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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

Grant to Help Patients with Mental Illness in Four Area Counties

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

St. Cloud, Minn. – CentraCare Health and the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center (CMMHC) have received a grant from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHI) grant will improve the physical health of adults with serious mental illnesses and those with co-occurring substance use disorders who are at high risk for chronic conditions and diseases.

The $1.6 million grant, spanning four years, will place a primary care provider in the St. Cloud location of the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center providing 2,000 individuals from Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Wright counties with holistic behavioral health and primary care services.

According to SAMHSA, several risk factors contribute to the preventable medical conditions:

  • Poverty, social isolation and trauma – People with behavioral health problems often live in poverty and experience social isolation and trauma, which can lead to higher levels of stress or reduce access to quality primary care services that can help prevent and manage these deadly conditions.
  • Tobacco – 75 percent of individuals with behavioral health problems smoke cigarettes as compared to 23 percent of the general population.
  • Obesity – Obesity is frequently accompanied by depression and the two can trigger and influence each other.
  • Medication side effects – Weight gain from medication treatment of schizophrenia and affective disorders is a well established side effect of antipsychotics.
  • Other substance use—alcohol and drugs – Heavy and binge drinking is associated with numerous health problems, including: damage to liver cells, inflammation of the pancreas, various cancers, high blood pressure, and psychological disorders.
  • Lack of access to quality health care – People with behavioral health problems lack health insurance coverage at far higher rates than the general population.

For more information, please call CMMHC at 320-292-9228; or call St. Cloud Hospital Behavioral Health at 320-229-4977.