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

The Future Doctor Ashley Davenport: A Hockey Star’s Biggest Goal

Published in Medical Students

Author: Staff

Work hard and you can achieve great things. It’s a motto Ashley Davenport lives by. Now as a third-year medical student at DMU and currently on rotation at ACMC in Willmar, she’s learning just how true that sentiment is.

Ashley is second youngest in a family of six children. With three older brothers, an older sister and a younger sister, there was always something going on. In her family, it was often hockey—hockey practice, hockey games, hockey talk. When she was just three-years-old she learned to skate. In fourth grade the first girl’s hockey team was formed in Inver Grove Heights, and like her brothers she became a hockey player.

Ashley continued playing hockey during college—though she had to sit out her freshmen year with a torn ACL. “That was one of the toughest lessons I learned in hockey. At times it seemed unconquerable, but I believed that with hard work, determination and perseverance that I would get out on the ice at St. Ben’s,” she said.

Ashley in her early hockey years.

Life Lessons: From Hockey to Medical School

It was just one of many lessons she learned that would come in handy as a medical student. Hockey taught her a lot about life, giving her valuable skill sets besides how to win a face-off or shoot a mean slap shot.

“As a medical student, I’m always doing something—classes, rotations, studying. Sometimes it feels like you’re on a roller coaster that goes round and round nonstop. It takes dedication, focus and hard work. Being a busy student athlete in college helped me manage the transition to medical school. The same time management skills and prioritizing that was critical to doing well as a student athlete is even more crucial now,” Ashley said. “I’m finding these skills are also helpful in the exam room. We’re medical students, and although we’re busy studying to be doctors, we still have lives outside of the classroom, outside of the clinic. You have to learn to check your personal life at the door to focus on what’s most important – your patients.”

Making Rounds at ACMC

Ashley began her third-year medical rotations with ACMC this past summer. She’s getting a chance to experience what it’s like working in the areas she’s most interested in like primary care, preventative medicine, nutrition and sports medicine. She’s also learning how much she enjoys working in a community the size of Willmar.

“I grew up near the Cities, but I like the idea of practicing – and living— in a smaller community. I love seeing the relationships the doctors and mid-level providers develop with their patients. They know their patients. They know their patient’s families. They’re such a big part of their communities. I want to practice somewhere I can do that,” she said.

When it comes to ACMC, Ashley couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

“Everyone—staff, nurses and providers alike–has been amazing to work with. They take time to teach you. They’re invested in your success. As much as I appreciate everyone at ACMC, I also enjoy being here with other medical students who are in the same shoes I am. It’s nice to have others who are having the same – yet completely unique – stories and experiences,” Ashley said. “I’m really looking forward to whatever the next seven months holds for me here at ACMC.”

In life, just like hockey, you never know what may come your way. But one thing’s for certain, Ashley’s not afraid of a little hard work to get where she wants to go. Right now she’s working to score the most important goal in her life–to become Doctor Ashley Davenport.