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 Family Sun Shielder: My Best Sun Safety Advice

Published in Dermatology, Wellness Tag: Julie Schultz, MD  

Author: Julie Schultz, MD

All summer I worry about my fair-skinned children. I worry about long-term damage: the wrinkles, leathery skin and skin cancers that I see every day on my middle-aged and older patients. Minnesota summers are too short, after all, and who wants to bother with sun protection?

Keeping My Family Safe in the Sun

Professionally, I advise wearing long-sleeved clothing and full-brimmed hats when you're outside. But people, especially kids, hate sunblock. It stings the eyes; it's messy; and it stains clothes and upholstery. People don't use enough and forget to reapply it. One summer at the lake, when my kids were too young to protest, our family looked like the Blue Man Group in our matching, skin-tight, full-body swimwear.

Those days are gone, and I've learned to compromise. Now we all just wear long-sleeved swim-shirts over our suits. Fortunately, these "rash guards" are in fashion so everyone can pick their style (we don't have to match). I'm also firm about sunblock on the face. Getting my children to apply it takes diligence on the part of my husband and myself. My daughter grudgingly applies it in stick form so it won't run into her eyes. My son wears a baseball cap and also resists sunblock. My husband dislikes hats of any sorts. I wear a crushable, wide-brimmed cotton hat. We outfitted our boat with a canopy that keeps us in the shade for at least part of any water outing.

There's one thing I hope my kids avoid at all costs: tanning beds. When springtime arrives—and as proms come and go—I observe many teenagers getting darker by the day. If only they knew the kind of damage they are doing to themselves.