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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare 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 help 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

Tips for toy shopping

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Michelle Kiffmeyer, MA

Christmas is just around the corner. If toys are on your shopping list, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose toys that can help children learn new skills and practice social skills.
  • Don’t buy a toy just because you had one as a child.
  • Think outside of the gender box.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for appropriate ages.


  • Blocks: Wooden blocks can be used in a variety of imaginative play.
  • Legos: Manipulative toys encourage fine motor skills and creativity.
  • Dolls: Children practice caretaking and social skills with baby dolls.
  • Play kitchen and toolbox: Toys based on real life items allow children to imitate adults.
  • Dress-up: From a pirate to a princess, children’s imaginations are limitless with hats, scarves, masks, costume, etc.
  • Animals: Dinosaurs, farm and zoo animals inspire make believe.
  • Art supplies: Encourage little artists with playdough, paint, markers, paper, stickers, etc.
  • Musical toys: Children explore sound and rhythm.
  • Physical toys: Promote coordination and gross motor skills with balls, sports equipment, jump ropes, riding toys, bikes, etc.
  • Board games: From cooperative play to problem solving, children learn lifelong skills playing games.
  • Books: Create a love of reading for children by reading to them and being a role model by reading yourself.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy, trendy toys. The most important gift you can give the children in your life is your time.