Bruce A. Kraus named 2015 Trustee of the Year by the Wisconsin Hospital Association

Bruce Kraus, MD, who has served on the Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) Board of Directors for 17 years, recently received the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) 2015 Trustee of the Year Award at CCH’s annual gathering Jan. 18 at Savanna Oaks in Fall River.

“Dr. Kraus is a deep, forward thinking physician and staunch patient advocate with a passion for rural healthcare, rural community wellness, and preventative medicine,” said CCH President and CEO, John Russell, who nominated Dr. Kraus for the award.

WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding presented the award to Dr. Kraus in front of over 200 hospital supporters. "It is a great honor to recognize Dr. Kraus for his dedication to his patients, his contributions to improving community health and for his commitment to rural health care,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President Eric Borgerding in presenting the award. “As a long-time member of the CCH Board of Trustees, Dr. Kraus has helped shape the policies and practices that make rural hospitals one of Wisconsin’s greatest assets.”

According to Russell, Dr. Kraus’ interest in workplace wellness prompted CCH to become a key stakeholder in the development of an Occupational Health program, of which he has served as the medical director since its inception.

In 2013, Dr. Kraus and Pam donated $25,000 to the Volunteers of CCH to augment the scholarship program offered by the volunteers. Because of this donation, the Volunteers of CCH now offer up to seven $1,000 scholarships to be awarded each year to graduating high school students in the CCH service area who plan to pursue a health care career.

“Dr. Kraus’s many strengths have helped the hospital continuously evolve and improve as an organization,” said Russell. “All of the leadership activities, whether clinical or administrative, have been undertaken by Dr. Kraus for the good of our local community hospital and the communities we serve.”

Dr. Kraus grew up on a small farm near Clinton. He received his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, where he met his wife, Pam, of 43 years. After a residency in California, they decided to settle in Columbus, WI. Since October of 1978, Dr. Kraus ran an independent internal medicine practice in Columbus. Most recently, he joined the Prairie Ridge Health Clinic in Columbus, a department of Columbus Community Hospital.

Dr. Kraus was professionally appointed to the UW Nurse Practitioner Preceptor Program from 1982-1998. His curriculum vitae includes leadership in Community Physician Network, National Rural Health Association, Wisconsin Medical Directors Association, Wisconsin Society of Internal Medicine, State Medical Society of Wisconsin, Tri-County Medical Society of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rural Partners and Wisconsin Rural Health Association, as well as appointments by the Governor of Wisconsin to panels and advisory groups. His numerous awards include Addis Costello Internist of the Year (1992) from the Wisconsin Society of Internal Medicine and a Meritorious Service Award (1996) from the State Medical Society of Wisconsin.