Dr. Richard Kozoll moved to Cuba, New Mexico in 1975 for what he expected to be a short-term stint as medical director at Presbyterian Medical Services. In recent weeks, he has been recognized by both the Village of Cuba and the State Legislature for 40 years of service to the community.
“When I was approached about doing something to honor Dr. Kozoll, I thought it was a great idea,” said Cuba Mayor Mark Hatzenbuhler. “For 40 years Dr. Kozoll has provided medical treatment for the members of this community, but he has done many other things as well. Whether it is transplanting and maintaining trees at the St Fancies of Assisi Park, building trails at the school, helping to design the park, and working on the Continental Divide Trail or writing grants for projects, he is always looking forward to the next project that will help the community.”
If you ask Dr. Kozoll to speak about the projects he works on for the benefit of the community, he’s most likely to mention the Step into Cuba program. That is an initiative to build trails and other facilities that make it easier for area residents to simply take a walk as a way of moving toward more healthy lifestyles.
As a community-wide thank you, Mayor Hatzenbuhler asked citizens to submit letters detailing ways in which Dr. Kozoll had helped them or positively impacted their lives. The letters were presented to Dr. Kozoll at a Village Council Meeting on February 25, 2015, along with a proclamation declaring that day Dr. Richard Kozoll Day in the Village. But the honor didn’t stop there.
Mayor Hatzenbuhler also contacted State Representative Garcia Richard, who asked the Legislature to issue a similar proclamation. That resulted in March 4, 2015 being declared Dr. Richard Kozoll Day across the entire state. That’s fitting tribute for a guy who turned a short-term stay into 40 years and counting of service to an appreciative community.