Barry Pollard is frequently asked how does he do it all.
Neurosurgeon, owner and president of P&K Equipment, owner of Pollard Farms, LLC, member on the American Angus Association Board of Directors, Oklahoma State university Presidents Medallion member — Pollard’s accomplishments are pages long, literally.
He says neurosurgery is his primary occupation but the way he does it all is with good help. Help from his wife, Roxanne, staff like Regina Kraus, and great managers.
“I have a stable and good devoted crew of people here in the office that function and work together every day,” Pollard said. “We are efficient here and at the hospital, and that’s because we try to work at it every day — being efficient and doing a good job. As far as the other things I’m involved in, I try to mirror and reproduce the same type of environment in them as I have here at the office (in Enid).”
Pollard said his job is easier when he has team members who are devoted to their occupation, the team and customers — characteristics he deems the “most important” for his success, his business’ success and his patients.
For his service to the Enid community and surrounding area, Pollard has been honored as a candidate for Pillar of the Plains.
The Enid News & Eagle, along with community partners, created the Pillar of the Plains award to honor local people who have been active in the community. These individuals have taken on tasks and projects beyond their professions to better the quality of life in our community.
Honorees are selected by past Pillars of the Plains. Pillars of the Plains from previous years include: Bert Mackie, Lee Thompson, Janet Cordell, Lew Ward, Dr. Charles Ogle, Becky Cummings, Dr. Jerry Blankenship, April Danahy, Doug Frantz, Martie Oyler, Gail Wynne, Paul Allen and Cheryl Evans.
One of the four honorees will be named Pillar of the Plains for 2016 during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Benson Room in Convention Hall in the Central National Bank Center. This year’s other honorees are Leonard Northcutt, Jimmy Stallings and John Little.
Pollard said there’s a lot of great people in Enid — good, hardworking people — and it’s been his pleasure to serve the area for more than 30 years.
“I’m honored to be a Pillar of the Plains honoree,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to see a lot of people in this area. This (being an honoree) is not a goal you set out to accomplish but it’s nice people have seen that.”
Don Roberts said he’s known Pollard for as long as he can remember and he’s always been the same.
“He’s a fantastic supported of agricultural youth and their events, like stock shows and leadership events like speech contests,” Roberts said. “Dr. Pollard has always been gracious with contributions toward those events, especially when he knows the efforts are going toward scholarship efforts.”
Roberts said he’s worked many FFA and 4-H events where Pollard has volunteered, been in attendance or helped organize the event.
“He’s asked many times as to how he can help us rather than us having to go to him for help,” Roberts said. “You can count on in. Fifteen years ago we put together an annual golf tournament for the OSU Cherokee Strip Regional Alumni Association and he’s been a part of it since the beginning.”
From parades to premium livestock sales, Roberts said Pollard is there for the kids.
“Pollard is one of those guys that, when he decides to be a part of it, he will be there and not just put his name on it,” Roberts said. “I’ve seen his involvement not only on a local level but also on a regional and statewide level, which is really neat to watch.”
Pollard said he lives by the phrase, “you only live one life.” With fives kids and seven grandchildren, Pollard said its a lifestyle his parents instilled in him and he instilled with his family.
“I was the recipient of kindness when I was younger, at premium sales and other events,” Pollard said. “I see it as a worthwhile thing to do — help the kids, raise money for scholarships and the community.”
Pollard didn’t stop giving back to the community just in Enid. He is a founding member of Oklahoma State University Medical Cowboys, a fundraising effort for those interested in the medical field and get doctors to rural health care areas.
“It’s hard to get someone who grew up in Oklahoma City to a practice in a rural area,” he said. “I felt this was a way to recruit people into the medical field for rural areas and help with scholarships.”
Pollard could have been a “big city” doctor but he wanted to come back to his roots.
“My family roots run deep in this area and I felt it was important to stay grounded here,” he said. “Coming back to Enid gave me better opportunities to practice neurosurgery. There are good people here, hardworking people here and people who care. I treasure that.”
Without Pollard, his nurse Regina Kraus said many wouldn’t be alive today.
“When we first came here (in 1982), there was a girl from Woodward who got kicked in the head by a horse,” Kraus said. “If the doctor hadn’t been this close, she wouldn’t have lived.”
Pollard remembers that girl. He said Oklahoma Highway Patrol escorted the ambulance into town.
Kraus said many patients have ruptured discs and are in severe pain. Pollard not only heals people but helps bring other services to Enid, she said.
“He loves to tease all the nurses and he’s very, very witty,” she said. “He’s very humorous with his patients, which puts them at ease. He has a contagious personality. He can work harder and longer than anyone I know. He does a lot more than the average neurosurgeon.”
Kraus said Pollard always expects the best of his staff and he expects his patients to be taken care of.
“He lets me do what I do well and that’s been the nicest thing,” she said. “He trusts me and I trust him. He’s good to everybody, no matter your status, your age or health — he treats you the same.”
Pollard said his work is more than just helping out the community — it’s a way to foster youth development, responsibility, investment, your neighbors, the kids.
“There’s a lot of need,” he said. “If I felt any other way, I’d be letting myself down. I don’t want to be the person who treats anyone differently. That’s not the way my mom and dad raised me or how I raised my children. Not everyone has the same opportunities.”
STORY BY: ENID NEWS & EAGLE
WRITTEN BY: EMILY SUMMARS