By Mathew Keller RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

This past January, Pocono Medical Center (“PMC”) in Pennsylvania announced plans of a merger with Lehigh Valley Health Network. As details became more apparent, it was obvious that staffing changes and layoffs connected to the merger would affect more than 100 PMC nurses.

It’s no surprise that the word “merger” has come to be associated with “restructuring,” and “restructuring” with “layoffs.” And if a merger between a single medical center and a larger health system can affect 100 nurses, how much larger of an impact could a merger of two giant systems, such as HealthEast and Fairview, have?
… Read more about: Will HealthEast-Fairview Merger Hurt Nurses?  »

By Mathew Keller

MNA Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Allina’s final estimate of how much money it wasted on labor strife is in, with the health system pegging its total strike costs at 149 million dollars. As Allina employees know, however, this number is an underestimate. While the estimate includes the cost of shipping replacement nurses into Minnesota and paying them hourly rates that would make a cardiologist blush, and subtracts the costs Allina would have paid its trusted nurses were they not on strike– it does not account for the fact that Allina has been and will continue to pay eye-popping sums for replacement nurses well into 2017 due to the extreme level of nurse-turnover post-strike.
… Read more about: What can $149 million get you?  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Hennepin County Medical Center’s 2015 numbers are in, and many HCMC employees on the chopping block might be surprised by them. Despite HCMC’s public statements contributing layoffs to a “financial challenge,” 2015 was its second-most profitable year on record as the healthcare system pocketed $28.6 million in net income—up from $11.5 million in 2014.

HCMC’s MNA nurses are calling on HCMC CEO Jon Pryor to act with more transparency regarding these layoffs. This is not a good start for Dr. Pryor, who stated in an all-employee email on December 9, 2016, “if you’ve been paying attention to the media, you know that HCMC is not the only healthcare organization facing a financial challenge right now.” Only two months prior, the CEO had signed off on the financial report showing the huge 2015 net income increase.
… Read more about: HCMC Doubles Profits in 2015  »

by Jon Tollefson

MNA Government Relations Specialist

A lot of people saw what was happening and which way the election was going, but they felt the political elite didn’t listen to them. And they were probably right. People tend to get into their own bubbles and stay there, echo chambers of agreement. That makes it hard to see and understand one another.


Minnesota’s nurses are diverse in terms of race, age, and certainly political beliefs. Many nurses likely continue to feel outrage and deep sadness at the results of the election while others celebrated a victory and a sense that, finally, they’ve been heard.
… Read more about: What an election  »

Allina Strike

By Veronica Jacobsen

Veronica Jacobsen

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE



Reprinted with permission from Baby Love Minnesota blog.  The author is an instructor in childbirth classes.  Information is available here: Here’s info on my classes:

I have been blogging for almost exactly 5 years in this space, and maternity care outcomes and transparency hold a special place in my heart. I don’t know if anyone gets as excited as I do when new info comes out. After a lot of thought over the weekend, I am posting this.
… Read more about: Mom Says Allina Strike Puts Birthing Families in Danger  »

By Mathew Keller

Integrity. Respect. Trust. Compassion. Stewardship. These are the core values of Allina Health. The Oxford dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” So why, then, does Allina continue to tell its nurses that it needs to shift $10 million in healthcare costs to them? In 1,664 pages of financial disclosures to the IRS and its bond investors from 20012014, Allina never once represents that it is anything but highly profitable, making a reported $1.3 billion dollars in net revenue over the past 6 years alone.
… Read more about: Allina Health Integrity and Irony  »

Allina Strike

By Mathew Keller RN, JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist
“Magnet” status, a prestigious accreditation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (an arm of the American Nurses Association), is desired and sought after by hospitals across the country.  Only 6 percent of hospitals ever achieve it, however.  Magnet hospitals demonstrate excellence in patient care and nursing services and are expected to attain and retain top talent, improve care, ensure safety, develop nurse satisfaction, foster a collaborative culture, advance nursing standards and practice, and grow business and financial success.

At Magnet hospitals there is low nurse turnover and appropriate grievance resolution.
… Read more about: Does Abbott-Northwestern Stand to Lose its Magnet Status?  »

By Mary Turner

MNA President


When 5,000 Allina nurses went on strike for seven days last month, I spoke to so many who were determined but anxious. Would the public understand why they made the difficult decision to strike, rather than accept Allina’s demand that they give up their affordable healthcare? Would the public understand that they had to stand up to Allina when they refused to discuss our issues, including safe staffing and violence?

If you had a chance to be at one of the five picket lines during the strike, you know that the public definitely understood why nurses were outside.
… Read more about: Solidarity is Alive and Well  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Ask any Allina nurse. They all know why they are on strike. Health insurance, patient safety, workplace violence, and maintaining a voice in the workplace are all important aspects of this action. But what about Allina’s claims that the money it would save from cuts to nurses’ total compensation would be put to patient care?

As Allina puts it, the $10 million it proposes to take from nurses “means a whole lot to what service we’re able to provide,” according to Allina CEO Penny Wheeler. Unsurprisingly absent from that statement is why Allina needs this 10 million for patient care, why it needs to take it from its nurses, and why it can’t come from other sources.
… Read more about: Allina claims $10 million needed from nurses to improve patient care  »

By Laura Sayles

MNA Government Affairs Specialist

With exactly two weeks left in the Legislative Session, there’s a lot left to accomplish in a short amount of time. None of the major spending bills have been ironed out and the parties that need to agree (House, Senate, and Governor) are far apart on their Session priorities. When looking through the overviews of the documents that will get us through the end of Session, the phrase “no comparable provision” is a common refrain.


Bonding bill – The Governor proposed funding $1.4 billion in projects; House Republicans, who haven’t yet released their bill, want around $600 million.
… Read more about: Behind the Scenes Look at the Capitol  »