NASHVILLE – A Rogersville native is one of two doctors honored by the Tennessee Medical Association with its 2019 Outstanding Physician Awards.

The awards were presented on May 18, 2019, during the annual meeting of TMA’s House of Delegates, to Dr. Joseph Armstrong, MD, of Bristol and Dr. Bob Vegors, MD, of Jackson.

Dr. Armstrong is the oldest son of the late Rhea and Madeline Armstrong who owned and operated Rod Armstrong and Co., Rogersville’s leading clothing store, for many years.

He graduated from Rogersville Elementary, and in 1971 from Rogersville High School where he remembers such outstanding educators as Wanda Morrell, Ruth Romans and Billy Robinette.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1974 where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1978, he received a doctorate of medicine from the University of Tennessee in Memphis, where he was appointed to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He then returned to UNC at Chapel Hill where he did ophthalmology training.

Although he raised his family and has practiced ophthalmology in Bristol since 1983, Dr. Armstrong said he “still calls Rogersville home.”

He is also a direct descendant of his namesake, Joseph Rogers, the founder of Rogersville.

The Outstanding Physician Award is presented to TMA member physicians who, during the course of their illustrious careers, have made a distinctive mark on the profession of medicine, their colleagues and their communities. It is TMA’s lifetime achievement award, and is presented each year at the Annual Meeting of TMA’s House of Delegates.

Dr. Armstrong, the TMA said, has provided compassionate ophthalmic care to people in upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia for 35 years.

He founded Mountain Empire Eye Physicians as well as the first ophthalmic surgery center in the region, to bring ophthalmic care to an underserved area of Appalachia.

Dr. Armstrong has served his local community with kindness and generosity including donating free or reduced-fee services to more than 3,500 children throughout the past 20 years. He has also provided free care to the working uninsured of Bristol through Healing Hands.

Dr. Armstrong has a heart for global missions in both teaching and providing ophthalmic services to people in developing nations.