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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

Five fall family activities

Published in For the Health of It Author: Sue Peck

Five fall family activities

  1. Visit an apple orchard. Start new tradition and make a special memory this fall. Touring one of Minnesota’s beautiful apple orchards is a wonderful way to savor the best of the season. Many orchards offer more than just the “apple picking” experience to enjoy as a family. They may have hayrides, corn maze, petting zoo, face painting, food and pumpkin picking. Consider inviting the grandparents or family friends. View for their list of orchards.
  2. Cook together. There are many delicious recipes using the apples or pumpkins you brought home from a family outing. Involving children in the food preparation teaches them basic cooking techniques, encourages them to try healthy food, gives a feeling of pride. The amount of involvement your children can have with the cooking process will vary by their age and the recipe chosen. Before you begin, give yourself an extra dose of patience, humor and time for cleanup. Browse healthy recipes.
  3. Involve your children in the yardwork. You may not associate fall yardwork and clean up with “fun” but children crave fresh air and physical activity. Working side by side outdoors gives you the opportunity to talk and learn about their friends and what is important to them. Setting an example of hard work passes on an important life skill and gives all of you a feeling of accomplishment. Keep the work enjoyable and make sure every family member jumps in at least one pile of leaves this season.
  4. Take a hike. The crisp, fresh air; soft crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet; and beautiful hues of red, orange and gold foliage beckon you outdoors. Hiking in the fall is a great way to take in the changing scenery without the bugs and heat of summer. 
  5. Bring warmth to someone in need. Do you have an elderly neighbor that needs help preparing for winter or maybe know a single parent that could use an extra hand tackling the “battle of the leaves?” Double up on sale items at the grocery store and donate to a food shelf. Take time during the cooler days and shorter nights to go through your closets. Donate clothes and coats. Include your children in doing acts of kindness and ask them for ideas, too.