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Leadership

Julia A. Haller, MD
Ophthalmologist-in-Chief

Julia A. Haller, MD, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Wills Eye Hospital, is a trailblazing retina surgeon-scientist and leader who has innovated translational advances against blindness on many fronts.

Dr. Haller was educated at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. After her Halsted internship in surgery at Johns Hopkins, residency in ophthalmology and retina fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, she served as Wilmer’s first female Chief Resident. Recruited to the Hopkins faculty thereafter, Haller directed the retina fellowship, was named to the inaugural Katharine Graham Chair in Ophthalmology, and subsequently to the inaugural Robert Bond Welch, M.D. Professorship. In 2007 she was appointed Ophthalmologist-in-Chief and William Tasman, MD Endowed Chair at Wills Eye Hospital, and Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals. She is a Consultant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. One of the world’s most renowned retina surgeons, Dr. Haller has published over 400 scientific articles and book chapters, with research interests in retinal pharmacology, macular surgery, venous occlusive disease, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, complicated retinal detachments, health care disparities, and gender equity.

Elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, Dr. Haller’s honors include the Rolex Achievement Award (to a past NCAA lacrosse player), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Honor Award, the AAO Senior Achievement Award, the Vitreous Society Senior Honor Award, the Crystal Apple Award (for mentorship) of the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), the Kreissig Award from EURETINA, the President’s Award from Women in Ophthalmology (WIO), a Secretariat Award from the AAO, the Gertrude Pyron Award from the Retina Research Foundation/ASRS, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAO, the Louis Braille Award from Associated Services for the Blind, the Heed Award from the Society of Heed Fellows, the Donald Gass Medal from the Macula Society, the Strittmatter Award from the Philadelphia Medical Society (their highest honor), the AAO EnergEYES Award, the WIO Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman Award, the Charles L. Schepens, MD, Keynote Lecture Award from the Retina Research Foundation/AAO, and election to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. She holds Chair XVI of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. She chairs the Board of the Society of Heed Fellows and the Council of the American Ophthalmological Society, and serves on the Boards of the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation and the AAO Foundation Board of Advisors. She is past president of the Retina Society, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, as well as a founding member of Women in Retina. Her editorial board service includes RETINA, Retinal Physician, Retina Times, Ocular Surgery News, Retina Today, and Ophthalmology Times.

A Director of Bristol Myers Squibb, Eyenovia, Opthea, and Outlook Therapeutics, a former Director of Celgene Corporation, and past Trustee of both Princeton University and the Bryn Mawr School, Dr. Haller serves as President of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, Chair of the Board of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Vice Chair, Section 6 of National Academy of Medicine, and on the Board of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. She and her husband, John D. Gottsch, M.D, the Margaret C. Mosher Professor of Ophthalmology at Hopkins, have five children: John, Natalie, Will, Alex, and Clare.

Joseph P. Bilson
Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer since 2007, Joseph P. Bilson has developed an impressive record of success.  Mr. Bilson’s leadership has achieved clinical volume goals through aggressive program development and robust financial performance during some of the harshest global economic periods on record.

Mr. Bilson’s accomplishments have been many during his 30 years with Wills Eye.  He strategically planned and developed a very successful network of multi-state ambulatory surgery centers.  He implemented major projects, including Wills On Wheels, a new mobile eye clinic for community outreach and education.  He constructed a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Testing Center with advanced testing equipment not available elsewhere in the Eastern United States.  He also launched the Wills Eye Knowledge Portal for online ophthalmic medical education.

Mr. Bilson also has served as President of the Wills Eye Surgical Network since 1995.  Prior to Wills Eye, he held various senior positions with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Mercy Catholic Medical Center.  Mr. Bilson attended Penn State University and Rowan University.  He is a graduate of the School of Business with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.  He graduated magna cum laude with honors.  He is president of the American Association of Eye and Ear Centers of Excellence, where he also served as Secretary/Treasurer in 2009.

Under his leadership, Wills Eye has ranked consistently as one of the nation's top ophthalmic specialty hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.