The Mille Lacs Band Health and Human Services Department is pleased to introduce new physicians and physician assistants, as well as some familiar faces who will take on new roles while continuing to provide the highest quality health care to Band members.
Dr. Michelle O'Brien
Dr. Michelle O’Brien is a family physician with a master's in public health in maternal and child health. She grew up in Central Minnesota near St. Cloud and went to St. Catherine’s University for undergrad, the University of Minnesota for medical school, and Boston University for her master's program. She completed her residency training at the Duluth Family Medicine residency program. She first became interested in addiction medicine while working in Boston, Massachusetts, providing suboxone treatment to pregnant women at Boston Medical Center’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T program. She also has a passion for strong mental health and resilience and strives to practice in a trauma-informed approach, using positive psychology and mind body practices. She is also a certified facilitator in Brené Brown’s Daring Way curriculum. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family (including their golden doodle puppy), traveling, trying new cuisines and restaurants, music, and reading.
Dr. Brian Riddle
Dr. Brian Riddle is a family physician with over 20 years of experience. He is originally from Oklahoma, but has spent the last two decades practicing medicine in Fort Yates, North Dakota, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and most recently in Superior, Wisconsin. He graduated from medical school at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and completed his family medicine residency in Bismarck, North Dakota. After beginning his career working on a Native American reservation in North Dakota, he looks forward to once again practicing in a place where he can help people get the care they need in a compassionate and caring way. In his free time, he likes to hunt, fish, and spend time with his wife and four kids. Dr. Riddle will start seeing patients at Mille Lacs on December 6.
Dr. Anne Riddle
Dr. Anne Riddle is a family physician with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a degree in Biology. She attended the University of North Dakota for medical school and completed residency training at UND-Bismarck. She has practiced family medicine in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. She and Dr. Brian Riddle have four children. In her free time, she enjoys family time, reading, gardening, hiking, skiing, and being outdoors. Dr. Riddle specializes in family medicine with obstetric care up to 28 weeks. She is trained in Creighton Model natural family planning and looks forward to practicing medicine in a manner that respects the melding of Ojibwe natural healing practices and Western medicine for the benefit of the individual and the community.
Alex Wray is a PA clinician with Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Health and Human Services. His focus is family practice and walk-in visits. Alex’s passion is for connecting with patients and being an advocate for their care by representing the patient first and foremost. “Health care as a system is about caring for a community, but as a clinician I have an opportunity to interact with my patients and tailor my practice to that individual’s needs and wishes. Taking the time to listen to a patient concerns and needs and then working with them to improve their condition is where I get the most satisfaction from my career.”
Alex graduated from Idaho State University with his Master of Physician Assistant Studies Degree. His professional experience is in urgent care and family practice settings, with experience before his PA degree in emergency medicine settings. He enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about spending time on rivers, lakes, and in the mountains with his family.
Dr. Susan Romanik
Dr. Susan Romanik earned her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and brings over 25 years of experience practicing medicine to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She completed her residency in family medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Dr. Romanik states, “I chose this opportunity because of the vision the current HHS Leadership has set. I firmly believe that you should find and give joy daily, and I look forward to being a part of this talented team. I strive to be approachable, and I continue to practice my listening skills so that I’m able to understand where each patient is in their health journey. As a former patient once said to me, ‘A smile goes further than you think’.”
Dr. Mark Bostrom
Mark Bostrom has over 20 years’ experience providing excellent care in internal medicine. Dr. Bostrom has been a consistent and well known provider at Ne-la-Shing Clinic for the past 14 years. Prior to working at Mille Lacs, he practiced at Central Lakes Medical Clinic and at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Dr. Bostrom earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He also holds a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle. He completed his residency and internship at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Dr. Bostrom recently moved much of his practice to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, but we are blessed that he continues to see patients at Ne Ia Shing one day a week.
Dr. Peggy Frisch
Peggy Frisch, NP, has had the opportunity of working for the Mille Lacs Band for 21 years of her career as a nurse and now a nurse practitioner. She currently practices at the Aazhoomog Clinic on a part-time basis.
She began her career after graduating from Mankato State University as an RN and has since completed her graduate program as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Saint Scholastica. Peggy has had varied experiences working in long-term care, acute care surgery, and hospital in-patient care. She also has been stationed two years in the Rio Grande valley where she cared for foreign aliens waiting to be repatriated and assisted the Homeland Security medical flight crews in trips to China, France, and other countries around the world.
Peggy states, “I’m grateful to be back home in rural Finlayson with my large extended family, which includes children, grandchildren and of course too many pets to name! Seems like there is never enough time in the day to enjoy semi-retirement!”
Miigwech to Dr. Running Hawk
Health and Human Services also announced last month that Dr. Lacey Running Hawk would be leaving her Ne-Ia-Shing practice to work closer to home and family.
In a letter to her patients, Dr. Running Hawk said, "I hope this letter finds you and your family well. 2020 has been a year full of challenge and uncertainty, but I hope you have found encouragement in the small blessings each day brings.
"I would like to thank you for trusting me with the care of you and your family, whether it was just recently or during the entire four years that I have worked for Health and Human Services. It has been the greatest honor to work in this community through the transitions, triumphs, and tragedies and to build such strong relationships with my patients and co-workers.
"It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that I will be leaving the practice at Health and Human Services. I will deeply miss my patients, co-workers, and the entire Mille Lacs Band community.
"The decision was difficult, but as my own family grows, I have chosen to work closer to home. I have developed lifelong friendships and a fond attachment to the Mille Lacs Band community over the last four years, so even though my role as physician is ending, I plan to remain connected. It is my hope that this letter is not a farewell but a see-you-soon and that our paths will continue to cross for years to come.
Miigwech and gigawaabamin to Dr. Running Hawk from the Mille Lacs Band Community!