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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

Surgery Open House Opens Nursing Student’s Eyes

Published in Inside CentraCare, For the Health of It Author: Alena Price, CNA

We recently talked with Alena Price, formerly of Cold Spring, about why she chose to pursue a health care career.

Alena Price is a junior college student pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing. When she was in high school, she attended the Surgery Open House at CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital.

“I was taking postsecondary enrollment options at St. Cloud State, and my classmate told me about the open house. I thought it sounded interesting, so we decided to check it out. When we got there, I was really impressed. They had the operating rooms set up with different surgical procedures. I got to talk to nurses from the hospital and ask them questions.”

“But the best part was the Da Vinci,” Alena remembered. The Da Vinci robot is an ultra-precise, minimally invasive surgery system, which is operated by a surgeon through a console that controls the robot arms. “They had it open for people to try. I sat down and used it to set tiny rings on a post. It was so cool.”

Alena always knew she wanted to be a nurse. “I love helping people,” she explained. “It brings me a lot of joy and there’s always room to grow. At the time, I was considering surgical nursing, and the open house opened up my eyes to what operating rooms are like. It confirmed that medicine is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Today Alena works as a certified nursing assistant while she goes to college in Utah. She shifted her focus from surgical nursing to pediatrics, but she’s still happy for the opportunity to learn from the Surgery Open House.

“I think everyone would benefit from going. Even if you have no interest in anything medical, it was cool to see the inside of an operating room and try the Da Vinci. How often will you be able to do that?”

This year’s Surgery Open House is Feb. 6. Visitors can explore surgical careers and learn about the latest surgery procedures and technology. Watch the da Vinci in action as a surgeon demonstrates its incredible precision.