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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

Local Responders Attend Homeland Security Training

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

Minnesota emergency responders, Tyler Bieniek (St. Cloud VA Medical Center), Kristen Buerman (CentraCare Health), Rachel Erickson (CentraCare Health), Deb Hall (CentraCare Health), Chuck Hartsfield Jr. (CentraCare Health), Phil Luitjens (CentraCare Health), Eileen Maus (CentraCare Health), Karen Meyer (Perham Health), Dave Miller (CentraCare Health), Rod Opheim (Lakewood Health System), Scott Palmer (CentraCare Health), Chere Rikimoto (Sanford Health), Don Sheldrew (CentraCare Health), Steve Sperl (CentraCare Health), Shawn Stoen (CentraCare Health), Marshall Storms (CentraCare Health) and Kathy Tetzlaff (Allina Health), recently completed training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Ala. The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation.

The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers, and other government officials from state, local and tribal governments. The CDP offers more than 40 training courses focused on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state, local and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency.

Resident training at the CDP includes healthcare and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP’s Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological (COBRA) Training Facility. The COBRA is the nations’ only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment using chemical agents. The advanced hands-on training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to, and recover from real-world incidents involving acts of terrorism and other hazardous materials.

Responders participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events. “Our week at CDP was great! The training, networking and friendships gained made for a good trip!” said Cari Wilder, RN, CentraCare Health.