Our humble beginnings
Carefor's personal support
Carefor Health & Community Services, established in 1897, was the first branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) - Canada's first national community nursing and health care organization.
Then called VON Ottawa, our association aimed at providing skilled nurses in sparsely settled districts, attending to the sick and poor in their homes and attending to persons with low incomes at very reasonable charges.
The humble beginnings of Carefor Health & Community Services can be traced back to early 1897 when two nurses each single-handedly covered a district in Ottawa, using only a horse and buggy as their means of transportation!
As the years passed, the Ottawa association grew exponentially. By 1920 services had extended beyond standard health care visits to include child and social welfare visits.
Through the depression years, close to 900 visits were made to those who were unable to pay for their vital services. During the Second World War, and into the present, the services of the Ottawa branch were expanded to include wellness baby clinics, as well as an increase in free nursing visits and a nurse training partnership with the University of Ottawa's esteemed School of Nursing. Later, the Ottawa branch would change its name to the VON Ottawa-Carleton branch, reflecting the expansion of geographical areas covered.
In 2005, VON Ottawa-Carleton amalgamated with VON Renfrew County to streamline administrative costs and better serve the Ottawa and Renfrew County communities, thus becoming VON Ottawa-Renfrew County. Proudly, additional services were once again added, including a frozen meal program, volunteer visiting and a transportation service.
In October 2006, VON Ottawa-Renfrew County turned a new page in its impressive history, being rebranded under the name Carefor Health & Community Services. With the change of name Carefor became an independent local charity serving Ottawa and Renfrew County. We are proud of our long standing history in the community over the past century for delivering quality home health care services and we continue to deliver on our commitment to the local communities we are a part of today.
In April 2007, Carefor Health & Community Services again joined forces and amalgamated with VON Eastern Counties. Though we are known under the Carefor banner, the dedication of our staff and the many not-for-profit health care services we offer and the charitable work we do remains the same as in the past. We look forward to continuing to serve the Renfrew County, Eastern Counties and Ottawa communities through the expansion of quality home health care and community support services to meet the needs of the individual communities we serve.
Today, Carefor has more than 1300 staff offering professional services such as nursing and in-home physiotherapy through to personal support services and community support services such as Meals on Wheels and transportation. Our organization is now seeking to stretch its caring hand even further to the communities of Eastern Ontario and beyond.
Carefor Health & Community Services looks forward to serving you now and in the future.