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Heart Safe Communities

Heart Safe Communities is an initiative to increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that by placing defibrillators in public places and training citizens to use them, communities speed response times and double survival from SCA.

Buffalo Hospital Foundation, in partnership with Allina Health Emergency Medical Services and scores of schools, civic organizations and area businesses have educated more than 2,400 citizens about SCA and how to use an AED while placing more than 180 defibrillators throughout Wright County.

Adobe Reader required to view mapView map to see where you can find an AED.

AEDs really do save lives


For more information or to make a donation
call 763-684-7025.

Since 2007, AEDs have saved 13 lives in Wright County, including Rod Wadsworth of Rogers, Minnesota. While cleaning a house, he became a victim of SCA. Deputy Lisa Fox of the Wright county Sheriff’s office was the first to arrive at the scene and administered a shock using the Heart Save AED in her squad car. “Ron is alive today thanks to Wright County being on the forefront of placing AEDs in squad cars,” says Kelly Lewis, Heart Safe Communities coordinator at Buffalo Hospital and Allina Health Emergency Medical Services. “Rapid response is key to saving lives because every minute that goes by a person’s survival rate decreases by 10 percent.”

How you can help

The Buffalo Hospital Foundation has established a Heart Safe Fund for Wright County to place AED's in key locations. Donors can give to the Heart Safe Communities Fund of Wright County or to support placement and upgrade of AEDs as well as training. To make a donation, mail your donation to: Buffalo Hospital Foundation, 303 Catlin St., Buffalo, MN 55313 or call 763-684-7025. By donating you could save a family member, friend or neighbor.

Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver

Families in Wright County now have access to technology to save the lives of those with special needs who may wander away, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Buffalo Hospital Foundation.

Project Lifesaver uses state-of-the-art technology and specially trained teams to rapidly locate lost children and adults with autism, Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

How Project Lifesaver works

Clients enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a wristband which emits a tracking signal. The signal can be picked up as far as one mile on the ground and 10 miles by air.

If a person wearing a bracelet ever is lost, their caregiver calls 911 and a Project Lifesaver search and rescue team responds with a mobile tracking system. Recovery times average less than 30 minutes.

Sergeant Brian Johnson of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office says it’s a good tool to help searchers. “Time is of the essence when you are searching for any missing person, but even more so if they have special needs. Project Lifesaver gives us an advantage because it allows us to narrow large search areas.”

Project Lifesaver training also included education on how to interact best with people with conditions like autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Locating the individual is only part of the mission. The person may be disoriented, anxious and untrusting. Search teams know how to approach the person, gain their trust and put them at ease for the trip home.

Bringing Project Lifesaver to Wright County

Buffalo Hospital initiated the push to bring Project Lifesaver to Wright County. With emergency agencies on board, the Foundation dedicated the annual fall fishing tournament to raising money for Project Lifesaver. A tele-fundraising campaign followed. Then several community organizations jumped in, including Wright Hennepin Electric’s Operation Round Up, the Elim Care Foundation, the Community Health Foundation of Wright County and the Buffalo Fire Department.

Sign up

Families can sign up for Project Lifesaver by calling Wright County Human Services at 763-682-7875 for an application. The service is $300 (includes leased bracelet, batteries, wristbands and other necessary supplies)for the first year, then $105 each year thereafter. Batteries are changed monthly to ensure the bracelet always works. Scholarship funds from Buffalo Hospital Foundation are available for those who qualify for assistance.

Healthy Communities Magazine

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Health events and news — that you choose — emailed every month. Sign up today.

Healthy Communities Magazine reflects Buffalo Hospital's ongoing concern for the overall well being of Wright County community members by providing valuable information about their health, about taking care of themselves and avoiding illness or injury, and about ways to find the help they need to get and stay healthy.

Healthy Communities Magazine is published quarterly as a community service for people living in and around Wright County. For additional copies of the above articles or other features included in past issues of Healthy Communities Magazine contact us online or call 763-684-6801.

Latest issue

PDF iconSummer 2014

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Choose Wellness e-newsletter

Buffalo Hospital’s community engagement and wellness newsletter, Choose Wellness: Empowering the Community Towards Better Health, highlights various health and wellness topics and upcoming community events.

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Healthy Communities Partnership

Ann and Richard Tormanen

Ann and Richard Tormanen went to a free health screening offered by Buffalo Hospital as part of the Healthy Communities Partnership program. Read Richard's story.

Free health classes and screening events, plus a community-wide focus on key local health issues — these activities are part of a three-year program designed to keep you healthy. Known as the Healthy Communities Partnership, it is sponsored by Buffalo Hospital and the Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing.

Nearly 600 people participated in the health screening events that started in September 2012. Many of them are working with health coaches, free of charge, on issues revealed by the screenings. Some are attending free, evidence-based classes offered at various times this spring and next fall.

“Some classes are at Buffalo Hospital and some meet in community centers and other locations,” said Mona Volden, manager of Community Engagement and Wellness. “People are encouraged to take classes at the health screening events, and some are referred by their doctors. But all classes are open to the entire community.”

Community Health Topic

Learn more from trusted local medical experts about health topics such as diabetes, stroke, heart health and more with our monthly Community Health Topic program.

Through the hospital’s partnership with the city of Buffalo and SWTV Community Television, the videos also are running on community access cable channels 19, 12 and Windstream in Buffalo, Watertown, Delano, Elk River, Rockford, Cokato, Dassel, Maple Lake, Big Lake and Monticello.

"The program’s goal is to provide more health and wellness information to our community from reliable medical sources – our local physicians from Buffalo Hospital and area clinics," said Patty Erickson, Community Engagement & Wellness event coordinator for Buffalo Hospital.

2014 topics

2013 topic