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Published May 22, 2023
Kem Krueger, dean of the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy, is recognized by his peers for his tireless efforts to move the pharmacy program forward. His community work has not gone unnoticed either.
Krueger is the recipient of the 2023 Laramigo Award for Community Engagement. The award recognizes the contributions of UW faculty and staff members to the university and Laramie communities. The award, created by anonymous donors, offers a stipend to a UW employee and a Laramie-based nonprofit organization of the recipient’s choice.
Krueger has been at the university since 2006 and has received numerous teaching and research awards -- receiving more than $6 million in grants and contracts -- and has been recognized by several professional organizations, both on the state and national levels.
As dean of the College of Health Sciences until last July, David Jones observed the impact that Krueger has had on the UW and Laramie communities, helping to bring both together to work for a common cause.
“I am referring to Kem’s accomplishments during the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes UW’s early efforts, starting in March 2020, to develop mitigation strategies and working with state officials to determine the best options available for COVID-19 testing,” Jones says. “Most important, however, is the time and energy Kem dedicated to UW’s contribution to the community COVID-19 vaccination program.”
In December 2020 -- when the first COVID-19 vaccine became available -- Krueger began working with Albany County Public Health to initiate the community’s COVID-19 vaccine program. He scheduled the clinics, identified clinical faculty who could participate and ensured that students in the schools of Pharmacy and Nursing could gain once-in-a-lifetime experience as vaccinators.
As the clinic began to evolve, he worked closely with the CEO and the chief nursing officer at Ivinson Memorial Hospital to implement the hospital’s electronic medical records system to document the visits of each person who came to the vaccine clinic, Jones says. Krueger also assisted Albany County Public Health in registering each vaccination in Wyoming’s immunization registry.
“Seeing that the demand for this clinic was growing -- and understanding the need for more providers to serve in the clinics -- Kem was able to recruit a number of retired nurses from the Laramie community to work the clinics,” Jones adds. “Having been involved in the COVID vaccine clinics myself, I was able to witness firsthand Kem’s efforts to get the community vaccine clinic off the ground and to sustain the clinics for months.”
Dr. Jean Allais, the Albany County health officer, also worked closely with Krueger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He worked tirelessly helping to get our community vaccinated for COVID-19. The task was enormous. He worked many hours in any capacity needed at the events themselves, including many evenings and weekends,” Allais says. “His enthusiasm for this important endeavor has been unwavering. He is always pleasant to work with, and he does it with a smile. Dr. Krueger is deserving of this recognition for all his efforts in this undertaking.”
Krueger received his pharmacy degree (1993) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and his doctoral degree (1999) from the University of Arizona.