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

Patsy's Story

Respiratory Care
“It’s a fabulous program. I found no downside – very positive!”

Patsy Genz, 65, of St. Cloud has nothing but good things to share about the pulmonary rehab program through CentraCare Health. “It’s a fabulous program. I found no downside – very positive!”

Patsy has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and damaged lungs from years of smoking. She developed pneumonia a few years ago and became very weak. She wasn’t able to walk from the kitchen to the bedroom. Her physician told her she had only 10 percent lung capacity before she started rehabilitation with the Respiratory Care department at CentraCare Clinic – River Campus.

Respiratory Care recommended that Patsy try the pulmonary rehab program that requires two-hour sessions two days a week for six to eight weeks. The program focuses on one hour of education and one hour of exercise to work toward meeting patients’ goals. “It’s a gradual build with the exercise. We start with three to five minutes and by the end of the program you are up to 30 to 35 minutes,” Patsy explained. The program incorporates weights, stretches, and cardio including bike, treadmill or elliptical. After completing the program, Patsy was amazed by the difference, “Without the pulmonary rehab program, I would just sit there. My lungs don’t work how I would like them to, but I can do everything.”
Patsy has completed the program twice. “I lost a lot of family last year. My dad passed away from cancer, my uncle died and then I lost another uncle and aunt. I didn’t want to do a lot.” Patsy said the losses took a toll on her body as well as her emotions. “I had trouble with my legs; they were getting weaker all the time. When I would try and exercise it would become much worse.” The lack of exercise had an effect on her breathing as well so she returned to the respiratory therapy program. With their help, Patsy can now exercise again. “It feels good to have somebody there to support you.”

Patsy recommends the program to those struggling with respiratory problems. The pulmonary rehab program also discusses other options that are available, including those free of cost. “There are lots of resources for people – I got way more than expected.”