Education for a Healthier Minnesota

Access to quality healthcare shouldn’t be limited by your zip code

CentraCare and the University of Minnesota Medical School are exploring a stronger relationship to realize their shared vision to improve the health of Greater Minnesota residents and to address the shortage of medical professionals in Minnesota’s small towns and rural communities. 

Collaborating in pursuit of better health for Minnesotans is not new for these two organizations. The Medical School and CentraCare have several long-standing relationships, including a family medicine residency, an orthopedics practice, and a new rural training track grant. Together, the two organizations have a history of collaborating to provide superior clinical care and educating future physicians to meet the needs of cities and towns of all sizes. An expanded relationship would build upon this foundation.

Our Vision:

A Healthy Rural Minnesota

For more than a century, CentraCare and the University of Minnesota Medical School have each cared for Minnesotans across the state. And for decades, we’ve done so together. Through the University of Minnesota/CentraCare St. Cloud Family Residency Program and other collaborations, together we have educated and trained many physicians who now serve our rural communities. 

We imagine a day, not far away, when excellent access to physicians—no matter where in Minnesota you live—is the norm. We see a time when the quality of care is equally superb in our largest metropolitan areas and our smallest town. All Minnesotans deserve the best.

“This is going to be incredibly important, not just for healthcare, not just for training physicians who will practice in rural Minnesota, but for the society in general.”
Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Dean, U of M Medical School

While 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, only 11% of physicians practice in such areas.

Rural Americans are at greater risk of death from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic respiratory disease, and stroke.

“If not us, who? And if not now, when? There will never be a better time than today for the University and CentraCare to serve the health needs of rural Minnesotans.”
Ken Holmen, MD
President & CEO, CentraCare

Frequently Asked Questions

About CentraCare

Since 1886, CentraCare has served the health care needs of St. Cloud and surrounding rural communities. Today, CentraCare has eight largely rural-based hospitals, more than 30 clinics, and serves more than 700,000 people in Central, West Central and Southwest Minnesota. It has received multiple national recognitions for being among the best 100 hospitals in the U.S. and has achieved the Magnet Award for Excellence in Nursing four times – an accomplishment only attained by fewer than 50 hospitals in the world.

About U of M Medical School

Through many rural-focused programs, the University of Minnesota Medical School has been preparing physicians to practice in rural Minnesota communities for 135 years. Its Duluth campus was founded 50 years ago with a specific focus on rural and Native American health. The University has achieved national recognition for its excellence in preparing physicians of the future, ranking #3 among U.S. medical schools for Primary Care education, #4 for Family Medicine, and #19 for most graduates practicing in rural areas, according to the 2023 US New and World Report rankings.

Support for Rural Health

Contact Us:

We Welcome Your Questions or Comments

Scroll to Top