11/25/2015 13:57 EST | Updated 11/25/2016 00:12 EST

Facts on the Victorian Order of Nurses

OTTAWA — Here are some facts about the Victorian Order of Nurses, which announced Wednesday it was ceasing operations in six provinces and cutting the size of its head office:

FOUNDED: Established in 1897, VON provides home nursing, corporate health and home support services across the country. It's the longest-standing home and community health care non-profit organization in Canada.

HISTORY: In the late 1890s, the National Council of Women passed a resolution asking Lady Ishbel Aberdeen, wife of Canada’s Governor General, to found an order of visiting nurses in Canada in honour of the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne. The country was facing a shortage of nurses, doctors and hospitals at the time, particularly in remote areas.

BY THE NUMBERS: Before the cuts, roughly 6,500 employees and 9,000 volunteers delivered 75 programs and services in 1,200 communities across Canada.

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH: The organization has a dedicated nurse scientist, Dr. Ariella Lang, whose research informs VON's policies, planning and strategic operations.

ADVOCACY: VON Canada advocates on behalf of Canadians to help influence the country's health and social services.

Source: The Victorian Order of Nurses website.

The Canadian Press