Sense of community

Published in Lifestyle Health Author: Ken Holmen, MD, President and CEO

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.