Open Accessibility Menu

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

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

First-of-its-kind fully dissolvable heart stent now available in Minnesota

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

A drug eluting coronary stent that dissolves, completely and naturally, in the body over time is now available in Minnesota.

Abbott’s Absorb device represents a major advance in the interventional treatment of coronary artery disease — the next significant innovation in a chain of revolutionary treatments starting with balloon angioplasty in the 1970s, bare-metal stents in the 1980s and drug eluting stents in the 2000s.

On October 17, CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist Thom Dahle, MD, along with a multidisciplinary team, became the first in Minnesota to insert the Absorb stent, which the FDA approved this past July.

Like a metallic stent, Absorb props open a diseased vessel to restore blood flow. However, like dissolving stitches, Absorb disappears, usually within three years, once it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the vessel. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.

The new dissolving stents bring several benefits. They allow vessels to expand and contract as needed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in response to normal activities, such as exercising. Also, they allow more flexibility for future diagnostic and treatment options and may reduce the need for long-term anti-clotting medications.

About Coronary Artery Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women around the world, and coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup (fatty deposits), leading to chest pain (angina) and increasing the risk of a heart attack.

About the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center at St. Cloud Hospital

CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center is a comprehensive heart center dedicated to the prevention, discovery and management of heart disease. It offers a full range of heart services and is one of the few sites in Minnesota with a heart research program. Learn more about all the heart services the CentraCare Heart & Vascular provides.