A Letter to Our Community: For Many More Holidays Together, Please do Your Part

Sleepy Eye Medical Center

What you heard from Minnesota hospital leaders last week is true; as your local healthcare provider, we are heartbroken and overwhelmed too. The COVID-19 pandemic rages on over a year since the vaccine was approved.

Like a broken record, we continue to preach handwashing, staying home when you’re sick, getting tested, masking, social distancing, healthy habits, and vaccination. Still, some decide otherwise.

Almost all of the sickest patients we see are not vaccinated. It pains us to witness their suffering and the heartbreak endured by their families. So many of the patients we treat are people we know—our friends, family and community members. Our hearts are weary and worn for you are never just a number to us; you mean so much more.

You trust us to deliver your babies, perform procedures, and address your day-to-day medical concerns. We don’t take your trust lightly. Please trust us when we say you need to take COVID-19 seriously; trust us when we say you need to get the vaccine. Your well-being has been and will always be at the top of our priorities.

Intensive care units across the state are full. Medical surgical beds are too. We’ve looked to surrounding states on multiple occasions in search of open beds. Depending on the day, placement of critical patients can take much longer than we’d prefer. When this happens, we pull every available resource to treat and care for the sickest of patients until something opens up at a tertiary facility. It’s not just COVID-19 patients who need this high level of care; it’s heart attack, stroke and trauma patients too.

We need your help to get past this. If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, get the booster when you are eligible. Implement infection prevention measures in every area of your life. If you have any questions about vaccination, please let us know so we can help you. Finally, we send our sincerest thanks to those who are doing their part to keep themselves and our community safe.

We want us all to enjoy many more holidays together—please do your part.

*If you’d like to register for your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, please call us at 507-794-8453, sign up on our website: https://semedicalcenter.org/semccovid19vaccinelist/ or contact your local pharmacy.


Susan Ahlness, APRN, BC    Harman Dhaliwal, MD     Denay Kelly, NP

Adam Armbruster, MD     Jennifer Hillestad, CNP     KVK Murthy, MD

Karlyn Armbruster, MD     Timothy Joyce, CNP     John Pelzel, MD