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Sense of community

Published on April 27, 2015

Sense of community

Ken Holmen, MD, President and CEO
CentraCare Health

I grew up in a small town in Iowa — where everyone knows each other and people help their neighbors. People in towns like that know the meaning of community. They embody the spirit of fellowship, of shared goals.

I see a lot of those characteristics in Central Minnesota. There’s a sense of community here that feels good to me as a newcomer.

But with technology, community doesn’t have to just be a geographic location. We are launching the “For the Health of It” blog to create a way for community members who are interested in health topics such as exercise, nutrition and parenting to interact with CentraCare Health experts.

I see a lot of potential for CentraCare Health to work with individuals and organizations to improve community health and wellness. Our first steps include:

  • partnering with the YMCA;
  • contributing money and staff time to the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation’s workplace well-being initiative;
  • funding and participating in BLEND (Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily), a community collaborative designed to reduce childhood obesity, and the NuVal program that helps grocery shoppers quickly and easily make nutritious choices;
  • creating a CentraCare team to lead our efforts to create healthier environments for the communities we serve.

We have entered a new era in health care, an era in which CentraCare will work with you to keep you healthy and proactively manage chronic conditions. Don’t worry — we’ll still be here to help when you are sick or injured. But we want to partner with you in prevention.

And we want to hear your ideas.

  • Respond to this blog post.
  • Send a message through
  • And if you see me around town, please say “hello!”

Health information accessed through is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

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