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

Sonja’s Physical Therapy Story

Rehabilitation Center
“Whenever I have pain I am comfortable working with Kurt.”

There is one word that comes to mind when describing the relationship between physical therapy assistant, Kurt VanDerBeek and his patient Sonja, honest.

After 12 years of working together, both Sonja and Kurt have developed a comfort level that makes their sessions together productive, accommodating and rather entertaining. “Every time I come in it gets easier for me, but harder for him,” Sonja teased.

“Kurt is always honest with me.”

“It is basically a social hour,” Kurt says. “She has an “I am going to get better attitude” which makes therapy fun but it puts pressure on me to help her get there.”

Sonja has visited ACMC’s physical therapy team for several issues over the years including injuries to her shoulder, hip and back. During her time at the clinic, she has seen and enjoyed many ACMC’s therapists but said she always requests to work with Kurt. “I am comfortable with him because I know he will be honest with me,” Sonja said. “He listens to me and tells me this is what you have to do to get better.”

“I couldn’t let my back pain interrupt my life.”

The pairs candid style of communication allows for Sonja to express concerns she has about certain exercises. This allows Kurt to create alternatives that better suit her.

Sonja was most recently in therapy for back spasms that interrupted her daily life. “You can’t hardly walk from one place to another when you’re dealing with back spasms,” Sonja said. “But I knew Kurt would get me going again.”

“Kurt keeps me going strong.”Sonja standing next to her physical therapist, Kurt.

Through their playful banter, Sonja says she has found success in everything she has worked through with Kurt. “He is a professional, he is hardworking, he listens and he remembers what he showed me from one time to the next,” Sonya raved.

Despite her approval of Kurt and the help he has given her over the years, Sonja hopes she won’t be returning to physical therapy anytime soon. “Every time I leave I say “well I hope I don’t have to see you for a while”,” Sonya jokes. “But at least I know when I do need physical therapy, Kurt is here to always keep me going strong.”