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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

Call. Push. Shock. Save a Life.

Published in Trauma Services, Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It Author: Sharon Mentzer, MPH, Exercise Physiologist, CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center

This past weekend at the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament, a local teenager was saved thanks to the fast actions of first responders.

Brayden Weber from Becker had just completed his match in St. Paul, when he collapsed. Fortunately, medical personnel were able to come to his aid, start CPR and were able revive Brayden’s heart within a few minutes. He regained consciousness and was even able to give a thumbs up to the crowd shortly thereafter. Learn more about Brayden’s story from KSTP-TV.

Brayden was extremely fortunate. Only one in 10 individuals survives sudden cardiac arrest. His story should help serve as a good reminder for all of us to know what to do if anyone collapses and needs life-saving care. The steps you take to help a friend, family member or any individual in need could make the difference between life and death.


It is estimated that you triple an individual’s chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest if you take the following three steps.

  1. Call 911.
  2. Push – Find the center of the individual’s chest and give 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute.
  3. Shock the individual using an AED (if available).

Starting bystander CPR before emergency personal responds can help improve survival rates. Emergency personnel responding to your call should have an AED with them. Depending on where you are, many schools and other community buildings may have an AED present. Last year, a CentraCare physician went into sudden cardiac arrest at the St. Cloud Area Family Y and several nurses were able to revive him with an on-site AED.

A number of SaveStations — outdoor AED units that are accessible 24/7 — have been installed in several Central Minnesota cities, including Sartell, St. Joseph, Waite Park, Richmond and Brooten. Approximately 30 SaveStations will be available this year in our communities with the help of CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center.

You should follow the Call, Push, Shock instructions above for anyone needing CPR who is older than 4 months of age. Even if you are not trained in CPR, following these instructions and giving chest compressions could help a person in need.

It's estimated that 88 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in a public setting or at home. Learning bystander CPR can significantly help improve survival rates.

If you are not confident in your ability to give CPR, find a pulse or check breathing you can still confidently follow these instructions. By doing so, for people like Brayden, you are still making a big difference. 

Review instructions for how to perform CPR on an adult, child or infant from