Following the example

July 13, 2021

The saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is an apt one for some young adults who are spending some time working at Mille Lacs Health System. The hospital is pleased to have both employees and summer interns with close ties to the medical facility - their parents have been integral providers of local health care for many years.

Nathan Hass is the son of Tony Hass, MLHS Chiropractor. Nathan is attending Stout University, majoring in Business Administration/with a minor in Marketing and Sales. He’ll be working this summer with Marketing, the Mille Lacs Area Health Foundation, and in MLHS Administration. Nathan grew up in Milaca.

“I’m looking forward to learning and seeing so many aspects of business experiences,” said Hass, “especially how all of it relates to a healthcare facility.”


Shan Donovan, son of Dr. Cathy Donovan, is attending North Dakota State University with a major in Biomedical Sciences. He is interning in both the Pharmacy and as an EMT in the Ambulance Dept. He grew up in Onamia.

“I’m definitely excited about the different experiences you get in healthcare,” said Donovan. “I like being able to help so many kinds of patients, and I look forward to coming back to my hometown of Onamia someday to continue the important tradition of providing medical care. My mom has been a great part of that locally, it’s in my family.”


Sam Virnig is the son of Drs. Arden Virnig and Patti Hook, and grew up in Onamia. Sam graduated from South Dakota State University, where he got a degree in General Studies. He worked for MLHS Maintenance for one summer, then pursued the education needed to work as an EMT for the health system.

 “I love having that hands-on experience and training,” Sam said, “and of course I get so much wisdom from Bill Hill!” Sam also noted that it feels good to be working in the area to “give back to the community that gave so much to me and my family.”


(Pictured but not interviewed:) Dr. Sarah Virnig, daughter of Drs. Arden Virnig and Patti Hook, sometimes can be seen around the MLHS Emergency Room or in the hospital as a hospitalist. She is an independent contractor, working for a medical staffing agency. She grew up in Onamia, and attended medical school at the University of MN. She also has been practicing medicine in Alaska since 2017.