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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

Healthy grilling

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It Author: Diane Giambruno

It’s that time of year when we all want to spend more time outdoors. There’s nothing better than a good grilled meal on a nice summer night! Many of my patients know that grilling is a healthier cooking option than frying. However, I frequently hear comments such as, “I grill my brats because all of the fat comes out.” While grilling is a healthier option and some of the fat comes out, remember that a high-fat meat product remains a high-fat meat product even after grilling.

Below are some great tips for keeping grilling safe and healthy.

Grilling safety tips

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before, during and after food preparation. Pack moist towelettes or hand sanitizer for those moments when soap and water are not readily available.
  • Scrub your grill with hot, soapy water prior to each use.
  • Keep raw meats, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from ready-to eat foods; ditto for the utensils used to handle each.
  • Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, never at room temperature on the counter. Use a separate brush and utensils for cooked foods and set aside some fresh sauce to use on cooked food.
  • Using a food thermometer is the only safe way to determine if the food is cooked all the way. Visit for proper heating temperatures.
  • To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, don’t leave food outside in hot weather (90°F or above) for more than one hour.

Fill your grill with healthy options

Rather than always sticking with traditional grilled options such as hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages — which can be high in fat — mix it up with low-fat options like fish, chicken and vegetables. Grilling is a great way to bring out sweet, caramelized flavor in vegetables.