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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

Riverwood Healthcare, CentraCare Health to partner on kidney program

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin and CentraCare Health, headquartered in St. Cloud, have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on a new dialysis facility to serve residents of Aitkin County and the surrounding area.

“The need for comprehensive kidney care, including a kidney dialysis facility closer to home, has emerged as a growing community health need in recent years,” said Chad Cooper, Riverwood chief executive officer. “This partnership is a reflection of several years of ongoing conversation with CentraCare and a mutual commitment to provide access to high-quality kidney care as close to home as possible.” 

The decision to collaborate with the CentraCare Kidney Program was driven largely by regulatory requirements, numerous operational complexities, and the economic realities of opening and operating a dialysis facility, according to Cooper. “CentraCare is a recognized leader in kidney care throughout central Minnesota, bringing both extensive expertise and a philosophy of care that will serve our patients well,” he said. “They will be an exceptional partner.”

David Walz, CentraCare Kidney Program director of Dialysis and Renal Services, added, “Partnering with Riverwood Healthcare and its clinics is an important step to provide the best possible kidney care to those in need. We look forward to working with the Riverwood Healthcare team to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients in their communities.”

The CentraCare Dialysis facility will provide outpatient renal dialysis services featuring the most state-of-the-art technologies and personalized patient comfort to serve local patients who need dialysis treatments. Patients will receive their hemodialysis treatments in a clinical environment that is cheerful and homelike.

“Access to local dialysis services allows patients with chronic and end-stage kidney disease to live longer and have an improved quality of life,” said CentraCare Nephrologist Ben Parker, MD. Beginning in September of this year Dr. Parker, who is board certified in both internal medicine and nephrology, will provide local nephrology outreach services on a routine basis at Riverwood Healthcare. Dr. Parker will also oversee the clinical direction of the new dialysis facility.