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

Claudia & Calvin Muntifering

Weight Management
“They don't just put a Band-Aid on the issue but change the way you think.”

Shedding weight is a family affair

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. When it comes to shedding weight, the worn cliché still holds true.

St. Cloud resident, Claudia Muntifering, tried several weight loss programs, including Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers, before her primary care provider suggested gastric bypass surgery. Her health was deteriorating, yet the thought of surgery felt like a last-ditch effort to Claudia.

"Everything hurt - my back, my neck, and I was tired all the time," Claudia said. "I was pre-diabetic and did not want to cross that line."

After meeting with George Morris, MD, at CentraCare Bariatric Center, Claudia decided to try the Medical Weight Management Program instead of surgery.

"They look at obesity as a disease and not just a diet plan," Claudia said. "They don't just put a Band-Aid on the issue but change the way you think."

Claudia met with registered dietitians, nurse practitioners and exercise experts and attended nutrition classes along the way to make and maintain lifestyle changes.

"When they would show me the lab results and progress I made, that was motivating," Claudia said. "Everyone was very supportive. I could call anytime for open and honest communication."

Claudia has lost 144 pounds since starting the program in September 2013. She believes the key to her success is the support she receives and the education on mindful eating.

Now, Claudia exercises more and participates in classes at the gym. "I feel like myself again. I healed from the inside out."

Inspiration close to home

After seeing Claudia's success with the program, her son Calvin decided to make the leap. "I was amazed by Mom's transformation," he said. "Seeing her persevere inspired me to do the same."

When Calvin moved away for college, his care team was just a phone call away. "Everyone on the team is genuinely interested in my success," he said.

After just five months, Calvin slimmed down from a size 42 to a size 34 waist, but the change is beyond physical.

"I am exercising again. I feel great!" Calvin discovered another perk when he and his friends went to Valleyfair this past summer. "I fit in all the rides, and that wasn't possible before."

Claudia and Calvin are now in the program's maintenance phase and are settling into their new lifestyle and habits. "I don't see it as an ending - I'm a changed person," Claudia added.