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

Summer Safety Tips

Published in Wellness

Nearly all of us can agree, there's no better place to be than Minnesota in the summertime. Whether you're swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, golfing or gardening, it's important to remember a few safety tips to help protect you and your family this summer.

  1. Apply sunscreen. In the summer, the sun's rays are strongest from 10 AM to 4 PM. If you or your child plan to be outside during this time, it's important to remember to apply sunscreen. Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands and legs. Wear a hat to protect your scalp, ears, and face, and keep in mind that clouds do not block the sun's harmful UV rays. It's just as important to apply sunscreen or wear a hat on cloudy days as it is on sunny ones.
  2. Be vigilant around water. Drownings often happen when they are least expected when there are many people around. The problem is, people who are drowning don't usually look like they're drowning. There's no splashing, thrashing, crying or yelling. A drowning person is often vertical in the water and may manage to get their head or mouth to the surface, but because they are so desperate to breathe, they won't often yell for help. Always watch children around lakes and pools, and know your own limitations. If you're not a strong swimmer, wear a life jacket on the boat and enlist a friend to help supervise pool parties.
  3. Check for ticks. Chances are if you spend any length of time outdoors in Minnesota, you're going to encounter a tick or two. Ticks can carry germs that can cause Lyme disease and other serious illnesses. They live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas and it's not uncommon to get ticks in your own yard or neighborhood. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent and always follow the product's instructions, especially with children. Do not use any insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old, and do not use oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than three years old.
  4. Don't play around fire. Enjoying roasted marshmallows around the campfire is a longstanding Minnesota tradition. However, every year, both children and adults arrive in the emergency room with serious burns they acquired at a campfire. Without exception, children need to be supervised around fire. Fire pokers and marshmallow sticks can become dangerous branding irons if used improperly, and hot marshmallows can cause 3rd degree burns if they fall off and adhere to the skin. Remember, children learn from adults, so be a good role model. Never use an accelerant to start a fire, and never toss fireworks or any other combustible items into a fire.

After our long, cold Minnesota winter, it's time to kick back and enjoy the upcoming summer months with family and friends. Be smart, be safe, and have fun!