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RLMC signs family practice physician

Chris Little will return to Borderland in 2024

A Borderland native will return to the area in 2024 as a family practice physician at Rainy Lake Clinic.

Chris Little, a 2010 Falls High School graduate, has signed an agreement with Rainy Lake Medical Center to work in the clinic after graduating from the St. John’s Family Medicine Program in 2024.

“I look forward to getting to know, care for, and work with patients and families of International Falls,” Little said. “I am excited to get involved as an active member of the community.”

After high school, Little attended the University of Minnesota Medical School, graduating in 2021. He’s currently serving as a resident physician at the St. John’s Family Medicine Program in St. Paul.

“As a resident, I care for patients of all ages in the clinic and hospital setting,” he said.

Growing up in International Falls, Little said he observed the impact of a healthcare system in a small community. Once he began medical school, he said he set his sights on becoming a family physician and returning to a rural setting to practice.

“During my time at the University of Minnesota Medical School, I had the opportunity to see all aspects of medicine in both urban and rural settings,” he said.

Little spent time at RLMC as a summer intern in 2015, as well as intermittently between 2017-2018 as a medical student for the Rural Medical Scholars Program. The program is a longitudinal experiential rural curricular offering providing basic skills building, hands-on patient care and the beginning steps of integrating the basic and clinical sciences. The inter-professional learning occurs in rural family medical preceptors’ offices, hospitals and communities.

“Some of the most memorable experiences were spent at Rainy Lake Clinic, seeing patients with Dr. Knaak,” Little said. “This exposure to rural family medicine solidified my decision to return home to practice after finishing my training.”

RLMC officials are excited to have Little on the team and look forward to welcoming him in 2024.

“When Chris worked in our facility alongside Dr. Knaak, we knew we wanted him as a permanent member of our team,” said RLMC CEO Robb Pastor. “Chris understands our mission and vision, and fits perfectly with our culture. He will do an outstanding job of caring for our patients. We’re really excited to have him part of the Rainy Lake Clinic staff.”

When asked what it is about the area that made Little decide he wanted to return to his hometown, he said he has always enjoyed being a part of a close-knit community.

“I look forward to returning to our community to provide care and help the community improve healthcare access for future generations,” he said. “I also look forward to enjoying all of the area’s outdoor activities, especially spending time on Rainy Lake with friends, family, and my fiancée, Katie West.”

About RLMC

RLMC offers emergency care, surgery, cardiology rehab and diagnostics, chemo and infusion therapy, family medicine clinics, radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, therapy services, hosts sleep studies, laboratory services, orthopedics, swing bed care – both acute and skilled nursing.

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