive technologies that enabled clinicians to create and access electronic medical records, and to also work remotely in order to meet clients’ needs. In 2009, we introduced the Quality Living at Home program, addressing an aging demographic and becoming a regional leader among aging-in- place programs.

Recognized as one of the top agencies in our field for our strength, dedication and compassion, RVNA received the Hearst Top Workplace Award and was named to the HomeCare Elite. Both awards distinguish Medicare-certified agencies among the top 25% of providers nationwide. We have since won the Top Workplace Award eleven times.


RVNA celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014 and the century mark introduced a new era of progress and growth, with RVNA offering an expanded range of in-home and onsite services aligned with our mission and vision.

In 2014, we began offering non-medical caregivers to complement our clinical services (RVNAhealth Caregiving Services). In 2016, we relocated to a new building on Governor Street in Ridgefield, the Center for Exceptional Care. It features clinical rooms, a teaching kitchen, and the RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. In 2018, we extended our services to include end-of-life care, with RVNAHealth Hospice Services.

Over the decades, our agency’s name and logo have evolved: Founded as the District Nursing Association, we became the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, and then Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association in 2006. On October 5, 2019, we announced our new name, RVNAhealth. The new name deliberately preserves our organization’s legacy and roots, yet better conveys the breadth and depth of the services and regional area we serve. RVNAhealth aligns well with our commitment to serve the lifelong care and wellness needs of individuals in the communities we serve. 

In the fall of 2020, RVNAhealth merged operations with Bethel Visiting Nurse Association, and New Milford Visiting Nurse & Hospice.  The single agency operates as RVNAhealth with the primary location in Ridgefield CT and a branch office in New Milford. The new RVNAhealth presently serves 35+ towns in Connecticut, located in Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties.

We are excited and well-positioned to address the changing face of health care with a strategic vision for the future, while remaining committed to our mission of providing exceptional home and community health care services, supporting public health and safety and promoting the highest quality of life.

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