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

Zach's Story

Brain & Spine Care
“Two weeks after surgery, Zach received the news that his tumor was cancerous. Zach is thankful he can receive his follow-up care close to home. “I’m not allowed to drive for six months so having my follow up appointments in Brainerd is very convenient,” Zach said. ”

Good catch keeps player on the field

Zach Kruchten, age 20 from Brainerd, is your average fun-loving Minnesotan. He enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing and softball with friends. In the spring of 2018, he began experiencing blurry vision and regular migraines that landed him in the emergency room. However, it was when he got a job as a tow truck driver that he saw an eye doctor who scheduled him for an MRI. 

The MRI showed he had a tumor the size of a softball that was pushing against the side of his brain. It needed to come out sooner, rather than later. He was immediately transferred to St. Cloud Hospital and scheduled for surgery within days. 

“When I arrived at St. Cloud Hospital, Dr. Chabot, my neurosurgeon, was on his way home and came right back to see me. In fact, every time I was in the hospital and he had the day off, he made sure he came in to see how I was doing,” Zach said. 

Using cutting-edge technology, Joseph Chabot, DO, and the neurosurgery team identified the regions of Zach’s brain responsible for movement on the left side of his body, to protect it during surgery. Two surgeries were necessary to remove as much of the tumor as possible to prevent lasting side effects or loss of function. After the first 8-hour surgery, Zach was discharged after a two-day stay, knowing that a week later he would come back for a second surgery to remove more tumor. 

Two weeks after surgery, Zach received the news that his tumor was cancerous. Zach is thankful he can receive his follow-up care close to home. “I’m not allowed to drive for six months so having my follow up appointments in Brainerd is very convenient,” Zach said.

About six weeks after his surgeries, Zach returned to fishing, softball, and work. “It feels really good to be back on the water and playing on the field again,” he said. Local, convenient care put Zach right where he wants to be --- on the ballfield again.