About Us

The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown was founded in 1895 to support and enhance the quality of life in Central Bucks County. In 1923, the VIA opened Doylestown Hospital and today, VIA members continue to govern this award-winning healthcare system. The organization has grown to almost 300 members and still pursues the goals of the founding members through service and education. The VIA’s largest fundraiser is the Bucks County Designer House & Gardens, a community event that draws more than 7,000 visitors each year.

The VIA was the first Women’s Club established in Bucks County and held its first meeting on April 26, 1895, when Mrs. Mary L. DuBois was elected Chairman. The constitution was adopted at the May 21 meeting. Mrs. Richard Watson was elected President at the May 28 meeting. To learn more click here.

The VIA general membership meets monthly in the James-Lorah Auditorium and reviews organization activities, plans and results. An informative or entertaining presentation usually precedes the business meeting. Throughout the year, VIA committees work to fulfill the organization’s responsibilities to meet its mission, administer operations, maintain the James-Lorah Memorial Home and to explore mutual interests such as floral arts, gourmet foods and the theater.

Vision, Mission, and Core Values

Vision

A healthy and vibrant community

Mission

Enhance the health and welfare of Central Bucks County and surrounding communities

Core Values

Community Service, Compassion, and Commitment

VIA 2018 – 2020 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President 
Joyce A. Hanson
First Vice President 
Barbara Ann Price
Second Vice President 
Helen Hammes
Vice President Health Services 
Joan Parlee
Connie Ocelus
Recording Secretary
Corresponding Secretary 
Joy Levy
Treasurer 
Ruth Carlson
Assistant Treasurer 
Beverly Harvey

VIA Board Members

  1. Bucks County Designer House & Gardens Chair – Sandy Homel
  2. Finance Chair – Kathleen Krick
  3. Fundraising Chair – Cory H. Schroeder
  4. Governance Chair – Lillian O’Connor
  5. James-Lorah Memorial Home Chair – Jeanne Sandusky
  6. Marketing Chair – Allyson Gilmore
  7. Membership Chair – LaFaun Reed Kahn
  8. Welfare Fund Committee Chair – Marianne Chabot
  9. Immediate Past President – Cory H. Schroeder
  10. Member at Large – Ann Callahan
  11. Member at Large – Jan Cope
  12. Member at Large – Chris Thompson
  13. Member at Large –
  14. Member at Large –
  15. Parliamentary Advisor – Georgia Ford

In 1923 the VIA founded and continues to govern the Doylestown Health System through involvement in the System’s Boards and Board Committees. The VIA Members who participate on these Boards and Committees are listed below:

Doylestown Hospital

Board of Trustees

2018 – 2020
Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Boards
Beverly Coller Campbell, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Sara Moyer, Secretary
Marianne Chabot, Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer
Nicole Boytin
Patricia Gorsky
Joyce Hanson
Carolyn Kozakowski
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder
Chris Thompson

BYLAWS COMMITTEE
Cory Schroeder, Chairman
Joyce Hanson
Joan Parlee

TRUSTEES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Marianne Chabot, Chairman
Joan Parlee
Joyce Hanson

FINANCE COMMITTEE
Beverly Coller Campbell, Chairman
Marianne Chabot, Vice Chairman
Joan Parlee
Nicole Boytin
Joyce Hanson

JOINT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Beverly Coller Campbell, Chair
Joyce Hanson

MEDICAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Sara Moyer
Joyce Hanson
Carolyn Kozakowski
Beverly Coller Campbell
Joan Parlee, ex officio

PENSION & PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
Beverly Coller Campbell, Chair
Joan Parlee

ADVISORY COMMITTEES

PASTORAL CARE
Carolyn Kozakowski, Chairman
Marilyn Mele, VIA Member
Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Board

PINE RUN
Carolyn Della-Rodolfa
Joan Parlee
Joyce Hanson
Barbara Hebel
Cory Schroeder

PATIENT SAFETY
Joyce Hanson
Pat Gorsky
Joan Parlee, ex officio
Sara Moyer
Phyllis Morris

THE HEART INSTITUTE
Pat Gorsky, Chairman

PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY (VISITING NURSE/HOSPICE)
Michelle McCallister, Rehab Supervisor
Joan ParleMarianne Chabot
Linda McIlhinney

VOLUNTEER ADVISORY
Beverly Coller Campbell, Chairman
Jean Leister
Cory Schroeder

Doylestown Health Foundation

Doylestown Health Foundation Board of Trustees

2018 – 2020

Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Boards
Jean Leister, Vice Chairman
Karen Simon, Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer
Georgia Ford, Secretary
Barbara Kieffer, Treasurer
Beverly Coller Campbell
Joyce Hanson
Linda McIlhinney
Susan Pajer
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder

BYLAWS COMMITTEE
Barbara Kieffer, Chair
Joan Parlee
Georgia Ford
Jean Leister
Joyce Hanson

FINANCE COMMITTEE
Barbara Kieffer, Chair
Karen Simon, Vice-Chairman
Joan Parlee
Susan Pajer
Joyce Hanson (ex-officio)

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Linda McIlhinney, Chairman
Joan Parlee
Judith Melson

TRUSTEES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Joan Parlee

PRESIDENT/CEO EVALUATION
Joan Parlee, Chairman
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder
Joyce Hanson

NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Joan Parlee, Chairman
Joyce Hanson
Barbara Ann Price
Jean Leister

Doylestown Health Partnership

Joan Parlee (Alternate)

Doylestown Health Governance

In 1923 the VIA founded and continues to govern the Doylestown Health System through involvement in the System’s Boards and Board Committees. The VIA Members who participate on these Boards and Committees are listed below:

DOYLESTOWN HOSPITAL

Board of Trustees (2018 – 2020)

Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Boards
Beverly Coller Campbell, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Sara Moyer, Secretary
Marianne Chabot, Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer
Nicole Boytin
Patricia Gorsky
Joyce Hanson
Carolyn Kozakowski
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder
Chris Thompson

BYLAWS COMMITTEE

Cory Schroeder, Chairman
Joyce Hanson
Joan Parlee

TRUSTEES EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Marianne Chabot, Chairman
Joan Parlee
Joyce Hanson

FINANCE COMMITTEE

Beverly Coller Campbell, Chairman
Marianne Chabot, Vice Chairman
Joan Parlee
Nicole Boytin
Joyce Hanson

JOINT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

Beverly Coller Campbell, Chair
Joyce Hanson

MEDICAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Sara Moyer
Joyce Hanson
Carolyn Kozakowski
Beverly Coller Campbell
Joan Parlee, ex officio

PENSION & PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

Beverly Coller Campbell, Chair
Joan Parlee

ADVISORY COMMITTEES

PASTORAL CARE
Carolyn Kozakowski, Chairman
Marilyn Mele, VIA Member
Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Board

PINE RUN
Carolyn Della-Rodolfa
Joan Parlee
Joyce Hanson
Barbara Hebel
Cory Schroeder

PATIENT SAFETY
Joyce Hanson
Pat Gorsky
Joan Parlee, ex officio
Sara Moyer
Phyllis Morris

THE HEART INSTITUTE
Pat Gorsky, Chairman

PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY (VISITING NURSE/HOSPICE)
Michelle McCallister, Rehab Supervisor
Joan Parlee

Marianne Chabot
Linda McIlhinney

VOLUNTEER ADVISORY
Beverly Coller Campbell, Chairman
Jean Leister
Cory Schroeder

DOYLESTOWN HEALTH FOUNDATION

Doylestown Health Foundation Board of Trustees (2018 – 2020)

Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Boards
Jean Leister, Vice Chairman
Karen Simon, Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer
Georgia Ford, Secretary
Barbara Kieffer, Treasurer
Beverly Coller Campbell
Joyce Hanson
Linda McIlhinney
Susan Pajer
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder

BYLAWS COMMITTEE

Barbara Kieffer, Chair
Joan Parlee
Georgia Ford
Jean Leister
Joyce Hanson

FINANCE COMMITTEE

Barbara Kieffer, Chair
Karen Simon, Vice-Chairman
Joan Parlee
Susan Pajer
Joyce Hanson (ex-officio)

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE


Linda McIlhinney, Chairman
Joan Parlee
Judith Melson

TRUSTEES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Joan Parlee

PRESIDENT/CEO EVALUATION
Joan Parlee, Chairman
Barbara Ann Price
Cory Schroeder
Joyce Hanson

NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Joan Parlee, Chairman
Joyce Hanson
Barbara Ann Price
Jean Leister

DOYLESTOWN HEALTH PARTNERSHIP

Joan Parlee (Alternate)

Committees

MISSION-FOCUSED COMMITTEES

Community Recognition and Community Response, Chair – Marilyn Mele

Biannually, the Community Recognition Committee selects and recognizes an individual or group who has contributed to the community consistent with the mission of the Village Improvement Association’s mission. The recipients are honored at the June VIA Luncheon. to learn more, click here.

The Committee also awards one-time grants to other non-profit organizations which address unmet community needs. Grant requests should be consistent with the VIA’s mission to enhance the health and welfare of Central Bucks County and surrounding communities and may not provide permanent support, either total or partial, to an agency or individual. To learn more click here.

Teen Scholarship Committee, Chair – Dr. Arlene O’Hara

The Education Committee awards scholarships to high-performing Central Bucks School District high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academics,  volunteerism, and been accepted for further study in a health-related field. The Committee also evaluates senior high school nursing scholarship candidates and selects recipients for the VIA Ruth Boland Memorial Nursing Scholarship which is financially supported by the family of the late VIA President Ruth Boland. To learn more click here.

H.O.B.Y (Hugh O’Brian Youth), Chair – Kathryn McKenna

The H.O.B.Y. award is given to a high school sophomore student to attend a leadership skills conference for a weekend in June. Working closely with guidance counselors, it is the committee’s responsibility to review applications and choose the recipient. To learn more click here.

Home Life Committee, Chair – Kathy Lambert

Enriches the lives of residents at the Pine Run Lakeview and Health Center facilities with various activities including bingo, holiday gifts, an annual tea and visitations. A bake sale at Pine Run is held by this committee and nets money to buy holiday presents.

Veterans Committee, Chair – Pat Shire

The mission of the Veterans Committee is to “Support the mission of the VIA by providing information on military issues to the VIA membership and by collecting and coordinating VIA donations to selected military charities.” The committee collects donations at the October and November VIA meetings, and distributes the funds through the rest of the club year. The veteran-related charity is always consulted about its needs, and the committee purchases and delivers these selected items when possible. To learn more click here.

Welfare Committee, Chair – Marianne Chabot

In the fall, an annual coffee is held during which representatives of social service agencies meet, interact and report to the committee.  Members of the committee, who receive and approve referrals seven days a week, donate over 3000 volunteer hours.  Contributions are given to various agencies to aid their efforts in providing essentials and services to those in need. To learn more click here.

Women’s Scholarship Committee, Chair – Terrie Mooradd

Since 1998, the VIA has awarded a total of 149 scholarships to Bucks County women. Recipients are pursuing educational programs that will help them enter the job market or advance their job opportunities. To learn more click here.

OPERATIONAL COMMITTEES

1895 Society Committee, Chair – Jean Upton

Recognizes monetary donations to the VIA.

Designer House Committee, Chair – Dr. Sandy Homel

The largest VIA fundraiser is the annual Bucks County Designer House & Gardens held each year in May. Designers and landscapers transform a local property to a splendidly decorated house and gardens.  The event is attended by thousands throughout the region.

Finance Committee, Chair – Kathy Krick

The Finance Committee, which includes the treasurers of the VIA, Designer House, James-Lorah Memorial House, and Welfare committees, is responsible for supervising the fiscal affairs of the organization, including making financial reports to the Board each month.  They are charged with reviewing and establishing controls for revenues and expenditures and overseeing the VIA’s investments.  This committee also prepares the annual budget, which is presented to the Board of Directors at the April meeting and to the general membership to be voted on at the May meeting.

Fundraising Committee, Chair – Cory H. Schroeder

A Poinsettia Sale at the Holidays, a Holiday Cookie Sale, restaurant events and other special events and a small 50/50 raffle at membership meetings are just a few of the ways the Fundraising Committee raises money for the VIA. A BIG 50-50 is conducted with drawings each May and June. Winners of each of the drawings may receive up to $2,000! Tickets for this and other events are often available in the hospital Gift Shop and at general membership meetings.

Governance Committee, Chair – Lillian O’Connor

Responsible for reviewing bylaws and policies, Board development and membership involvement.  Bylaws and Nominating are subcommittees of this committee.

Information and Technology, Chair – Joy Levy

Oversees the information and systems needed for the operations of the VIA.

James-Lorah Memorial Home Committee, Chair – Jeanne Sandusky

The mission of the James-Lorah Memorial Home Committee is to preserve, supervise and coordinate the operation and maintenance of this historic home, its contents and the adjacent Auditorium; to restore and conserve the contents and to make the Home available for tours in accordance with the terms of the will of Miss Sarah M. James and the policies governing the operation of the James-Lorah Memorial Home and Auditorium.

Marketing Committee, Chair – Allyson Gilmore, Co-Chair- Carol Counihan

Supports the mission of the VIA through activities that promote the VIA to the hospital staff, patients and the community to help build awareness and VIA membership. Provides support for the maximization of the VIA’s fundraising commitment to benefit the hospital and community.

Membership Committee, Chair – LaFaun Reed Kahn

Every September an event is held to introduce women who are interested in the VIA. They receive a guided tour of the JLMH, a packet of information, and a warm welcome from the membership. In addition, committee chairs explain their committee’s responsibilities to encourage new members to join them.  A member mentorship program has been established.  This committee also includes Sunshine and Memorial activities.

Preservation of Records, Chair – Carolyn Kozakowski

Working to properly preserve records relating to the history of the VIA from the earliest days available to the present day.

Strategic Planning, Chair – Barbara Ann Price

Develops and maintains VIA’s Vision, Mission, and Core Values.

Creates and maintains a multi-year strategic plan to support the organization’s Vision, Mission and Core Values .

SOCIAL COMMITTEES

Conservation Committee, Co-Chairs Pamela Good and Ann Rainey

Raises funds through with a Card & Game Party.  Also plants urns to enhance the entrance of the James-Lorah Memorial Home.

Floral Arts Committee, Co-Chairs – Karen Graziano and Jackie Newman

This committee provides arrangements on the refreshment table for monthly meetings, and centerpieces when needed for a meeting/luncheon. The committee also sells Christmas greens to help fund the cost of floral arrangements for the June luncheon.

Hospitality Committee, Co-Chairs – Ann Rainey and Debbie Renner

The committee contacts VIA members asking them to make sandwiches and cookies for general membership meetings. They also coordinate servers for the meetings.

Literature Workshop Group, Co-Chairs – Marilyn Mele and Anne Sweeney

The committee is comprised of two groups of readers. The discussion group (Book Club) meets once a month to discuss a book chosen by the members.  Members shall have read the book before the monthly meeting and be willing to discuss it with the group.  Each month a new book is selected by the members at the meeting.

The second group (Round Robin) is comprised of readers who each purchase one current best-selling book.  These members prefer not to discuss the books but instead get to read six to eight current best-sellers and only need to purchase one book.  If more than eight members want to participate, another Round Robin is formed.

Program Committee, Chair – Barbara Ann Price

The Program Committee provides timely, interesting, and quality programs that educate as well as entertain at monthly VIA membership meetings except for the May and June luncheons.

Social Committee, Chair – Mary Bachman

The Social Committee organizes social events for all VIA members to attend.  These may include outings to museums, theaters, lunches, dinners or any social event that might interest a number of VIA members.

VIA Representatives for Community Committees

CB Cares Educational Foundation*– Chris Thompson

Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business – Helen Hammes

Discover Doylestown – Joy Levy

Women’s History Month – Kathleen Meyer

History

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 300 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.

The community is the primary concern of the VIA which initiated a wide range of programs to support and enhance the quality of life in Central Bucks County.

In November 1985, the VIA membership approved a plan for corporate restructuring that created the VIA Health System. This plan took effect in March 1986 and has enabled the VIA and Doylestown Hospital to operate more efficiently and with greater diversification.

In 1992, the VIA acquired the Pine Run Community and Health Center and in 1998 added a separate assisted-living complex known as Pine Run Lakeview.

In May 2001, the Health & Wellness Center by Doylestown Hospital opened in Warrington. In addition to private physician practices and the Cornerstone Fitness Club and Spa, hospital services currently located in this facility include diagnostic imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI), laboratory services, Phase 3 cardiac rehab, the Woman’s Diagnostic Center, Healthy Directions Nutrition Therapy and Counseling and an outpatient surgery center.

Throughout its history, the VIA 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…improving the health and welfare of the residents,” and “supporting a community hospital and other health care facilities for the benefit of all persons.” Each year members rededicate themselves to these commitments made in 1895.

Click here for Video on our history

Click here to see a pictorial representation of Doylestown Hospital through the years.

Newsletters

The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown is an active organization, please read about our activities in one of our most recent newsletters or look in the Newsletter Archives for historical information.

Current YearArchives (July – June)
2019 June 
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 July/August
2017-2018
2016-2017
2015-2016
2014-2015
2013-2014 
2012-2013

Press Releases

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Jan. 1VIA packs candy for A Soldier’s Hands
Jan. 13Village Improvement Association of Doylestown donates to Washington Crossing 
National Cemetery
Jan 15Designer house measured for new decor
Jan 19VIA Donation to Washington Crossing National Cemetery
Jan 20The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown Celebrates its 120th 
Anniversary
March 2Village Improvement Association Donates to Six Local Nonprofit Organizations
Mar 31Village Improvement Association Donates to A Soldier’s Hands 
Apr 1540th Bucks County Designer House & Gardens 
Community Health Fair at Bucks County Designer House
Jun 8VIA Awards Scholarships to Local Teens
Jun 15Dogs make great reading buddies, children find
Jun 25VIA meets for annual membership luncheon
Oct 7Village Improvement Association Board Collects Clothing for ANA
Nov 2VIA Veterans Committee actively supports military charities
Nov 4Designer House Proceeds Benefit Doylestown Health’s VIA Maternity Center
NOv.Historic Holiday Open House Tour: The James-Lorah Memorial Home

2014

Jun 26Village Improvement Association Awards Scholarships
Jul 24VIA Donates Children’s Books to Hospital
Jul 31Village Improvement Association Awards Four Scholarships 
VIA Inducts New Leadership Oct 23
Sep 15Village Improvement Association Celebrates 120th Anniversary at Doylestown Arts Festival
Oct 7Designer House Proceeds Benefit VIA Maternity Center of Doylestown Hospital
Oct 9VIA Celebrates 120 Years 
Tour the Historic James-Lorah Memorial Home on October 25
Oct 23Tour the Historic James-Lorah Memorial Home
Oct 30Chalfont’s Villa d’Braccia is 40th VIA Designer House
Dec 10VIA Awards $17k in Grants at December Member Meeting
Dec 11Village Improvement Association of Doylestown Celebrates Veterans Day 
VIA Veterans Committee helps with CBF YMCA’s Veterans Day Celebrations
Dec 12VIA Packs Candy for “A Soldier’s Hands” Mailing

2013

Jul 18Doylestown Volunteer Honored by Ursinus College
Oct 7Doylestown Hospital marks 90th year
Oct 10VIA Reaffirms Commitment to Growing Families
Oct 30Serendipity Farm Selected for the 2014 Bucks County Designer House & Gardens
Dec 30Turning the Holiday Blues Green

2011

Oct. 20Doylestown Recognized as Top Women-Owned Business

Annual Report

2017-2018 VIA ANNUAL REPORT

2016-2017 VIA ANNUAL REPORT

990

2017 – 990 Return 

2016 – 990 Return

2015 – 990 Return

2014 – 990 Return

Newsletters

The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown is an active organization, please read about our activities in one of our most recent newsletters or look in the Newsletter Archives for historical information.

Current YearArchives (July – June)
2019 June 
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 July/August
2017-2018
2016-2017
2015-2016
2014-2015
2013-2014 
2012-2013

Contact US

Mailing Address

VIA of Doylestown

[Attn: Committee Name – if applicable]

595 West State Street

Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: Laura Kruger 215-345-2347

To reserve the James-Lorah Memorial Auditorium

Contact Laura Kruger 215-345-2347



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