Wills Eye Hospital is a non-profit specialty hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is dedicated to improving vision health. Wills Eye Hospital provides a full range of ophthalmic sub-specialty services and is home of one of the few Eye Emergency Departments in the country. Founded in 1832, Wills Eye Hospital is the oldest eye hospital in the nation and played a vital role in pioneering advances in the prevention and treatment of eye diseases. Wills Eye’s mission is to serve as a comprehensive center of ophthalmology and make eye care accessible and responsive to the needs of underserved children and adults in the local community.
The 2019 Wills Eye Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was conducted to identify vision health issues in Philadelphia. To assess the unmet vision needs in Philadelphia, input was solicited from individuals with expertise in Philadelphia’s public health issues and individuals from medically underserved, low-income, and minority populations in Philadelphia were surveyed. Data reported by the U.S. Consensus Bureau, 2017 and 2018 Health of the City reports from the Department of Public Health of Philadelphia, and 2017 and 2019 Philadelphia State of the City reports from the PEW Charitable Trusts were used to describe the geography and demographics of Philadelphia.
The following vision health needs of children and residents of underserved areas of Philadelphia were identified based on the results of this assessment in order of priority:
- 1. Low awareness of ocular diseases that cause vision loss such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration among adults in underserved areas
- 2. Pediatric vision screenings in children under 17 and low adherence to obtain glasses or follow-up with a pediatric ophthalmologist
- 3. A sustainable model for vision screenings and adherence to follow-up care in community centers in underserved areas