COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

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

John W's Story

Pain Center
“It’s amazing how many more things I’m capable of doing. I would tell other pain patients to not give up. There is hope. ”

Patient transitions from pain medication and again finds joy in music

John WilenJohn Wilen, from McGregor, followed his own advice — never give up. After struggling for years with pain stemming from a vehicle accident resulting in spinal, head and chest injuries, he tried four different clinics before coming to CentraCare Neurosciences Pain Center.

The 49-year-old had been on very high doses of pain medications for 17 years.

"I was not eating and had constant headaches. I slept one to two hours a night. By the time I came here, I was tired of the ups and downs of medications. I was miserable. I couldn’t ever think clearly,” John said.

“Music was my life. I started playing when I was four years old and played all instruments — guitar, saxophone, piano, accordion, lots of instruments. When I got sick, it messed up my memory and motor skills,” he said.

The Pain Center offered support for John. The opioid transitions program helped him get off the pain medications that had driven him away from his hobbies, put stress on his relationships and made the easiest tasks insurmountable.

Today he is back to enjoying his music and he recently vacationed with his family for the first time in more than ten years. About his new life without being in a fog from pain medication, John said, “It’s amazing how many more things I’m capable of doing. I would tell other pain patients to not give up. There is hope.”