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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

Training Helps Providers to Motivate Patients

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

St. Cloud, Minn. – CentraCare Health physicians and patient care coordinators have enhanced their skills in screening and intervening with patients who misuse alcohol and/or drugs, thanks to a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division.

Only one in seven Minnesota adults discusses alcohol or illicit drug consumption with a health care professional, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Integrating addiction services into mainstream health care is the only way to tackle the misuse and abuse of substances in the U.S. and the physical and mental health problems that are intertwined with it, according to the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA).

The goal of the grant to CentraCare Health was to train primary care physicians and patient care coordinators on the benefits of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). Through motivational interviewing, health care providers often can improve the overall health of patients related to their alcohol use and misuse of prescription drugs. Other healthy lifestyle factors assessed include: physical activity, nutrition, tobacco and cigarette usage, positive thinking and sleep hygiene.

CentraCare Health’s SBIRT project staff hosted five, two-day training seminars on motivational interviewing and the SBIRT model of care. These seminars were attended by 200 physicians, nurses and other care providers from throughout the state.

The project conducted screenings on more than 2,000 CentraCare patients during the one-year grant period and provided support and counseling to those in need.  Follow-up reporting from patients who participated in the screening showed they were binge drinking on average 3.5 times less per month after completing the counseling.