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Dr. Ahad Fazelat 

Ahad Fazelat works to make sure blindness is not an option for vets


BEDFORD — Dr. Ahad Fazelat wants veterans to know that he is vested in their lives so they can receive treatment for chronic eye diseases locally and at a reasonable cost.


Fazelat and his partners at Bellows, Goodman, Shaker and Siegal (BGSS) Medical Eye Center in Manchester, are contracted with the Veterans Administration to provide treatment of macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.


Fazelat, 39, said many veterans, most of whom are men, often have to travel two hours round-trip to Boston for five-hour visits, something he feels prevents some of them from receiving treatment. The lack of treatment can cause blindness, and Fazelat said that's not an option.


"I believe a lot of veterans get care as much as they can and tertiary services are sent to Massachusetts. They would have to travel to Boston 12 times a year, and I feel they become disenfranchised. It puts a strain on them financially and emotionally," he said. "It's a way for us to provide the tertiary services the veterans need locally."


He focuses on developing a treatment geared toward each patient and their needs, which also offers them hope.


"Everything in my practice is centered around treatment plans. I don't want them to think, and I've heard, that because of the financial stresses it makes them feel they're just a number," he said.


Fazelat was described in the nomination for the 40 Under Forty program as having a bedside manner that puts his patients at ease, regardless of their age, ethnic or economic status. He attributes this demeanor as innate and environmental.


"Being the youngest of eight children, I always had elderly parents, and many of my patients are elderly. For me, it is uncanny that patients would take on the persona of my parents, and it's easy for me to understand their needs and communicate with them," he said. "They look the same, have the same characteristics, and they even smell the same as my mom and dad. It has served me well in my practice. If you can't identify with your patients, you can't really understand the problem."


Fazelat was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and his father predicted the coup of 1978 and that the country would fall. His family moved to England when he was 3 years old, and he came to the United States in 1980 when he was age 5. He grew up in Missouri, where he earned his bachelor's degree. His pursuit of a medical degree took him to New York and Boston. Before he went to medical school, he was working with a glaucoma specialist, which led him to specialize in surgical ophthalmology.


Fazelat and his wife, Joyia Fazelat, an emergency room physician at the Elliot Hospital, have three children, Sammy, 5, Anna, 3, and Joseph, 1. The family moved to Bedford in 2011, however, Joyia was raised in Bedford, and attended Peter Woodbury School and The Derryfield School.


Fazelat said he admires Pope Francis because he goes out of his way to understand people.


"I read stories about when he was in Argentina he would live like a miser. He continues to live in an austere environment, and I hear he goes out in laymen's clothing at night to help the poor. I think that's admirable," said Fazelat. "If you're delivering a message or medical care, you have to understand the people you're trying to help."

        

March 16 Reception!

Join the New Hampshire Union Leader, Citizens Bank and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire as we honor this year’s 40 Under Forty class.

When: March 16, 2016 – 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Grappone Conference Center – Concord, NH

Tickets: Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online by clicking the button below or you can arrange for tickets by calling 603.206.7834 or emailing ewhalen@unionleader.com.

THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSOR

Class of 2016

Kris Mailepors: 'Better leaders produce better results'

Kris Mailepors: 'Better leaders produce better results'

Neil Nicholson: 'He's never lost sight of the importance of helping others'

Neil Nicholson: 'He's never lost sight of the importance of helping others'

John Vaccarezza: 'Mr. Vacc' has settled in with Central Pride

John Vaccarezza: 'Mr. Vacc' has settled in with Central Pride

Michael Dimos: A big booster for Manchester

Michael Dimos: A big booster for Manchester

Brent Kiley: A leader's job is to listen

Brent Kiley: A leader's job is to listen

Amy Manzelli: Busy mom is an attorney focused on the environment

Amy Manzelli: Busy mom is an attorney focused on the environment

Charles Lloyd: Finding success in giving back

Charles Lloyd: Finding success in giving back

Subash Acharya: Bhutan native helps refugees become self-sufficient

Subash Acharya: Bhutan native helps refugees become self-sufficient

Cam Brensinger: Building a foundation for the future

Cam Brensinger: Building a foundation for the future

Christine DeAngelis: Focused on Rochester children, economics

Christine DeAngelis: Focused on Rochester children, economics

Joshua Bourdon: Derry councilor sees potential in everybody

Joshua Bourdon: Derry councilor sees potential in everybody

Deo Mwano: Giving back has been a healing process

Deo Mwano: Giving back has been a healing process

Anthony Correnti: Eye doc sees constant challenges

Anthony Correnti: Eye doc sees constant challenges

Jennifer Creasey: Franklin native gives back to her city

Jennifer Creasey: Franklin native gives back to her city

Peter Laufenberg: Helping students along the career path

Peter Laufenberg: Helping students along the career path

Maria Noel Groves: Herbalist spreads the word on wellness

Maria Noel Groves: Herbalist spreads the word on wellness

Allison Joseph: MY TURN executive helps at-risk youth

Allison Joseph: MY TURN executive helps at-risk youth

Jason Bergeron: His family embraces 'live for today'

Jason Bergeron: His family embraces 'live for today'

Michael Browning: His goal is creating game changers

Michael Browning: His goal is creating game changers

 Suraj Budathoki: New U.S. citizen advocates for human rights

Suraj Budathoki: New U.S. citizen advocates for human rights

 Kat Antonioli: Nonprofit co-founder believes it's better to give than to receive

Kat Antonioli: Nonprofit co-founder believes it's better to give than to receive

Jackie Christensen: onCampus creator 'cuts through the noise'

Jackie Christensen: onCampus creator 'cuts through the noise'

Jennifer A. Vadney: Opening doors to new homes

Jennifer A. Vadney: Opening doors to new homes

Jessica Chabot: P.R. pro volunteers to help veterans

Jessica Chabot: P.R. pro volunteers to help veterans

Jason B. Grosky: Prosecutor's commitment to civic life is a juggling act

Jason B. Grosky: Prosecutor's commitment to civic life is a juggling act

 Dr. Adrian Thomas: Surgeon's evenings filled with family

Dr. Adrian Thomas: Surgeon's evenings filled with family

Kendra Bell: Proud to be from the North Country

Kendra Bell: Proud to be from the North Country

Tara Albert: Key to her success caring for the environment is loving the job

Tara Albert: Key to her success caring for the environment is loving the job

Joseph Manzoli Jr.: The power of a superhero

Joseph Manzoli Jr.: The power of a superhero

Jason Beaudet: Transforming design into reality

Jason Beaudet: Transforming design into reality

Jennifer Malone: Vet goes the extra mile to provide creature comforts

Jennifer Malone: Vet goes the extra mile to provide creature comforts

Martha Frechette: Working with dogs 'just makes your day'

Martha Frechette: Working with dogs 'just makes your day'

Shaloo Savla: A drive to be part of the solution

Shaloo Savla: A drive to be part of the solution

Maria Proulx: A strong work ethic pays off

Maria Proulx: A strong work ethic pays off

 Katherine Peters: Commitment to energy efficiency, public service drives career

Katherine Peters: Commitment to energy efficiency, public service drives career

Kevin Smith: Leading Londonderry forward

Kevin Smith: Leading Londonderry forward

Meredith Stidham: Committed to social justice

Meredith Stidham: Committed to social justice

Dave Tencza: Protecting NH's most vulnerable

Dave Tencza: Protecting NH's most vulnerable

Gina Powers: State House lobbyist thrives on volunteer work

Gina Powers: State House lobbyist thrives on volunteer work

Fr. Kyle Stanton: Young priest a pastor to two flocks

Fr. Kyle Stanton: Young priest a pastor to two flocks

Class of 2017 Nominations

Please summarize below the nominee's professional and volunteer accomplishments, and other special factors that you feel make them deserving of this recognition. Please include complete contact information for nominee.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 program, contact Shannon K. Sullivan, Community Relations Manager, 603-206-7833 or ssullivan@unionleader.com.

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