Get to know your vision care experts.

We make it a policy to ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques to make your visit as comfortable and effective as possible.  Visit our optometrists in Knoxville – West Town Mall & Turkey Creek, Kingsport, Johnson City, TN or Bristol, VA and experience the difference offered by our professional eye care team.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Knoxville Office
Bristol Office

Torrey J. Carlson, O.D.

Dr. Carlson was born and raised in Escanaba, Michigan.  He married his wife Amy in 1995 and they have four children Masey, Lizzie, Allie, and Jack.

Education:
Dr. Carlson attended Ferris State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then attended the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, graduating in 1995.  His Externships included working at the VA’s in Fort Wayne and Marion Indiana, Eglin AFB’s Optometry Clinic, and a Detroit Medicaid Clinic.  He is always taking continuing education classes and attending seminars to stay current with new up-to-date treatments and technology. He is always seeking the latest technologies in the treatment, management and prevention of ocular diseases such as Glaucoma, Diabetes, age related macular degeneration and other ocular pathology. He has over 15 years of experience in co-managing LASIK, PRK, and cataract surgery.  He has provided eye care to well over 50,000 people in his career.

Work History:
He started with LensCrafters in Knoxville as an associate doctor in 1995. In 2003, he moved to the Tri-Cities area and took the leases in LensCrafters in the Johnson City and Kingsport Malls. He also has an office in the Turkey Creek area of Knoxville which was opened in 2005.  In 2016, Dr. Carlson added two more locations: one in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia and one at the West Town Mall in Knoxville.  Dr. Carlson was appointed to the State Optometry Board in 2015.  He also has lectured for Johnson and Johnson Vision Care.  He has consulted with various contact lens companies.  He mentors area students interested in Optometry as a profession.

Memberships:
American Optometric Association (AOA), TN Optometric Association (TOA), ALLDOCS, Northeast Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians, East TN Optometric Association (ETOA), LensCrafters One Sight Foundation. LensCrafters OD Ignite Doctors program.  The State of Tennessee Optometry Board.  He works with and has received awards from the area Lions Club organizations.  He mentors area students interested in Optometry as a profession.

Hobbies:
Includes spending time with family, boating, traveling, antiques, reading, golfing, basketball, coaching local youth sports, and is an avid sports fan- Go Big Orange!


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Taylor E. Repko, O.D.

Taylor grew up in Bloomsbury, NJ, and graduated from Phillipsburg High School (Phillipsburg, NJ). His wife Melissa is also an Optometrist.  He has three daughters and a son.

Education: 
Attended Bob Jones University and graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  He then Went to Southern College of Optometry in Memphis graduating in 2003.

Work History:
Did a V.A. residency in 2004 at the Mountain Home VAMC.  Previously worked in a couple of private practices in Virginia and recently returned to Tennessee.

Memberships: 
Talyor is a member of the AOA, the Virginia Optometric Association, President of Lonesome Pine Optometric Society, the Northeast Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians, Church’s Master Club, and Bristol Morning Rotary

Hobbies:
Spending time with his children, NASCAR, working on cars and trucks, and target shooting.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Jennifer B. Ledford, O.D.

Dr. Ledford was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and moved to East Tennessee in 2009.  She married her husband Jeff in 2009 and they have one beautiful daughter Addison.

Education:
Attended Stephen F. Austin State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  She then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University and graduated in 2009.  Her externships included working at the VA in Johnson City, TN

Work History:
She joined Dr. Carlson in 2014. Previous to working with Dr. Carlson, she worked in private practice in Tennessee and Virginia.

Memberships:
American Optometric Association, TN Optometric Association, Northeast Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians, Lonesome Pine Optometric Association, Virginia Optometric Association, Bristol TN/VA Junior League

Hobbies:
Includes spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, reading, cooking, and knitting/crochet


Knoxville Office

Thomas Bandy, O.D.

Dr. Bandy is a native of West Knoxville and graduated from Farragut High School. Dr. Bandy lives in West Knoxville with his wife Jennifer. His two adult daughters also live in West Knoxville.

Education:
Attended East Tennessee State University and received his Bachelor of Science. He then attended the Southern College of Optemetry and graduated in 1981.

Work History:
Dr. Bandy servered a career in the military as an Optometrist and is retired from the U.S. Air Force. Among his many military awards are the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College.

Memberships:
American Optometric Society, The Southern Council of Optometrists, and is a Life Member of the Armed Forces Optometric Society.

Hobbies:
Spending time with his family, traveling.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office

Sarah Arnette, O.D.

Dr Arnette was born in Akron, Ohio and moved to Southwest Virginia in 2012.

Education:
Attended Florida International University and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She then attended Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and graduated 2010. Her externships included working at Dorn VA in Columbia, South Carolina.

Work History:
She joined Dr Carlson in 2014, previously worked in South Carolina and Virginia.

Memberships:
American Optometric Association, TN Optometric Association, Northeast Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians, Lonesome Pine Optometric Association, Virginia Optometric Association, Bristol TN/VA Junior League.

Hobbies:

Traveling, Baking, Hiking, Photography and Spending time with the family.


Knoxville Office

Stephanie Cunningham, O.D.

Dr. Cunningham grew up in Woodhaven, Michigan.  She was recently married to her husband Tim.

Education:
Attended Western Michigan University and received a B.S. in Biomedical Science and a B.A. in German.  She then attended Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, graduating in 2014.  Her internships included the VA in Grand Rapids, MI, Henry Ford OptimEyes, and Cherry Street Health Services.

Work History:
She joined Dr. Torrey Carlson and Associates in 2014.

Memberships:
American Optometric Association, Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians and Michigan Optometric Association.

Hobbies:
Traveling, kayaking, hiking, cooking and spending time with family.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Phillip Gilliam, O.D.

Dr. Gilliam lives in Johnson City. He is married to Rene Gilliam, and has four children and two grandchildren. His patients know him as “Dr. Phil.”

Education:
Dr. Gilliam is a 1989 Graduate of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN.

Work History:
He joined Dr. Carlson and Associates in September of 2015 after practicing next to Sears Optical in the Tri-Cities for over 15 years.

Memberships:
Dr. Gilliam is in the Northeast Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians. He is a past member of Civitan, and is an active member and Deacon at the Central Church of Christ, where he leads singing and teaches youth.

Hobbies:
He enjoys spending time with his family, going to the gym, reading, and working outdoors.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Sarah Elmore, O.D.

Dr. Elmore grew up in Orlando, FL and moved to Johnson City in 2017. Her father is a civil engineer, her mother is first grade teacher, and her sister is a registered nurse in Orlando.

Education:
She attended the University of Central Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Health Services Administration in 2013. She then attended Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry and graduated in 2017.

Work History:
Dr. Elmore began working for Dr. Carlson and Associates in 2017. Prior to joining the practice, she completed clinical externships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; the Mountain Home VA in Johnson City, TN; Charleston Eye in Charleston, SC; and Envision Eye Care in Savannah, GA.

Memberships:
Dr. Elmore is a member of the American Optometric Association, the North-East Tennessee Society of Optometric Physicians, and The Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians.

Hobbies:
She developed a love for hiking while previously living in Eastern Tennessee. She also fills much of her free time traveling to visit friends and family, watching movies, and attempting new craft projects.


West Town Mall Office

Steven Smith, O.D.

As a Doctor of Optometry in the Knoxville area, part of my commitment to my patients is ongoing professional education. As technology and the world around us changes, I have to keep up-to-date, because I have to provide the best care possible for your eyes.

Dr. Steven Smith is an East Tennessee na:ive who grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and is a University of Tennessee, Knoxville alumnus. He graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis in 1979. There, he was a member of Phi Theta Upsilon and a charter member of the Mid-City Lions Club. He was a member of Pearle Vision’s Optometric Advisory Council for five years and has received Ciba Vision’s Innovation in Contact Lens Patient Care Award. As a member of the Acuvue Leadership Team. he has participated in the speakers’ panel and new product studies. Dr. Smith has donated hundreds of hours of volunteer eye exams for the needy through OneSight. Outside the office he is an instructor for Operation Boot Camp Knoxville. Dr. Smith is a world traveler and enjoys learning how nutrition  and exercise affect ocular health.


West Town Mall Office
Turkey Creek Office

Mardia M. Ahmed O.D.

Dr. Ahmed grew up in Sevierville, TN and graduated from Sevier County High School. She got married in 2009 and is a proud mom of her daughters Amaal and Anayah.

Education: 
Dr. Ahmed attended University of Tennessee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Psychology. She then attended Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, graduating in 2011.  She is taking continuing education classes and attending seminars to stay current with new up-to-date treatments and technology. She is always looking for new technologies in the treatment, management, and prevention of ocular diseases such as Glaucoma, Diabetes, age related macular degeneration and other ocular pathology.

Work History:
She has previously worked in a couple of practices: Detroit, MI, London, UK and Nashville, TN before relocating to Knoxville, TN in 2014. She joined Dr. Torrey Carlson and Associates in 2015.

Memberships: 
Dr. Ahmed is a member of the AOA, the Middle Tennessee Optometric Physician Society and Tennessee Optometric Association.

Hobbies:
Spending time with her children, travelling the world, photography, sewing, painting, cooking and learning innovative ways to make patient care outstanding.


West Town Mall Office
Turkey Creek Office

Karin R. Moore, O.D.

Dr. Moore grew up in Knoxville and is a graduate of Bearden High School.  After living in Nashville for a few years, she returned home to Knoxville. “I am very happy to be living in East Tennessee.”

Education:
Dr. Moore attended the University of Tennessee and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Biology. She attended the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis and graduated second in her class.  She received the Clinician award from Southern College of Optometry in 2000. She has extensive experience in LASIK surgery co-management.

Work History:
After practicing in a few different area Optometric group practices, Dr. Moore joined Dr. Carlson and Associates in 2016.  She specializes in; General Optometry, Contact Lens Fittings, Treatment and Management of Eye Disease, and LASIK Surgery Consultation.

Hobbies: 
Dr. Moore enjoys the mountains, hiking, trying new restaurants and spending time with her family.


West Town Mall Office
Turkey Creek Office

Hope Henderson, O.D.

Dr. Henderson grew up in Sweetwater, TN. She was married to her husband Jake in 2016, and they have a handsome dog-child named Sarge.

Education:
Dr. Henderson received her undergraduate degree from Maryville College in 2011. She graduated with honors majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Business Administration, and an exemplary senior thesis. She then attended Indiana University School of Optometry, graduating in 2016.

Work History:
Working as a technician for Dr. Carlson in 2011-2012, Dr. Henderson then returned to the practice as an optometrist after finishing optometry school in 2016. Her externships included: Atwater Eye Care Center in Bloomington, IN; Indianapolis Eye Care Center in Indianapolis, IN; William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, SC; and Truhlsen Eye Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE.

Memberships:
She is Member of the American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association, East Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, and the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians.

Hobbies:
She loves spending time with her husband, family, friends, and her dog. She also enjoys playing softball, spending time outdoors, and watching movies.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Monica Szalajko, O.D.

Dr. Szalajko (Zuh-lake-oh) is of Polish decent and originally from South Bend, IN. She moved to Eastern Tennessee with her German Shepherd dog, Bella, in 2016.

Education:
Attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. She then went on to receive her Doctorate in Optometry from Indiana University.

Work History:
Dr. Szalajko joined Dr. Carlson and Associates in 2016. Before even starting Optometry school, Dr. Szalajko was active with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin by providing vision screenings to public school children in urban Milwaukee areas, and worked as a laboratory technician in a home town optical. Her externships included: Eye Surgeons of Indianapolis, TLC Laser Eye Center, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and Vision Care Specialists.

Memberships:
She is Member of the American Optometric Association, Northeast Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, and the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians.

Hobbies:
As a borderline “crazy dog lady,” Dr. Szalajko enjoys spending her free time with her beloved pooch, hiking, cooking, traveling, and playing golf.


Johnson City Office
Kingsport Office
Bristol Office

Jenna Nieman, O.D.

My dad, Chris, owns a branch of Senior Helpers in Northern Ky and my mom, Cindy, works in the dialysis unit at St Elizabeth Medical Center. I have an older brother, Christopher, and an older sister, Caryn. Both of my siblings are lawyers. My brother and his wife, Monica, had a little girl named Evelyn who is extremely cute.

Education:
Dr. Nieman went to the University of Louisville for undergrad and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology. She then went to the Indiana University for Optometry school; receiving her Doctorate in 2016.

Work History:
Dr. Nieman joined Dr. Carlson and Associates in 2016. Previously, she worked as a technician for 2 years in undergrad at Vision First in Louisville, Ky. My externships included the Lexington VA and Bennett and Bloom Eye Care in Louisville.

Memberships:
Dr. Nieman is Member of the American Optometric Association, Northeast Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, and the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians.

Hobbies:
Dr. Nieman’s hobbies include; reading, playing soccer, hiking, skiing, playing with my puppy (aka 3 yr old beagle).


Johnson City Office

Carissa Chambers, O.D.

Dr. Chambers grew up on a farm in Huntsville, TN and moved to Johnson City in 2015. Her father runs a small business where he designs and manufactures roadside mowers. Her mother has worked for the Scott County Health Department for over 40 years. Her younger sister works as a registered nurse in the Memphis, TN area.

Education:
She attended the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and received a Bachelor of Science in Health & Human Science along with completion of the Chancellors Honors Program. She then attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN and graduated in 2015. Her externships included a private practice in Encinitas, CA and Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun ophthalmology in Knoxville, TN.

Work History:
She joined Dr. Carlson in 2016. Before this, she completed a residency in Primary Eye Care/ Ocular Disease at the Mountain Home VA.

Memberships:
American Optometric Association, TN Association of Optometric Physicians, Northeast TN Society of Optometric Physicians (current president), Farragut Lions Club

Hobbies:
Ultramarathons, triathlons, trail running, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, traveling, optometric mission trips both locally and internationally through Lions Club, and spending time with her family, friends, cats, and dogs