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Joseph F. Smiddy, MD ‘67

Joseph F. Smiddy, MD ‘67

September 1, 2023 – The UVA Medical Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2023 Humanitarian Award: Joseph F. Smiddy, MD ‘67.

Smiddy has spent much of his life providing care for the underserved. A pulmonologist by training, Smiddy has been the medical director of the Health Wagon for 25 years. The organization is the longest standing free mobile medical clinic in the United States and provides care for thousands of indigent patients in the Appalachian region.

To date, Smiddy has provided care to patients in 32 counties in Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky with the Health Wagon, as well as in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Thanks to his initiative, regular free pulmonary clinics have been established, effectively addressing the urgent healthcare needs of individuals suffering from respiratory ailments, including Black Lung Disease. In order to serve patients where they live, Smiddy developed a mobile X-ray room on a tractor trailer to provide this important diagnostic tool in the field. Smiddy doesn’t just provide medical services, however. He attended tractor trailer school and obtained a CDL license so that he could drive the organization’s medical vehicles, which is often treacherous in the mountainous region.

In addition, Smiddy has made over 40 medical mission trips to Belize, India and Peru, and he has taken 300 students from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise on trips to Central America, serving as a mentor and encouraging them to do similar work.

In 2017, Smiddy’s classmates in the Class of 1967 established the Altruism Award in recognition of the lifelong service of Joseph F. Smiddy, MD. The award has been presented to several deserving fourth-year medical students who have demonstrated selfless service to the medically underserved.

Congratulations to Dr. Smiddy on this well-deserved recognition.