Concerned about their families after dusty Bucks County roads caused a variety of health-related issues, fourteen women gathered on April 26, 1895 and formed the Village Improvement Association dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Central Bucks community. Early on they arranged to eliminate dust in the streets and later established the first visiting nurse service in Doylestown. In 1923, they founded Doylestown Hospital.
Since that time, the VIA has grown in size and scope to its present membership of over 350 women. VIA members are a vital presence at Doylestown Hospital which has become a nationally-recognized, awarding-winning community hospital providing exceptional healthcare services in a compassionate environment. The organization also oversees Pine Run Retirement Community which encompasses Independent Living, Personal Care, Alzheimer and Dementia Care and Rehabilitation Services.
The organization’s efforts go beyond health services in supporting the local community. It offers one-time grants to community efforts; educational scholarships for outstanding high school seniors pursuing health-related careers and women seeking professional careers; and through its Welfare Fund, the VIA provides a variety of support for those in our community with emergency needs.
The VIA is proud to call the James-Lorah Memorial Home at 132 North Main Street in Doylestown its headquarters. Once the home of Sarah M. James (a charter member of the VIA), the home was bequeathed to the organization in 1954. The Federal-style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.