Wills Eye Hospital Secures $1 Million Grant

Funds will go towards an endowed chair in Medical Education


PHILADELPHIA, July 18, 2023 – Wills Eye Hospital today announced it has received a $1 million grant from the Benjamin and Mary Siddons Measey Foundation. The grant will support an Endowed Chair in Medical Education which will provide support for excellence and leadership, as well as consistency and coordination of the organization’s top-ranked medical educational programs. Dr. Doug Wisner, Director of the Cataract and Primary Eye Care service at Wills Eye, is the proposed first chairholder.

“Education is central to the hospital’s mission and something at which Dr. Wisner personally excels,” said Julia A. Haller, MD, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Wills Eye Hospital. “Our residency program has consistently been ranked as one of the highest in the nation because our model teaches young residents and fellows how to learn, share, and question. This creates highly adaptable physicians who can efficiently address routine patient care while adjusting to the many complex cases seen each year. The generosity from the Measey Foundation will allow us to continue to enhance and pilot innovative approaches to training the top eye surgeons in the country.”

Central to Wills Eye’s mission has been its unrelenting focus and investment in medical education. In addition to its award-winning residency program, highly competitive fellowship program, and a robust calendar of Continuing Medical Education programming, Wills Eye boasts impressive educational resources including the William Maul Measey Ophthalmic Surgical Training Laboratory, the J. Arch McNamara, the MD Ophthalmic Education Center, and the Vickie and Jack Farber Vision Research Center. The tremendous amount of innovation that is the hallmark of Wills Eye, including surgical techniques, equipment development, clinical care, and research all stems from Wills Eye’s focus on medical education.

This Endowed Chair in Medical Education will have a multi-faceted role at Wills Eye Hospital. The Chairholder’s primary role will be to lead various members of the Education Team to ensure a consistent development model across the main hospital and its seven satellite locations. The Chairholder will also ensure that our dynamic teaching environment flourishes and is sustainable for both today’s physicians and future generations as well.

“This grant will make a lasting impact on current physicians as well as generations to come. We are immensely grateful for this contribution and the continued support from the Measey Foundation,” said Joseph P. Bilson, Chief Executive Officer, Wills Eye Hospital. “Doug is an exceptional leader with a passion for helping others grow to their own unique potential. I know he will take on this role with pride, strategic vision, and compassion.”

Endowed Chair positions at Wills Eye are fully funded at $2.5 million. The Wills Eye Foundation is engaging supporters and partners to identify matching funds to compliment the Measey Foundation grant with the intention for the Endowed Chair for Medical Education to be operational by 2026. For more information on giving to support Wills Eye Hospital, please visit www.willseye.org/giving.

About Wills Eye Hospital
Wills Eye Hospital is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation's first hospital specializing in eye care. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America's top ophthalmology Hospitals since the survey began, has the most nationally ranked ophthalmologists in the country and is among the top academic training programs in the U.S. for its residency program as voted by physicians in the nation. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical education. Its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. The Vickie and Jack Farber Vision Research Center at Wills harnesses the core strengths of Wills, the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care, to discover therapeutic breakthroughs. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract and primary eye care, cornea, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology, refractive surgery, retina, and strabismus. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of six multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the Tri-State area.