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Wills Eye Institute
Wills Eye Institute logo.jpg
Location 840 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university Thomas Jefferson University
Speciality Ophthalmology
Founded 1832
Website home page
Lists Hospitals in Pennsylvania

Wills Eye Institute is a non-profit eye clinic and hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1832 and claims to be the oldest eye-care provider in the United States. It is affiliated with the medical school of Thomas Jefferson University.

Wills Eye Institute was listed as the third best ophthalmology hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. [1]


History of Wills Eye

James Wills, Jr., a Quaker merchant, was instrumental in the founding of Wills Eye through his bequest of $116,000 in 1832 to the City of Philadelphia. Wills stipulated that the funds were to be used specifically for an eye hospital, and ground was broken for the facility in 1834. The first Wills Eye Hospital was erected near Logan Circle at 18th & Race Streets.

Medical Achievements

Wills Eye has pioneered many techniques in the field of ophthalmology, including:

  • Artificial intraocular lens implant (1952), Warren Reese, MD and Turgut Hamdi, MD
  • Invention of the vitrectomy machine (1972), Jay Federman, MD
  • Artifical retinal implant (2009), Julia Haller, MD, Allen Ho, MD and Carl Regillo, MD [2][3]

Wills Eye Notables

  • Charles D. Kelman, MD (Wills Eye residency 1956-1960) - father of phacoemulsification and inventor of the cryoprobe[4]

Senior officials

  • Joseph Bilson, Executive Director, Wills Eye
  • Julia A. Haller, MD, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Wills Eye

Accreditation and approvals

  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education of the American Medical Association
  • College of American Pathologists


  • American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals
  • Council of Specialty Surgical Facilities and Institutes


  1. ^ "Best Ophthalmology Hospitals". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 15 January 2010.  
  2. ^ Gorman, Ali, Artifical retina gives hope for sight.
  3. ^ Avril, Tom Implant gives new hope to the blind., Sept. 8, 2009.
  4. ^ Through My Eyes: The Charlie Kelman Story, January 2010, WLIW21, New York
  • Tasman, William. The History of Wills Eye Hospital Lippincott, 2nd edition (1987). ISBN 0397509189 OCLC 16228147

External links



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