The Village Improvement Association was the guiding force behind the founding of Doylestown Hospital in 1923, and still owns and oversees the operation of the hospital today.
Founded in 1895 by a small but inspired group of women from Doylestown, the V.I.A. is nationally recognized as the only Women’s Club to own and operate a community hospital.
The first meeting was held April 26th, 1895 with 14 women present. Since that time the V.I.A. has grown in size and scope to its present membership of approximately 400 members.
Throughout its history, the V.I.A. has continued to be forward looking, while maintaining the original goals of the Association, which are to promote “every proper means of improving and beautifying Bucks County” and “improving the health and welfare of the residents.”
The V.I.A. recognized the need for public health initiatives and community healthcare services, and began with the employment of a Visiting Nurse in 1916. The V.I.A., together with local medical professionals and the Doylestown community, opened the Doylestown Emergency Hospital, an eight-bed facility, at Pine and Oakland in 1923.
As demand increased, Doylestown Emergency Hospital moved to a new location at Belmont and Spruce, Doylestown, in 1939. Originally a 21-bed facility, this hospital expanded to accommodate 54 beds in 1951.
As the community grew, a larger facility was needed. Doylestown Hospital was dedicated in 1975 as a 165-bed hospital on West State Street, Doylestown. Today, the hospital is licensed for 238 beds.
The Hospital, along with The Doylestown Hospital Surgery Center at the Health & Wellness Center in Warrington; Pine Run Community and Health Center; Lakeview by Pine Run, and V.I.A. Affiliates, comprise the V.I.A. Health System.
The center of V.I.A. club activity is at the James Lorah Memorial Home, 132 N. Main Street, Doylestown.
One way the V.I.A. supports the hospital is through the annual Bucks County Designer House & Gardens fundraising event in the spring. For more information visit http://www.buckscountydesignerhouse.org/.
For more information about V.I.A. events, programs or membership, call the V.I.A. office at 215-345-2347.