Awards & recognition

Allina Health and its employees have been recognized by many organizations for their efforts to improve health care.







  • Allina Health midwife earned highest honor from the American Academy of Nursing.
  • Allina Health honored for its innovative approach to health information management by the American Health Information Management Association's Grace Award.
  • Allina Health study shows how palliative care can improve life for heart failure inpatients. "A Description of Inpatient Palliative Care Actions for Patients with Acute Heart Failure" published June 30 in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
  • River Falls Area Hospital named on list of top 50 Critical Access Hospitals in the U.S. by Becker's Hospital Review.
  • Allina Health physicians named on Newsweek's list of Top Cancer Doctors 2015:
    • Timothy Sielaff, MD, PhD, FACS, chief medical officer, Allina Health 
    • Patrick Flynn, MD, cancer specialist with Minnesota Oncology who practices at Abbott Northwestern and United hospitals
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Abbott Northwestern Hospital #1 in Twin Cities. Mercy, United and Unity hospitals also receive high ranks and ratings.
  • High school athletic training program, provided by Courage Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy - River Falls, earned National Athletic Trainers' Association Safe Sports School recognition.
  • All Allina Health hospitals with birth centers recognized by the March of Dimes and Minnesota Hospital Association for success in reducing early elective deliveries.
  • Becker's Hospital Review named River Falls Area Hospital one of 52 hospitals in the nation with the cleanest patient rooms.
  • Allina Health recognized by Truven Health Analytics as one of top five large U.S. health systems.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health designated Regina Hospital as an acute stroke ready hospital.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Mercy Hospital and St. Francis Regional Medical Center named among the nation's 100 Top Hospitals.
  • Phillips Eye Institute's Early Youth Eyecare community initiative wins national Hospital Charitable Services award.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital researchers established a program to prevent alarm fatigue that is now a national model. In 2016, All U.S. hospitals will need to have alarm fatigue prevention plans in place to support their Joint Commission accreditations.
  • Unity Hospital receives national recognition for its support of perioperative nursing certification.


  • Mercy Hospital received The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for the Total Joint Replacement Program's hip and knee replacements.
  • Minnesota FoodShare awarded Golden Beet honors to Regina Hospital's A Healthier Hastings 4 All for efforts to bring fresh and locally grown produce to families in need.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health designated River Falls Area Hospital as an acute stroke ready hospital.
  • Owatonna Hospital scored exceedingly well on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC).
  • Six Allina Health hospitals each recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission.
  • Heart of New Ulm Project called one of country's most successful collaborative health partnerships by researchers in a study published by the Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies, Inc.
  • Penny George Institute for Health and Healing researchers found that integrative medicine therapies can substantially decrease pain and anxiety for hospitalized cancer patients. Their findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs.
  • A program to teach holistic and integrative techniques to nurses at The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children's received international recognition in the International Journal of Childbirth Education .
  • Buffalo Hospital recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association for superior performance in patient safety as part of its Hospital Engagement Network. 
  • The Heart of New Ulm Project and New Ulm Medical Center received a NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association for demonstrating how hospitals, health organizations and community partners can improve the health and wellness of the people and patients that hospitals serve.
  • Abbott Northwestern and Mercy hospitals rank #1 and #2 in the Twin Cities says U.S. News & World Report.
  • Becker's Hospital Review listed River Falls Area Hospital among the nation's 100 Great Community Hospitals.
  • River Falls Area Hospital awarded accreditation in mammography by the American College of Radiology.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Neuroscience Institute reached a milestone with its 2,000th brain aneurysm treatment.
  • Karen K. Swenson, RN PhD, scientific advisor for the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, received the Rose Mary Carroll-Johnson ONS Distinguished Award for Consistent Contribution to Nursing Literature during the Oncology Nursing Society's Annual Congress.
  • An Allina Health study published in Applied Clinical Informatics showed health information sharing between health systems reduces diagnostic tests and procedures.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital's program to monitor neurosurgical patients is first accredited in Minnesota.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital again attained highest nursing credential with Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • Mercy Hospital named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® and 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals® .
  • The Transitional Rehabilitation Program at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Golden Valley named a top performing skilled nursing facilities by U.S. News and World Report.


  • March of Dimes recognized Owatonna Hospital for reducing the number of elective inductions and Cesarean deliveries performed before a full-term of pregnancy.
  • Allina Health hospitals earn Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® recognition from The Joint Commission.
  • Sue Sendelbach, PhD, RN, director of Nursing Research at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital received Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
  • Minneapolis Heart Institute® – Baxter ranked number one for cardiology clinics and received the highest composite scores for patient experience overall, according to results released by MN Community Measurement.
  • Allina Health hospitals ranked among the best in the metro, state and nation, says U.S. News & World Report.
  • Allina Health study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated the value of a new type of clinic employee: A non-clinical care guide.
  • Allina Health cancer survivorship program receives national attention.
  • St. Francis Regional Medical Center named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota by an employee-based survey project from the Star Tribune.
  • Gail Smith, RN, Minneapolis Heart Institute® - Crosby, received national recognition for consistently maintaining American Association of Critical Care Nurses certification for 35 years.
  • Allina Health received three Minnesota Hospital Association awards:
    • Allina Health earned the Community Benefit Award (large hospital category) for its investment in Free Bikes 4 Kidz and for encouraging physical activity, healthful eating, and a balanced life.
    • Buffalo Hospital was recognized with the Patient Safety Improvement Award (small hospital category)for its commitment to patient safety at all levels.
    • New Ulm Medical Center won the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award (small hospital category) for its new social worker program to provide better care coordination services to emergency department and clinic patients.
  • Allina Health Hospice, Owatonna, was one of just 100 hospices out of 1,200 across the nation awarded Hospice Honors™. 
  • Virginia Piper Cancer Institute - Abbott Northwestern received American College of Radiology accreditation for radiation oncology.
  • Patrick J Flynn, MD, Allina Health cancer specialist, honored with the Association of Community Cancer Centers' David King Community Clinical Scientist Award.
  • Brian LaCroix, Allina Health Emergency Medical Services president, elected to a two-year term on the National EMS Management Association board.