Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Diabetes Care at School

Published in Wellness, Diabetes Care

When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, there is a learning curve that both the child and the parents must go through. They all need to learn how the child’s diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise and medication; how to measure blood sugar; and what to do when blood sugar is too high or too low.

Even when children have a good grasp on their diabetes while at home, parents may feel anxious about sending them off into an uncontrolled environment. That’s why it’s important for children and teens with diabetes to take special care to manage their diabetes while at school just as they do at home.

Creating a Care Plan

Most kids don’t like being different, and having diabetes means sometimes forgoing the foods that their friends are eating, taking time away from socializing to take their insulin or having to measure their blood sugar when they’d rather be playing. But their health depends on good diabetes management.

Talk to your child about his or her concerns, and discuss ways to deal with fears or other barriers. Together you can brainstorm ways to make your child feel comfortable excusing themselves from a room or activity when they need to. You can also help by planning a healthy, balanced lunch together.

If your family is new to the world of diabetes management, consider making an appointment at the Redwood Area Hospital Diabetes and Nutrition Center. Having trained adults on your side is vitally important to help manage your child’s diabetes. It is also important to work with the school health care provider and staff to develop a personal care plan. A school nurse can help you specify what, where, when and by whom diabetes care tasks will be provided in school. The school administrators may also wish to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child, to provide him or her allowances while taking tests or in the classroom. For more information on how to approach your child’s school and develop a care plan, visit

Working Together

Redwood Area Hospital’s diabetes care team, including your family doctor and the diabetes educators, can work with you and your child to create routines and reminders that work at home and school. Call Dorie Oja, Certified Diabetes Educator, at 507-637-4518 to schedule an appointment. People newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can sign up for our diabetes basics class series.

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