Community Health Needs Assessment
Wills Eye Hospital is a comprehensive ophthalmology center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wills Eye provides a full range of ophthalmic sub-specialty services and houses one of the only Eye Emergency Departments in the country. The hospital treats over 300,000 patients with eye conditions annually. As the oldest eye hospital in the nation, Wills Eye has a history of breakthrough advances that have defined best practices in vision care and advanced the science of ophthalmology. Our ophthalmology residency program is one of the top in the nation, with 8 doctors obtaining this coveted training program annually and 24 residents total in the program. Ophthalmology fellowships at Wills Eye span more than 8 ophthalmic sub-specialties and train over 15 doctors per year. The residency and fellowship programs at Wills Eye train skilled ophthalmologists who are dedicated to improving and preserving sight. Our clinical expertise makes us a referral center for patients both locally and globally. We are committed to providing accessible eye care and developing community-based outreach programs to meet the vision needs of the Philadelphia community.
The 2016 Wills Eye Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was conducted to identify eye health issues for communities within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The results have enabled Wills Eye to identify community eye care needs, develop community-based programs, and apply for federal, state, and foundation funding in order to improve the eye health of children, adults, and older adults living in Philadelphia.
The Wills Eye CHNA was developed from a systematic review of eye health in Philadelphia, focusing on major ophthalmic public health challenges including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and pediatric vision conditions. Data presented in this CHNA is sourced from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, School District of Philadelphia, 2010 U.S. Census, and results from our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded cooperative agreements. Extracting from these sources, the CHNA describes the demographics of the populations in Philadelphia that are the focus of our community-based outreach programs to detect, treat, and manage various eye conditions.
The process of developing and completing the CHNA consisted of meeting with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and furthering collaboration with our many community partners. According to the National Eye Institute, eye disease is a growing public health problem and can cause significant suffering, disability, loss of productivity, and diminished quality of life for millions of people. As an outcome of establishing community partners, the major focus areas that continued to emerge are:
- Improving access to eye care for people with diabetes
- Early detection and improved management of glaucoma
- Maintaining healthy vision by taking prescribed medications and attending eye care appointments
- Vision screening programs for elementary school-age children