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Awards & recognition

  • 2012

    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital earns a Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Award for work in preventing retained objects in the operating room.
    • Allina Health ranks high in U.S. News Best Hospitals.
      • Abbott Northwestern Hospital nationally ranked in orthopedics (13), cardiology and heart surgery (19), neurology and neurosurgery (27), gastroenterology (33), geriatrics (38), pulmonology (39), gynecology (41)
      • United Hospital nationally ranked in diabetes and endocrinology (40).
      • All four Twin Cities' hospitals were among the top in Minnesota and the metro area: Abbott Northwestern (3 and 2), United (4 and 3), Mercy (6 and 4), Unity (8 and 6).
    • Allina Health Breast Program earns Association of Community Cancer Centers 2012 Innovator Award for system-wide breast cancer care.
    • Minnesota Business lists Allina Health as one of the state's best non-profits to work for. See the publication's 100 Best Companies to Work For list at
    • Sister Kenny® Rehabilitation Institute achieved STAR Program® Certification through Oncology Rehab Partners' model of cancer rehabilitation care. It was the first program of its kind to be certified in Minnesota and the largest STAR Program in the nation.
    • Minneapolis Heart Institute® again selected to participate in Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network.
    • Owatonna Hospital Lab receives accreditation from College of American Pathologists.
    • Mercy Hospital was the first in Minnesota to enroll patient in world-wide drug-coated balloon trial.
    • Owatonna Hospital reports zero adverse health events in the past year.


  • 2010

    • Mercy Hospital verified as a Level Two Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.
    • Allina Home Care named to the HomeCare Elite™ Top 500 for the third consecutive year.
    • United Hospital's Breast Center was one of only three in Minnesota to have earned a three year full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
    • River Falls Area Hospital is one of 100 hospitals nationally to be granted the Hospital of Choice Award from the American Alliance for Healthcare Providers.
    • The American Association of Critical Care Nurses awards the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence to four different units where critical care nurses work at Mercy Hospital.
    • Mercy Hospital's heart surgery group, Twin Cities Heart and Lung, is among the top 50 in the nation, according to Consumer Reports October 2010 issue,
    • United Hospital is the only Minnesota hospital, and one of just 50 in the United States, to be granted Disease-Specific Certification in Heart Failure from The Joint Commission, the Gold Seal of Approval for health care quality.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery (38), heart and heart surgery (39) and orthopedics (44) by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Buyers Health Care Action Group named 28 Allina clinics 2010 Minnesota Bridges to Excellence award winners for delivering optimal care to patients with diabetes, vascular disease and depression. Clinics in  Buffalo and  Farmington exceeded standards for all three diseases.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Intensive Care Unit for medical, surgical and neurology patients earned the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.
    • The Minnesota Hospital Association presented Allina Hospitals & Clinics its Patient Safety Improvement Award. The award recognizes patient safety and quality improvement efforts in preventing pressure ulcers in hospital patients.
    • River Falls Area Hospital earns environmental partnership honors and the Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award from Practice Greenhealth.
    • The cancer centers at  Mercy and  Unity hospitals earn the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
    • Buffalo Hospital named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals, earns elite Everest Award.
    • The Joint Commission granted Primary Stroke Center certification to  Mercy and  Unity hospitals.
    • The Joint Commission awarded United Hospital the Certification of Distinction for its inpatient diabetes care, one of only two hospitals in Minnesota to win such certification.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association designated six Allina hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers
    • Mercy Hospital identified as one of Thomson Reuters' 100 Top Hospitals® for Cardiovascular Care for the seventh consecutive year.
    • Lori Knutson, director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, named one of the top 10 people in integrative health care by The Integrator Blog. The influential web publication also called the George Institute the most significant integration initiative in the United States.


    • The American Medical Group Association awarded the Acclaim Award to  Allina Medical Clinic for Leading Change, an initiative that uses the six Institute of Medicine aims and the attributes of a high-performing delivery system to improve the delivery of care throughout the organization. 
    • Mercy Hospital earned the 2009 Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.  Mercy's Intensive Care Unit is a three-time Beacon Award winner, having received the honor in 2006 and 2007.
    • Mercy Hospital designated an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. 
    • The Minnesota Department of Health designated New Ulm Medical Center a Level 4 Trauma Center.
    • U.S. News & World Report again ranked Abbott Northwestern among "America's Best Hospitals." The Minneapolis hospital scored among the nation's top hospitals in five categories: neurology and neurosurgery (31), digestive disorders (33), orthopedics (36), heart and heart surgery (38), geriatric care (49).
    • Four Allina hospitals received Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Awards:
      • Unity Hospital and Buffalo Hospital achieved awards for all safety measures: "Safe from Falls" to reduce patient falls in the hospital; "Safe Skin" to prevent pressure ulcers (bed sores); "Safe Count" to reduce retained objects in labor and delivery, and "Safe Site" to prevent surgical errors.
      • Mercy Hospital received an award for "Safe Site." 
      • St. Francis Regional Medical Center was recognized for "Safe Skin."
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Piper Breast Center is the first in Minnesota to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital, United Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center made up the top-performing region in a study that analyzed the performances of STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) networks. Heart attack victims in the region served by the three hospitals are more likely to have the fastest "door to balloon" times than anywhere else in the United States.
    • Allina Hospitals & Clinics employees and physicians received four awards from the Minnesota Hospital Association:
      • Karine (Chip) Zakroczymski, coordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at Unity Hospital, was named Caregiver of the Year.
      • Owatonna Hospital won the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award by changing in the care process for patients receiving colon surgery and hernia repairs.
      • Buffalo Hospital earned the Calls to Action Award by reaching zero retained objects after newborn deliveries. 
      • Phillips Eye Institute received the Community Benefit Award for its Early Youth Eyecare initiative to remove vision problems in children.
    • The Minnesota Safety Council awarded a Governor's Safety Award to New Ulm Medical Center for excellence in workplace safety and health. 
    • The American Nurses Credentialing Center awarded MAGNET® status to United Hospital, placing the St. Paul facility in the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals for nursing care excellence.
    • Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital ranks number one on Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's Top 25 list of cardiac care centers. Other Allina hospitals listed are Mercy at seven, United at 10, and Unity at 15.
    • Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians names Jennie Orr, MD, Allina Medical Clinic-Hastings (First Street) as the 2009 Family Physician of the Year.
    • Five Allina hospitals received Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Awards
    • Phillips Eye Institute won Quality of Life Award.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital achieved Magnet Recognition Program® status.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital ranked among the nation's Top 100 Hospitals to Work For in 2009.


    • Nine Allina hospitals receive Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Awards:
    • Virginia Piper Cancer Institute named Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers by BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota.
    • The Society of Chest Pain Centers designated Abbott Northwestern Hospital as Minnesota's first Accredited Chest Pain Center.
    • Dick Pettingill, CEO of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, received the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent's Award.
    • Thirteen Allina Medical Clinic locations honored by Minnesota Bridges to Excellence for meeting criteria for excellence in optimal care of patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.
    • Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute earned accreditation from CARF International for its stroke specialty programs and inpatient rehabilitation programs for children, adolescents and adults. 
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital named one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report for the sixth year in a row, ranking in six categories: endocrinology (26), gastrointestinal disorders (31), neurology and neurosurgery (35), orthopedics (37), gynecology (47), geriatric care (48).
    • Six Allina hospitals received Patient Safety Excellence Awards from the Minnesota Hospital Association:
    • United Hospital's Cancer Care Program honored with the American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award.
    • Allina Hospitals & Clinics selected a school district and nonprofit group to receive its Healthy Community Award
      • Annandale School District for its integration of health and wellness education into its core curriculum
      • Portico Healthnet which helps uninsured Minnesotans find affordable health insurance and care 
    • Owatonna Hospital received the VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence in treating hospitalized patients with pneumonia.
    • Mercy Hospital earned VHA Leadership Awards for supply chain management improvement in two categories: distribution, logistics and inventory management; and innovation and creativity.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Neuroscience Center designated a national Stroke Center of Excellence by NeuStrategy.
    • Unity Hospital earned a Level III trauma designation from the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System of the Minnesota Department of Health.
    • American College of Cardiology named Barry Maron, MD, director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center of the Minneapolis Heart Institute® Foundation at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Distinguished Scientist for Clinical Research.
    • The Minnesota Hospital Association recognized Allina President and CEO Dick Pettingill and two hospitals.
      • Pettingill received the Spirit of Advocacy Award for his leadership on the passage of the Freedom to Breathe Act, the founding of the Minnesota Health Information Exchange and programs designed to improve health and combat childhood obesity.
      • Buffalo Hospital was recognized as Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace in the small hospital category.
      • Owatonna Hospital received Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award in the small hospital category for its Cardiac Heart Failure Initiative.


    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Mercy Hospital named among the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® for cardiovascular care by Thomson Healthcare.
    • The 18th edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" ranked  Abbott Northwestern Hospital in eight of 12 areas where hospital ability is measured by reputation, mortality data and other care-related factors: neurology and neurosurgery (22), endocrinology (23), orthopedics (27), heart and heart surgery (28) digestive disorders (33), cancer (43), geriatrics (43), gynecology (48).
    • Travis Kempker, executive chef at Mercy Hospital, won first place in a national recipe contest sponsored by Dannon Yogurt and Morrison Healthcare Food Services for his Spicy Crab Cakes with Citrus Yogurt Remoulade recipe.
    • Allina Patient Education received merit honors from National Health Information Awards program for three titles in two categories:
    • Allina Hospitals & Clinics recognized for leadership in electronic medical records systems. It was the only health care organization in the nation to earn the 2007 Davies Award from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
    • Allina Medical Clinic - Farmington honored by Minnesota Bridges to Excellence® for excellence in diabetes care.
    • According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Abbott Northwestern Hospital is one of the best in the country at treating heart attacks. Of 4,400 hospitals in the United States, Abbott Northwestern was one of only 17 to have a 30-day mortality rate better than the national rate of 16.4 percent.
    • Brenda Verbick, director of Social Services of Mercy & Unity Hospitals, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
    •   Mercy Hospital, Unity Hospital and the Anoka-Hennepin School District earned the Anoka County Public Health Recognition Award for their combined healthy school initiative, Power Hour.
    • Solucient named Mercy Hospital and United Hospital among the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® for cardiovascular care.
    • The cancer program of Mercy Hospital and  Unity Hospital awarded accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
    • The Minnesota Hospital Association recognized five Allina hospitals with awards:
      • In the large hospital category, United Hospital was selected as the Best Minnesota Hospital Work Place and won the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award.
      • In the large hospital category, Mercy Hospital and Unity Hospital received the Community Health Commitment Award for their combined healthy school initiative, the "Power Hour."
      • In the small hospital category, Buffalo Hospital received the Community Health Commitment Award for programs focused on improving traffic safety, reducing obesity and improving cardiovascular health.
      • In the small hospital category, New Ulm Medical Center was named Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace and won Health Care Career Promotion accolades for partnering with the Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council to offer a health career fair for girls.



    • Allina Hospitals & Clinics' CEO receives Community Builder Award.
    • The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons granted Bariatric Center of Excellence designations to Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Unity Hospital.
    • A panel of international experts with the Health Information Resource Center gave a bronze award for excellence in content that helps people stay healthy or prevent injury and disease.
    • The 16th edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" ranked Abbott Northwestern Hospital among the country's best in five specialty areas: neurology and neurosurgery (16), heart and heart surgery (25), urology (34), orthopedics (44), ear, nose and throat (50).
    • Mercy Hospital's intensive care unit was the first ICU in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest to be awarded the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. 
    • St. Francis Regional Medical Center named one of Top 100 Hospitals in nation.
    • The intensive care units (ICUs) at Mercy and Unity hospitals win safety and innovation awards.



    • Allina receives multiple awards from Minnesota Hospital Association.
    • CDMSC presents Quality Leadership Award to Allina Hospitals & Clinics.
    • Allina Hospitals & Clinics Heart Safe Communities project receives national recognition from the National Center for Early Defibrillation.
    • Abbott Northwestern and Mercy hospitals named among Nation's Top 100 Heart Hospitals.
    • New Ulm Medical Center won the first Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration MNStar award ever presented to a hospital/clinic. 
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital nurse Nancy Siemers, receives the American Heart Association, Greater Midwest Affiliate's Heart Hero Award.
    • Abbott Northwestern and Mercy hospitals named in U.S. News' America's Best Hospitals 2003.


    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital rated #26 and United Hospital ranked #48 in the top 50 hospitals in America list published in AARP Modern Maturity's May/June 2002 issue.
    • Shotwell Award presented to Dr. Michael Osterholm at Abbott Northwestern Hospital's medical staff annual meeting.
    • Mercy & Unity Hospitals earned the 2002 Exemplary Employer Award from the Anoka County WorkForce Center.
    • Minnesota Hospital Association honored Mercy & Unity Hospitals with the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award for their Culture of Caring Model.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital earns Five Stars for Excellence in National Report Card.
    • The College of American Pathologists accreditation with distinction to the laboratories at Cambridge Medical Center and Allina Medical Clinic in North Branch.
    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Mercy Hospital ranked among America's best hospitals in U.S. News & World Report
      • Abbott Northwestern was the only Twin Cities hospital ranked among the top 50 in each of these following specialties: heart and heart surgery (26); hormonal disorders (35); urology (36); ear, nose and throat (38); neurology and neurosurgery (44); and digestive disorders (45).
      • Mercy ranked 29 in respiratory disorders. 
    • Abbott Northwestern named Top Hospital in neuroscience services in stroke.


    • Health Grades, an independent health care quality ratings firm, named Abbott Northwestern Hospital (in partnership with Minneapolis Heart Institute®) the highest rated hospital in Minnesota to get care for cardiovascular problems.
    • Allina Health System named one of the nation's 100 Most Wired hospitals and health care systems by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. 
    • Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, a book for new parents published by Allina Health System Press, received a 2001 Gold Award, the highest honor at the annual National Health Information Awards competition 
    • Donald Mayberg, psychiatrist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, received the Minnesota Infinity Award from the Minnesota International Anti-Aging Medical Institute. 
    • Allina Health System awarded the Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare Partnership (MHHP) Patient Safety Award for collaborative effort to reduce medical errors throughout seven hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
    • Allina Health System ranked second in nation for raising funds for American Heart Association.

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