McCook Doctor Wins NRHA Award

Unable to accept the Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner Award in person, Karen Kliment Thompson, Community Hospital’s Vice President Ancillary Services, bestows the honor on Dr. Richard Klug a few days later. Thompson received the award on behalf of Dr. Klug at the Nebraska Rural Health Association annual conference in Kearney last week. Earlier this month, Dr. Klug was also the recipient of the Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants Physician of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Richard Klug, M.D., family medicine physician, who was recently awarded the Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner Award from the Nebraska Rural Health Association. The award was announced at the Nebraska Rural Health Conference, held in April of each year.

The Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner Award recognizes an individual who is a direct service provider and who provides direct patient care such as physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others. This individual must exhibit outstanding leadership in bringing and/or improving health services in rural Nebraska. Factors taken into consideration include providing outstanding care; collaboration and multi-disciplinary teamwork; involvement in the community; involvement in education; and lasting contribution to the rural health care system. He was nominated by Karen Kliment Thompson, Community Hospital Vice President Ancillary Services.

Dr. Klug has been instrumental in ensuring the residents of southwest Nebraska have continued access to quality healthcare for over thirty-five years. He has devoted countless hours and continues to do so, volunteering his time and expertise to many different originations as well as serving the residents of this region through his own private practice.

Dr. Klug received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1982 and completed his family practice residency form UNMC in 1985, joining McCook Clinic in August of that year.

His many accomplishments include serving as the physician Medical Director of many of the area ambulance services including Stratton, Trenton, Palisade, Culbertson, Hayes Center and McCook for more than twenty years. Dr. Klug has served as the physician Medical Director for the City of McCook Fire Department since 1987 when he was involved in training the department in the use of semi-automatic defibrillators. He was instrumental in bringing Advanced Life Support (ALS) to Southwest Nebraska and to the City of McCook Fire Department in 1990. He also helped with the training when the McCook Fire Department progressed to the Advanced EMT-intermediate level in 1990 and then on to the EMT-Paramedic level in 1997. It is because of Dr. Klug’s passion and dedication to ensuring this region has highly trained and qualified individuals that the McCook Fire Department has one of the most aggressive protocols in the State of Nebraska for its emergency medical services. This has helped save many lives and touched many more in southwest Nebraska.

Dr. Klug has also been directly responsible for ensuring that this region, as well as other communities located outside of southwest Nebraska continues to have qualified indsividuals by serving as the Physician Medical Director for the Emergency Medical Technician program offered through McCook Community College for the past twenty years. During that time he has been involved in the training and certification of literally hundreds of EMT-Paramedics and he continues to be actively involved in Emergency Medical Services for the entire region.

Dr. Klug also volunteers as the Medical Director for Eldorado nursing home in Trenton and has served in this capacity as long as anyone can remember. This has involved traveling to Trenton almost monthly to assist this institution with the implementation of resident care policies and coordination of the medical care. He also provides care to patients at the Trenton Medical Clinic each month and is the medical director for the clinic.

Throughout his career, Dr. Klug has also served as a faculty physician for the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the Lincoln Family Medicine Program. He has been actively involved in the training and education of numerous family medicine residents, medical students and physician assistant students and in doing so has been instrumental in ensuring we continue to have highly trained and qualified healthcare professionals throughout the state of Nebraska.

In 2004, Dr. Klug also assumed the medical directorship of the People’s Family Health Services which provides patient care services related to family planning for individuals needing financial assistance His duties include serving as the direct supervisor for the clinicians (physician assistant or nurse practitioner) and People’s Family Health service staff in performing and delivering medical services.

Dr. Klug has also served as the hospice director for Community Hospital as well a being on almost every medical staff committee at Community Hospital at various times throughout his career. He was Chief of Staff from 1990-1992. He also served on the Community Hospital board of directors for approximately seven years form 1989-1995.

He and his wife, Pam Klug, a nurse at Red Willow County Health Department, have two sons. Ben, is an obstetrician/gynecologist in North Platte. Jeff is completing his residency to become a radiologist. The Klugs have five grandchildren.