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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

Every minute matters with a stroke

Published in Neurology, For the Health of It Author: Muhammad Fareed Suri,MBBS

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Strokes are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. Every four minutes, someone in this country dies from a stroke.

During a stroke, something happens that disrupts the flow of blood to the brain. When this happens, brain cells are unable to get the oxygen they need. That’s why a stroke is sometimes called a brain attack.

When someone is experiencing a stroke, every moment matters. Brain cells can die or become damaged in minutes if unable to get oxygen. And some treatments that have been shown to improve the chances of recovering from a stroke need to be started within three hours of one showing stroke symptoms.

While the risk of having a stroke is higher in some families than in others, anyone can have a stroke at any age.

The signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, or in one arm or leg.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or a lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you or someone you see experiences any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.