Our Ophthalmologists


John T. Dawson, M.D.

A Virginia native, Dr. Dawson received his undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta and his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, where he was class valedictorian and president of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. After an internship at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Dawson completed a three year ophthalmology residency at the University of California at San Francisco. He then did an extra year of fellowship training in corneal and cataract surgery at Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Dawson has practiced in Knoxville since 1990 and in Sevierville since 1994. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is also a member of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology. He has repeatedly been selected by his peers as one of Knoxville CityView Magazine’s “Top Doctors”.

Dr. Dawson is married to the former Joan Plattsmier. They have one daughter, Madalene. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and watching football and basketball. He has participated in endurance sports and has done several ultramarathons (100 mile races).


Kevin T. Gallaher, M.D.

A Knoxville native, Dr. Gallaher returned in 2011 to East Tennessee after having completed his three year ophthalmology residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Highly educated, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist. While in his second year of practice, in 2013, Dr. Gallaher was selected by his peers as one of “Knoxville’s Top Doctors” by Knoxville CityView Magazine. To stay up-to-date with the latest in his field, Dr. Gallaher is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association. Dr. Gallaher specializes in cataract surgery, ocular surgical procedures, treatment of eye diseases and injuries including macular degeneration, diabetes, and glaucoma. He also performs routine eye exams for glasses and contact lenses.

In his spare time, Dr. Gallaher enjoys the outdoors, DIY home improvement projects and playing tennis.

Our Optometrist

Knoxville Optometrist Dr. Heather West

Heather R. West, O.D.

A Knoxville native, Dr. West had her eyes set on optometry school from a young age while interning with Dr. Williford and Dr. Dawson at our former location inside St. Mary’s Professional Building.

Dr. West received her undergraduate degree from Carson Newman University and her Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. She is a board-certified therapeutic optometrist.

Passionate for restoring sight for patients with conditions such as keratoconus and dry eye syndrome, Dr. West is completing her fellowship with the Scleral Lens Education Society.

Dr. West practices adult and pediatric primary eye care, including routine examinations for glasses and contact lenses and surgical pre- and post-operative care for cataract and refractive surgery. She also helps patients manage ocular diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, injuries and infections.

Dr. West is married to Joshua and has two beautiful children. She pursues CrossFit and healthy lifestyle coaching. She also enjoys spending time with her family and singing in her church choir.