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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

Working to reverse the rise in premature births

Published in Birthing Services, OB/GYN Services Author: Diane Pelant, RN, MSN, CCRN-K

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Today in 2017, we are fortunate to live in an age where new technology and facilities are helping premature babies survive, grow and go home sooner than ever before.

But with all of this progress, many may be surprised to learn that the rate of preterm births has actually increased the past few years. This is true not just nationally, but also here in Minnesota.

Although the rate of births occurring before week 37 of pregnancy decreased for much of the first part of this decade, last year it returned to 8.8% percent. The same level it was at in 2010.

Why is this important? Not only is premature birth the leading cause of death in babies in this country, those who survive often face long-term health problems, such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, blindness, hearing loss, intellectual disabilities and more. As the baby continues to grow and develop, these problems over time can impact their ability to learn and eventually work.

And as you can imagine, these problems associated with prematurity not only cost our society more due to interventions needed to support the infants as they grow — the stress and uncertainty also places an emotional toll on the families.

With 1 in 10 pregnancies ending early in this country, you likely know someone who has been impacted one way or another by a premature birth. As this month comes to a close, consider how you can help bring awareness to this important health issue over the coming year. Among the things you can do include: