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Buffalo Hospital

Hospital overview

For nearly 100 years, Buffalo Hospital has been dedicated to delivering exceptional care for all who live and work in our community.

Buffalo Hospital main entrance

Buffalo Hospital receives Minnesota Hospital Association safety award - Buffalo Hospital made it a priority to embrace a safety philosophy that empowered, motivated and rewarded leaders and staff for speaking up and stopping the line when something just didn't feel right.

Buffalo Hospital is a not-for-profit regional medical center located on the western edge of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Each year the hospital provides advanced care to nearly 70,000 patients and their families.

In 2009, Buffalo Hospital was recognized as one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® as determined by a comprehensive analysis of nearly 5,000 hospitals by Thomson Reuters. In addition, Buffalo Hospital is one of 23 hospitals among the 100 winners to be recognized as an Everest Award winner for the greatest rate of improvement over a five-year period

At Buffalo Hospital, you'll find state-of-the-art facilities, personalized care in private rooms and services that are continuously being expanded. We routinely are recognized for quality, safe care and outstanding patient outcomes. Employees overwhelming say they are proud to work at Buffalo Hospital and would refer their loved ones here for care.

Buffalo Hospital is a part of Allina Health, a family of hospitals, clinics and care services in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. The Buffalo Hospital campus includes Allina Health Clinic – Buffalo and Buffalo Clinic.

Buffalo Hospital is committed to transparency and to meeting the needs and expectations of our patients. Sharing performance results empowers patients, staff, leaders and stakeholders to make informed health care choices. The 2011 Buffalo Hospital Quality & Safety Annual Report reflects the enormous effort that goes into measurement and serves as a means of conveying the organizations accomplishments in key areas.

History of medical care in Wright County


John J. Catlin, MD opened a medical practice in three rooms above the old Buffalo Hardware building in downtown Buffalo.


John J. Catlin, MD moved his practice across the street into 12 rooms on the second floor of the new Schmidt Drug Store building. This was called the Catlin Hospital. In the years following, his son, Ted J. Catlin, MD joined his practice and many years later, R. Sandeen, MD joined them. From 1918 until Sept 4, 1951 the doors of the hospital never closed.


City of Buffalo hires architect to begin planning a 15 to 20 bed hospital at a cost of $33,000, with WPA providing labor. In a special election, citizens voted 310 to 188 to sell bonds to build the hospital. Before the project could get started, World War II put the project on hold.


Another election confirms town's desire to build a hospital. Cost for the building alone was placed at $150,000, and bonds were to be sold. As an area hospital, its ultimate capacity would eventually be 62 beds. Total cost of the project was set at $300,000.


Hospital Board created. Members were: Vance Weaver, Joe Peterson, A.P. Stafford, Harold Templin, Mrs. Lillian Welch, Mrs. Earl Peterson, and Mrs. Carl Lindberg.

May, 1950

Construction started on new hospital located on Tower Hill. Building would have room for 28 beds and a staff of 25. Ground breaking for the project was June 8, 1950, with cornerstone ceremony on September 19, 1950.


  • Buffalo Memorial Hospital opens with dedication on August 26, 1951 and operation began on September 5th. It had 29 beds and an average daily census of 22. Total cost was $357,000, with monies coming from Village funds, bond issue, local residents and a grant from the Federal government.
  • Buffalo Clinic opens.
  • Wright County Public Health established.


Buffalo Memorial Hospital Auxiliary organized by women of various local communities. Membership was very high and they were extremely active in fundraising. They were instrumental in buying many pieces of equipment and furnishings including a cardiac monitor, defibrillator, incubator, fetal monitor, and several items used for physical therapy. They promoted many large community projects to raise money such as style shows, rummage sales, and craft bazaars. The Auxiliary eventually disbanded sometime after 2000.


An addition to the Buffalo Memorial Hospital approved by voters to increase by an addition of 16 beds. $50,000 in bond sales were approved and another $43,887 used form other city funds to increase the facility to 45 bed capacity.


Buffalo Memorial Hospital first addition opens with 8 additional rooms, 2 beds and a large bathroom in each, additional storage rooms, a morgue and physical therapy department.


A second addition approved for Buffalo Memorial Hospital to make room for 26 more beds, one pediatric room, a laboratory, and x-ray room. General and administrative offices as well as medical records were also included.


  • Cokato Medical Clinic established with one physician and three exam rooms.
  • 104 full and part-time personnel were employed at Buffalo Memorial Hospital.


May 25, 1969 open house was held for the second addition to the hospital. This new addition offered an expanded emergency room, pediatric ward, an intensive care observation room, and larger office and lobby areas.


Buffalo Memorial Hospital joins the Health Central Hospital Group to participate in the new and efficient cost cutting method of group buying for lower costs.


Health Central took over business office, accounting and budgeting for the local hospital.


Hospital opened a chemical dependency facility in purchased Covenant Church manse.


City of Buffalo sells hospital to Health Central, Inc.


  • Health Central, Inc. breaks ground for new hospital at present location on Highway 25.
  • Buffalo Clinic moves from downtown location to building at present location on Highway 25. The new facility had 10 providers, 30 exam rooms and six bays in the ER.


Hospital opens new building in October.


Annandale Family Physicians opens in Annandale with one doctor and two other staff members.


Basic 911 service started in county.


Buffalo Memorial Hospital name changes to Health Central of Buffalo.


Independently owned FamilyCare Centers of Wright County: Albertville, Annandale, Buffalo, Cokato, Montrose, and Rockford opened with six exam rooms in the Buffalo Hospital building to provide specialty services to patients. The first year of the clinic's operation provided specialty services and discovered that additional primary care services were needed in Buffalo. These services were provided by physicians from the other FamilyCare Centers on their days and evenings off in Buffalo.


FamilyCare Centers of Wright County changed name to Buffalo Family and SpecialtyCare Center and recruited Dr. Andrew Burgdorf as family physician. Dr. Burgdorf is still with the clinic today.


Name change to Health One Buffalo Hospital (merge with Health One organization).


Cokato Medical Clinic sold its private practice to LSI in April and was then helped in staffing by physicians from Litchfield.


911 service enhanced to include name, phone, and address.


  • Buffalo Family and SpecialtyCare Center is purchased by Healthspan and name changed to Wright Medical Clinic.
  • Cokato Medical Clinic moves into new, state-of-the-art building in prime location along US Highway 12 in Cokato.
  • Wellness On Wheels – WOW van created by partnership between Wright County Public Health and Buffalo Hospital.


  • Buffalo Hospital creates new wing on the north side of the existing building, moving and expanding Emergency Services, creating a new lobby and entrance along Highway 25, and providing new, larger space for clinic.
  • Wright Medical Clinic moves into new wing of hospital building with 33 exam rooms as well as a patient education area. Adds three new doctors.


Hospital opens Rehab Center.


  • Allina Health Annandale Clinic moves into new building on Hwy. 55 and has three physicians, a psychologist, Courage Kenny physical therapy, lab, and x-ray capabilities.
  • Buffalo Hospital expands Birth Center
  • Buffalo Hospital purchases new CT scanner
  • Buffalo Hospital named a national top 100 hospital for the second time.


  • Wright County's first permanently based MRI opens at Buffalo Hospital
  • Buffalo Hospital adds newborn pages to their Web site (spring)
  • Buffalo Hospital auxiliary disbanded


  • Buffalo Hospital expands Short Stay Center and adds two additional operating rooms
  • Buffalo Hospital is second hospital in nation to add Instymeds, an automated system for dispensing prescription dedications for emergency and urgent care patients. (fall)


  • Buffalo Clinic opens new two-story Medical Office Building, with 20 providers, 59 exam rooms, nine special procedure rooms, connected to Buffalo Hospital. (Buffalo's first skyway)
  • Buffalo Hospital Foundation founded
  • Buffalo Hospital Cardiac Center opens
  • Buffalo Hospital Sleep Center opens off site
  • Buffalo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care expand


  • Buffalo Hospital implements electronic medical record – Allina Health first shared system
  • Buffalo Hospital implements EMI – Enterprise Medical Imaging, digital medical imaging system providing electronic transfer and storage of medical images
  • Buffalo health campus goes tobacco free
  • Buffalo Hospital Surgery & Outpatient Center opens in new wing
  • Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy (off site) open


Population of Wright County is 102,000+

  • Allina Health Annandale Clinic has a medical staff of three family practice physicians, a psychologist, 9 exam rooms, plus a procedure room. Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy is available on-site.
  • Allina Health Clinic – Buffalo has medical staff of 18 providers, 58 exam rooms and is in a new, two-story facility attached to Buffalo Hospital.
  • Allina Health Cokato Clinic has six providers and 12 exam rooms and is open one evening a week.
  • Buffalo Clinic has 20 providers, 59 exam rooms, 9 special procedure rooms, radiology, laboratory, and a Medical Skin Care Center.
  • Buffalo Hospital has 65 licensed beds, 180 physicians on staff, and 415 employees.


2012 Buffalo Hospital statistics

To contact us,
call 763-682-1212.



Admitting physicians




Staffed beds


Licensed beds


Annual discharges (excluding newborns)




Average length of stay (excluding newborns)


Occupancy rate


Observation patients


Emergency visits


General outpatient visits


Accreditation, awards and honors


  • The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) honored innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health care at its 29th annual awards ceremony on Friday, May 17. Buffalo Hospital, part of Allina Health, received the award for Patient Safety Improvement in the Small Hospital Category due to their efforts to create a culture of safety.
  • 2012



    • Buffalo Hospital's Birth Center was recognized for excellence in patient safety by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA). MHA's Annual Health Care Awards honor the best and brightest in Minnesota health care - individuals who have offered dedicated service to hospitals and organizations that have implemented successful, innovative programs.
    • Buffalo Hospital's imaging department earned a three-year term of accreditation in computed tomography (CT) as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
    • Buffalo Hospital earned Patient Safety Excellence Awards from the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for Safe Site and Safe Skin.


    • Full accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
    • A three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR)
    • Patient Safety Excellence Awards from the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for Safe Count and Safe from Falls


    • Buffalo Hospital received the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace Award for the third time in the small hospital category.



    • Buffalo Hospital received the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) Innovator of the Year in Patient Care Award for implementing one of the most integrated electronic medical record systems in the nation. The hospital also received an award in 2003 for implementing InstyMeds, a prescription drug delivery system.

Letters of thanks

The following article was written about a recent patient and an employee at Buffalo Hospital

    While cleaning a patient's room at Buffalo Hospital, Sandie Langbehn learned that the patient was wearing a hat due to extensive hair loss. The patient commented that the hat was really itchy. Langbehn, an Environmental Services aide, felt that the patient appeared to be rather miserable as a result. She went on to tell the patient that she makes soft fleece hats and she would like to make the patient one to help improve her comfort level. The patient graciously accepted the offer.

    Langbehn went home that evening and told her husband that he needed to make dinner because she had something very important to do. The next day, she entered the patient’s room carrying not one, but five different hats so that the patient would have options.

    The patient was delighted that Langbehn had taken the time and effort to do something so kind for someone she had just briefly met the day before. It was clear that Langbehn brightened the patient’s day, as her act of kindness was acknowledged by the patient’s family member a couple of days later.

    When Langbehn was asked about the act of compassion, she simply said, "I am not a doctor or a nurse and I realize I am not able to heal patients in a physical sense, but I know there is always something I can do for our patients – I can help them heal their mind and spirit."

The following letter was written by a patient and her family at Buffalo Hospital

    To the staff of Buffalo Hospital Birth Center,
    My husband and I wanted to commend your Birth Center staff that shared our "special" moment with us for a job well done! We would like to personally recognize Paula, my delivery nurse, Karen, the baby nurses, and Sharon, Barb, Kathy and Mary to name a few. From the moment that we walked into your department we were treated with sincere kindness and warmth. The passion that was exhibited by the staff was very evident. We weren't treated as if we were just another number. Our stay at Buffalo Hospital during the birth of our son will not be forgotten.

The following letter was written by a patient at Buffalo Hospital

    To the staff of Buffalo Hospital,
    So often people think it necessary to complain and mention shortcomings. My husband and I feel it is just as necessary to relay compliments.
    When we recently needed to visit Urgent Care at Buffalo Hospital we were treated with kindness, empathy and respect. These professionals gave us confidence in what they were doing and ha a sense of humor that put us at ease.
    We feel fortunate to live in an area that can provide quality care with a smile.

The following letter was written by the family of a patient at Buffalo Hospital.

    To the staff of Buffalo Hospital,
    Many thanks for the kind care which you gave to our father. We were impressed with each of you who cared for dad--the genuine compassion, prompt attention and loving care - you are God's angels of mercy. Thank you.

The following letter was written by a patient after her stay at Buffalo Hospital.

    All members of the Hospital staff - 
    I had surgery in May and you really made me feel so special. Thanks!

The following letter was written by a son after his mother's 12 day stay at Buffalo Hospital as a patient.

    My mother, her children and myself have never been treated better in any other hospital. The staff all over have been so congenial, friendly, helpful and courteous. I live on the Canadian border and would drive the 350 miles to Buffalo if I had to be in a hospital. You all deserve to have that sign in front of the hospital. You are the "top" hospital in my families' book. Keep up the good work.

The following letter was sent to Buffalo Hospital after the birth of a new baby.

    To all the Birth Center nurses, 
    We want to express our warmest thanks for all your care when our daughter was born. Our memory of the wonderful care that we received 3 years ago when our son was born played a very significant part in our decision to have our new daughter delivered by elective C-section at Buffalo Hospital rather than pursue VBAC at another hospital. You are all truly exceptional caregivers. We look forward to seeing you again in about another 3 years.

The following letter was sent to Buffalo Hospital by a recent patient.

    I've said many prayers this past month of my life and one that I keep repeating is that of great appreciation to have been cared for at a health care facility so dedicated to what they do. Buffalo Hospital has truly been blessed with a caring and compassionate staff. Confidentiality and privacy were of their concern, as well, and I must say, all was maintained well.