KNWA Today: Movers & Shakers – Dr. Steven Vold

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They are difference-makers, who are influential in bringing recognition and growth to our area.
We call them, Movers and Shakers.

He’s Northwest Arkansas visionary, whose groundbreaking work is helping correct one of the leading causes of blindness. “It’s about the privilege in taking care of my patients.” says Vold.

Seeing is believing for ophthalmologist Steven Vold. He says, “I still kind of pinch myself and feel very lucky.”

Patients near and far have traveled to his offices in Fayetteville for his cutting-edge surgery. Growing up in rural South Dakota, Vold gained his creativity from his parents. “When I was a kid, I was very imaginative in creating new games and ways to fix things within the house. I was a very hard worker.” said Vold.

Advised as a teen to go into medicine, Vold quickly graduated through the ranks in college. His career came into focus while working with a colleague, who suggested he help patients with glaucoma. “If we can find ways to make their job easier, we can keep them from losing their vision.”

Vold was the first surgeon in the country to install an ocular device to aid patients with glaucoma, along with several other surgical advancements.  “I was one of those guys who was a problem-solver. Always trying to find a better way to do things.”

To avoid hospital bureaucracy, Vold created his own path in assisting glaucoma sufferers. In 2007, he set his sights on Northwest Arkansas. “When I was looking around the country, this was an area that was in need of sub-specialty care and ophthalmology at that time. It’s been one of the single best decisions that I have ever made.”

Over the last decade, Vold has spoken worldwide about his work, along with capturing numerous awards. But he says nothing compares to his biggest accomplishment… His 16-year old daughter sara, who has down syndrome.  Vold says, “Sara’s probably not going to go to MIT or Harvard, but here’s what she does…she shows compassion, she’s helping teach me patience, which I can use sometimes, and she’s also taught me to appreciate the little things in life.”

Doctor Vold has seen and done it all. But life has a funny way of putting things in a clearer view. “From a guy who grew up in a little town in South Dakota, I’m just completely humbled that I would be able to get these opportunities and to operate and to speak all over the world.” says Dr. Vold.

Doctor vold has set up a non-profit in his daughter’s honor, called “Sarah’s Song”. He says having this platform, can help bring awareness and help assist families who are taking care of a loved one with down syndrome or any other disability or aliment.

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