Visiting Nurse Association


The Association provided visiting nurse services, including rehabilitation; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; and hospice services.


After her daughter Edna died of diphtheria, Kate Virginia McMullen donated enough money to provide a nurse to the poor for four months. In 1897, Fanny Faltz was hired as the first nurse, doing rounds in a borrowed car during the winter and on a bicycle during the summer. The organization provided one nurse for 25 years. The organization was incorporated in 1912 and in 1924 they added another full-time nurse. By 1936 they had ten nurses and were receiving aid from the Evanston Community Chest (later United Way). The non-profit organization grew to include a hospice program, physical, occupational and speech therapy, and caretakers for the elderly. In 1997, Northwestern Healthcare (Evanston Hospital) took over the VNA and put a separate organization in its place, ending the VNA program.


In 1897, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) was founded by Jessie Chandler (1874-1954) and Nancy Lutkin (1861-1949) to provide nursing services to the sick and poor. The VNA was especially concerned with infant mortality, inadequate sanitation and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. For 25 years the VNA funded one nurse who traveled by bicycle, carriage and, later, car to families in need. By 1936 the organization had grown to 10 nurses. In 1997 it merged with Evanston Hospital.

Founded: 1897

Founders: Jessie Chandler, Kate McMullen, Nancy Lutkin

Associated Biographies: