For more than a century, Wills Eye, ranked third in the country for ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report in 2007, has been helping Philadelphians see better and pioneering techniques that are now commonly used, like the implantation of artificial lenses to replace clouded ones for cataract patients. Each year, they provide more than 100,000 patients with routine eye care; patients with potentially fatal eye cancers travel from the far corners of the earth to be seen by the Wills Eye Oncology Service, one of the biggest in the world. The hospital’s Glaucoma Service treats patients with the newest laser and surgical techniques and drug therapies; the Cornea Service transplants 400 annually. In addition to cosmetic eye surgery, the Oculoplastics Service corrects problems of the eyeball itself. Wills can fit you with contact lenses, correct your kid’s crossed eyes, treat macular degeneration, and save eyes that years ago would have had to be removed. Wills serves as the Department of Ophthalmology at Jefferson Hospital, and its inpatient surgery and clinical care has relocated to the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, a few blocks away. Residents for Cooper and Jefferson hospitals are trained here, and research continues to be important (840 Walnut Street, 877-289-4557, willseye.org).
In 2007, Scheie Eye Institute ranked first in the country in research grants from the National Eye Institute. And in a flat economy, Scheie managed to increase its NEI funding from the pervious year by 25 percent — an indication of the high-quality eye and vision research going on here. Last year also brought an Achievement Award from the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania for 4Sight, Scheie’s community outreach program, which helped finance eye care for nearly 1,500 West Philadelphia residents. Serving as the Department of Ophthalmology for U. Penn, Scheie offers a full range of general eye care (conjunctivitis, contact lenses), as well as inflammation, drooping eyelid surgery, glaucoma, cataracts, retina and corneal problems, and LASIK surgery for vision correction (51 North 39th Street, 215-662-8100, pennhealth.com/ophth).