The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown (VIA) was formed on April 26, 1895, by fourteen women concerned about the health risks posed by the dusty roads of Doylestown. They took bold steps to begin improving life in the community they loved, eliminating dusty streets and establishing the first visiting nurse service in Doylestown.
In 1923, seeing the need for a hospital and surgery, the VIA established the first Doylestown Hospital at the corner of Pine and Oakland with eight infirmary beds. Their vision was rapidly justified by increased need of the growing population, and in 1939 the second—larger—hospital opened at the corner of Belmont and Spruce, with a capacity of 21 beds. Within a few decades, this, too, had grown too small, and the VIA began planning and fundraising for a comprehensive care facility with space to expand nearly every medical function into a department of its own. In 1975, the current hospital on West State Street opened and received its first patients. The VIA continues to oversee governance of Doylestown Health to this day, now a multi-facility health system spanning Bucks County communities and serving thousands of individuals with expert, compassionate care.
Today, the VIA is more than 300 women strong, and continues to dedicate its considerable energies to the improvement of life in Doylestown and the Central Bucks region. In addition to health services, the VIA offers one-time grants to community efforts, scholarships to high-achieving high school seniors and women pursuing professional careers, and a variety of support through its welfare fund for emergent needs of community members.
The VIA is a vital component in fundraising efforts for Doylestown Health, working alongside Doylestown Health Foundation to support the ongoing priority needs of the health system. The Bucks County Designer House and Gardens, now in its 45th year, is the VIA’s principal fundraiser and a focal point of the year in Bucks County communities.
Doylestown Health Foundation is proud to have the support and partnership of the VIA as we prepare for our second century of care with ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health.
On April 26, 2020, the VIA celebrated 125 years of serving the community. Doylestown Health President and CEO Jim Brexler shares his appreciation and pays tribute to their service and legacy of excellence.
President: Joyce A. Hanson
First Vice President: Barbara Ann Price
Second Vice President: Helen Hammes
Vice President Health Services: Joan Parlee
Recording Secretary: Jan Cope
Corresponding Secretary: Joy Levy
Treasurer: Ruth Carlson
Assistant Treasurer: Beverly Harvey
Bucks County Designer House & Gardens Chair: Shirley Myers
Bucks County Designer House & Gardens Vice-Chair: Ann Callahan
Bucks County Designer House & Gardens Chair Emerita: Barbara Molesworth
Finance Chair: Kathleen Krick
Fundraising Chair: Cory H. Schroeder
Governance Chair: Lillian O’Connor
James-Lorah Memorial Home Chair: Jeanne Sandusky
Marketing Chair: Allyson Gilmore
Membership Chair: LaFaun Reed Kahn
Welfare Fund Committee Chair: Marianne Chabot
Immediate Past President: Cory H. Schroeder
Member at Large: Ann Callahan
Member at Large: Connie Ocelus
Member at Large: Chris Thompson
Parliamentary Advisor: Georgia Ford
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