Dr. Klugh named chief of pediatric neurosurgery

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC strategic communications | November 16, 2020

Image with caption: Arnett Klugh, MD

Arnett Klugh, MD

In one sense, Arnett Klugh, MD, is retired.

But, as new chief of pediatric neurosurgery, he is just getting started.

Dr. Klugh, who came to UNMC and the College of Medicine from the National Naval Medical Center, just retired from 32 years of active duty service in the Navy and Marine Corps.

"As a practicing pediatric neurosurgeon I wanted to continue to take care of kids," said Dr. Klugh, who also will practice for Children's Hospital & Medical Center. "But, not just do that, but to build, and even create avenues for other people to grow."

It was something he started doing in the military: "One of the most rewarding things, beyond taking care of patients, is in the Navy, you as a physician get to really mentor and help young sailors and marines figure out what to do with their lives."

Dr. Klugh said in Omaha he hopes to help African American kids find an interest in science, and perhaps medicine.

It was a mentor that first got him on that same path.

Dr. Klugh enlisted in the Marines out of high school. Capt. J.P. Monahan was impressed with young Arnett Klugh, and encouraged him to apply to the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland.

There, he was one of just 10 in his class chosen to pursue medicine directly upon graduation, as his military service obligation.

"What's my purpose and calling in life," Dr. Klugh said, "what fills me up and what allows me to give completely of myself? For me, it was working with people and a love for science. Medicine was the river that unites those two things."

That's true in his chosen field, pediatric neurosurgery. "You really are walking with someone when they are vulnerable," he said.

"I am always humbled by the special trust and confidence that parents place in you."

And he gets to see his patients grow. "It's a long-term bond," Dr. Klugh said. "You grow as a person beyond the clinical experience."

As he begins his second act, Dr. Klugh is excited to join the team at UNMC.

"I really, really want to bring a spirit of collaboration, and partner with families and my colleagues, to build upon the excellence that's already here," he said.

"We want to increase access to specialized pediatric neurosurgical care for Nebraska's children, because they deserve it.

"It's amazing what's already here."

Kari Simonsen, MD, chief of the UNMC Department of Pediatrics, said she was excited to welcome Dr. Klugh to UNMC.

"We look forward to working together to build sustainable, innovative, academic pediatric neurosurgical programs that will enhance our ability to provide comprehensive care for children in the region," she said.


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Angela Hampton
November 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Congratulations. Love your servants heart!

Patricia Daramola
November 18, 2020 at 11:11 AM


Emily McElroy
November 17, 2020 at 8:52 AM

Welcome to UNMC!

Lionel Hines
November 17, 2020 at 7:02 AM

Wonderful news and a tremendous story of helping others.

Merry Lindsey
November 17, 2020 at 6:43 AM

Welcome! So glad you're here.

April McCaleb
November 16, 2020 at 3:36 PM

Welcome Dr. Klugh so happy to have you in our department :)

Anne Lawlor
November 16, 2020 at 1:05 PM

Congratulations and welcome to UNMC, Dr. Klugh!

Tom O’Connor
November 16, 2020 at 7:59 AM

Welcome aboard, Dr. Klugh! We’re honored to have you!

Chad Abresch
November 16, 2020 at 7:28 AM

Welcome, Dr. Klugh!! Happy retirement :)

Lisa Runco
November 16, 2020 at 6:45 AM

Welcome Dr. Klugh! The Department of Pediatrics and the Child Health Research Institute look forward to working with you.

Sheritta Strong, MD
November 16, 2020 at 6:35 AM

Welcome to UNMC Dr. Klugh! I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

Dele Davies
November 16, 2020 at 6:02 AM

Welcome to UNMC Dr. Klugh!

Alice Sato
November 11, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Welcome! Looking forward to working with you.

donny suh
November 11, 2020 at 8:11 AM

Welcome to UNMC and Children's!