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Eliza Steele, Rockland’s legendary nurse—inspirational, formidable, and devoted to the well-being of the community.


As the Rockland District Nursing Association celebrates it 90th anniversary, Peta vanVururen  says of founder Eliza Steele,  “She really is the vision of RDNA. To me, the connection to the community, the community supporting district nursing, is key to understanding the survival of this partnership between local government, civic leaders and the nurses for all of these years.” Over the decades, Steele regularly held well-baby, vaccination and dental clinics – free of charge, including follow-up care with area physician, visited area elderly in their homes, cared for ill residents during infectious disease outbreaks, and is well remembered as the nurse in the local schools, before schools hired nurses especially while area physicians served during WWII. 


Peta vanVuuren, Tenants Harbor resident and RDNA executive director, is inspired daily in her leadership of the agency that is still fulfilling mission of community nursing founded by Steele 90 years ago.

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