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

Why HPV is Really a Big Deal

Published in Wellness

Author: Staff

As a parent you always want what is best for your child. You feed them broccoli despite their pleas. You make them wear a helmet while bike riding, even when "nobody else has to." And you bring them to the doctor when they are sick, regardless of how "fine" they are.

So as your child grows, it is important to continue to give them the best foundation for a healthy life. This includes having them vaccinated against common ailments that can affect them later in life. Fourteen million people in the U.S. are infected by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) each year. Although most people can fight off the virus, many of these infections lead to thousands of new cancer cases.

You may have heard your physician suggest your child receive the HPV vaccine. But what is HPV and why is it so important for your children to be vaccinated against it?

The HPV infection is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the U.S. which affects the mouth, throat and genital area of both males and females. Despite its dangerous consequences, most people infected will never develop systems and may never know they have it. Although most HPV infections will clear up within two years, it can also lead to cancer and other diseases. The HPV vaccine works by blocking these infections and protecting against HPV related cancers.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that by age 12, all boys and girls, begin the HPV vaccine series. You may be wondering why so young? While the vaccine is very effective, the younger recipients have a higher immune response and therefore better results. It is also necessary to complete the three-shot series before an individual becomes sexually active in order to be effective. If your child has not received the HPV series, you are still able to catch them up. Young men up through the age of 21, and young women up through the age of 26 should still complete the three-shot series if they have not done so.

The HPV vaccine series is a safe and effective method of preventing several forms of cancer. Despite its efficiency, many preteens have not yet been vaccinated. So make sure you are preparing your child for the future, talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine!