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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

Jake's Story

Pain Center
“It certainly has changed my life. I wouldn't hesitate to do it all again.”

Man finds relief from pain and renews hobby of restoring antique boats

Jake JohnsonJake Johnson, age 76, was in constant pain, crippled with pinched nerves and arthritis. He came to CentraCare Neurosciences Pain Center after seeing a number of doctors and being on Fentanyl for four years due to back injuries from a work injury and severe vehicle accident that broke his neck in two places.

"Life was miserable. The pain went down both legs into my ankles and feet — it was excruciating," said Jake, who is from St. Cloud. "At times, I didn't get out of bed, I didn't even feel like living."

The team at the Pain Center met with Jake and helped him transition off Fentanyl to a new medication for the management of severe pain.

"The new medication takes care of pain but doesn't have the side effects. My head is clearer, I feel more alert. I lost weight and have more energy," said Jake.

When Jake came to the Pain Center, his wife was pushing him in a wheelchair. Upon leaving his follow up appointment four weeks later, he was walking and holding doors open again for his wife. He is now able to go on long bike rides and is back to restoring antique, wooden boats.

"It's hard now to remember how severe the pain was. It certainly has changed my life," he said. "I wouldn't hesitate to do it all again. I'm not without pain but the pain is truly manageable."