Joseph F. Smiddy, MD

Class Year




Posted on: March 7, 2024

Joseph F. Smiddy, MD ’67, was selected as a recipient of the 2024 Alumni Raven Award. The award, presented by the Raven Society, recognizes alumni for their significant contributions to their field of study, as well as their noted interest in the welfare of the University. Other recent recipients of the award include Sherita Hill Golden, MD ’94, and Francis Sellers Collins, MD, PhD.

Smiddy received a certificate from the UVA College at Wise in 1960, a bachelor of arts from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1964 and a Doctor of Medicine from the School of Medicine in 1967. As a volunteer, he has served the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Medical Alumni Association as a member of his class reunion committee. Representing his graduating class, the Class of 1967, Smiddy has worked with classmates and the UVA Medical Alumni Association to create memorable and celebratory events.

Arguably more impactful, however, is his service to the University of Virginia College at Wise. Smiddy has held leadership roles on the Board of Directors at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise for many years. In this role, following the footsteps of his father Joseph C. Smiddy, the first chancellor of the College at Wise, he worked tirelessly to ensure the students, particularly those of underserved and underrepresented communities, had the opportunity to thrive at UVA-Wise.

Smiddy has been an advocate for the underserved in his career. When he recognized a need for increased access in his rural community, he personally took on the responsibility to develop a tractor-trailer, complete with a mobile X-ray room, so he could bring quality care to his neighbors. He has served as the Medical Director of Health Wagon for 25 years, tirelessly ensuring that families in Central Appalachia receive the care they need. This has had a profound impact on healthcare in the Commonwealth. Additionally, Smiddy helped create a special fund to provide free dental care for students at Virginia Community College and established the first free dental clinic in the Southwestern Virginia region.

His reach extends beyond the Virginia border. Smiddy has mentored and escorted over 300 students from UVA-Wise on medical mission trips to the underserved in other countries.

In 2017, Smiddy’s classmates in the UVA Medical School Class of 1967 established the Class of 1967 Joseph F. Smiddy Altruism Award in recognition of his lifelong service and in an attempt to encourage this ideal in the students at the School of Medicine. The award has been presented to several deserving fourth-year medical students who have demonstrated selfless service to the medically underserved in the Charlottesville community. This legacy extends beyond the Grounds; by instilling a sense of selfless service, this award in his name will impact the future physicians of the world.