May 28, 2003 - Chieftan: Peace Corps Doctor Norman Haug named rural health practitioner of the year

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 11:04 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Doctor Norman Haug named Rural Health Practitioner of the Year





Read and comment on this story from the Chieftan on Doctor Norman Haug who has just been named rural health practitioner of the year. He was a Peace Corps doctor in Malaysia from 1963- 65. Haug has never refused a call to service. In 1998, after Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras, he and his wife took their medical expertise to that devastated country. And, following 9/11, they offered to go to New York City to assist there. "I know of no professional who comes so close to emulating Mother Theresa," a friend said of Haug. Read the story at:

Popular Del Norte physician wins national award*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Popular Del Norte physician wins national award

Dr. Norman Haug

By ERIN SMITH

The Pueblo Chieftain

DEL NORTE - Dr. Norman Haug is larger than life.

Earlier this month, the 65-year-old family practice physician, who has become an icon in Rio Grande County, was named rural health practitioner of the year by the National Rural Health Association.

The association, based in Kansas City, Mo., annually names one physician in the nation for the honor. This year it could not decide between Haug and a North Dakota doctor, so it gave them both the honor at its national conference May 13-16 in Salt Lake City.

Haug is believed to be the first Colorado physician to receive the honor.

"Itís a very nice award," Haug said with characteristic understatement.

Haug was nominated by the Colorado Rural Health Association for his service to rural residents and his community.

A Colorado native, Haug was raised in Lakewood. He graduated from Regis College and entered the University of Colorado medical school, graduating at age 24 in 1962.

He was a Peace Corps doctor in Malaysia from 1963- 65. He then joined the Army and was sent to Malaysia for another year, then to South Vietnam for a year. In Vietnam, he was with the military advisory command working on the Vietnamese health system. He developed many friendships with Vietnamese doctors and their families and helped a number of them to immigrate to the U.S.

On leaving the Army, Haug went to the University of Oklahoma, where he taught in its family practice program from 1968-1981. He helped retrain Vietnamese physicians in American medicine.

"A number of them are still practicing throughout the United States, from California to Washington, D.C.," Haug said.

In 1980, Haug and met and married a nurse named Rebecca Sutterfield. They have three sons: James, a Boettcher scholar majoring in physics (with an eye to medicine) at University of Denver; Frank, a philosophy major at Regis University; and Anthony, who will be a senior at Del Norte High in the fall.

The Haugs moved to Del Norte in 1981, returning to his Colorado roots that go back to the 1870s when his grandfather ran a boarding house and saloon at Creede.

The family is active in the Catholic church and has gained a reputation for being community-oriented.

Haug also has served as Rio Grande County coroner since 1984. He is medical director for the Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake, near Monte Vista, and is the driving force behind the new Rio Grande Hospital.

The hospital has received approval from HUD to guarantee $10 million in bonds for construction. Haug said the construction on the new hospital, to be located west of Del Norte on Pinos Creek Road, will begin this summer and the hospital should be finished in a year.

Haug has never refused a call to service. In 1998, after Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras, he and Rebecca took their medical expertise to that devastated country. And, following 9/11, they offered to go to New York City to assist there, according to Juan Gomez, who spoke at Memorial Day ceremonies at Homelake on Monday.

"I know of no professional who comes so close to emulating Mother Theresa," Gomez said of Haug.

Gomez noted that Haug probably has cut back his 80-hour work weeks to 75 hours since being diagnosed earlier this year with colon cancer.

Not being one to toot his own horn, Haug likely would have kept his latest award a secret had it not been for Gomez and nurse Judy Kuske, who told the story on Monday.

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