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

Michel's Story

Heart & Vascular Care
“In all, Michel spent 15 days in the hospital, but since has made a full recovery. “At first, my life was all doctors and pills,” Michel recalled. “It was overwhelming, but the doctors and nurses helped me get through it.””

Heart patient has no plans for stopping

Michel Solien figures the ambulance was near Paynesville when he lost consciousness on the way to St. Cloud.

Earlier that morning, the 64-year-old New London resident woke with pain radiating down his left arm, the classic sign of a heart attack. Upon his arrival at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, the emergency room staff initiated STEMI, a process for stabilizing and fast-tracking heart attack patients to the cath labs at St. Cloud Hospital. Solien and wife

Seven days later, Michel opened his eyes. He recalls muffled sounds, a ventilator and a sense he wasn’t alone in the room. He wondered, “What am I doing here?”

As Michel soon learned, he arrived at St. Cloud Hospital with a 100 percent blockage in his left anterior descending artery, often known as the “widow-maker” due to its high mortality rate. Even after receiving a stent, a nurse told his wife, Linda, that her husband was a “very, very sick man” who was in stable, but critical condition. Because nothing is certain, their children should be notified.

Due to Michel’s condition, Interventional Cardiologist Bernard Erickson, MD, decided to use a newer device, called an Impella, to aid in his recovery. Impella is a small heart pump delivered within a catheter through a leg artery to the heart. The device temporarily pumps blood for the heart, letting it rest and heal. “It’s an ingenious little device,” said Dr. Erickson. “Without it, and the early intervention and teamwork between Rice Memorial and the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center, Michel wouldn’t be here today.”

In all, Michel spent 15 days in the hospital, but since has made a full recovery. “At first, my life was all doctors and pills,” Michel recalled. “It was overwhelming, but the doctors and nurses helped me get through it.”

Today, Michel is fully aware of what he needs stay healthy. He calculates the sodium and fat in his diet. He transformed the third stall in his garage into a gym and walks daily when the weather allows. “At first, my half hour walk took a full hour because I’d talk to everyone I saw,” Michel admitted. “Now I keep moving to get the heart rate up, and I have no plans for stopping.”