Late last year, nurses in North Dakota and northern Minnesota learned of a plan from Essentia Health to pursue acquisition talks with CHI/Common Spirit Health Care. The plan was for Essentia Health to acquire 14 facilities and take over management and services they provide to mainly rural communities across northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

From the start, MNA members were concerned about the implications this deal would have on patient care in many critical access facilities. Nurses were familiar with the past dealings of Essentia in Moose Lake, taking over the small community hospital and immediately shuttering services and sending patients to the system hub in Duluth.
… Read more about: Nurses celebrate a win as CHI/Essentia merger falls through  »

Media Advisory


Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709


Workers Worried Patients Will Lose Care Close to Home

(St. Paul) – May 3, 2021 – Nurse and healthcare worker members of the Minnesota Nurses Association have filed a petition with Essentia Health to notify them they are concerned the company’s takeover of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) hospitals will result in less access to patient care, not more.

In January, Essentia Health and Common Spirit, CHI’s parent company, signed a letter of agreement where Essentia would assume control of 14 facilities and numerous clinics throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.
… Read more about: MNA Members File Petition Over Essentia-CHI Takeover  »

By Laura Sayles

MNA Government Affairs Specialist


Last Tuesday, MNA nurses staged informational pickets at Essentia St. Mary’s and St. Luke’s hospitals in Duluth.  The nurses that work at those hospitals have been working without a contract since June of this year.  They’ve been in negotiations with management but because they were unable to make headway to come to a solution that works for nurses and the hospital management, nurses want patients to know the nurses’ contract affects the care they receive.


MNA nurses made the decision to stage an informational picket when they felt that their voices weren’t being heard in negotiations. 
… Read more about: The Power of Collective Action: Duluth Informational Pickets  »

After multiple contract negotiating sessions, MNA nurses in the Twin Ports are turning to the public in their campaign for a fair contract.

Nurses at Essentia and St. Luke’s hospitals in Duluth and Superior packed the July 8 Duluth City Council meeting to share their concerns and ask for councilors’ support as they negotiate new contracts. Their current contracts expired June 30.

Nearly 200 nurses filled the council chamber and hallways as four MNA members and MNA Executive Director Rose Roach addressed councilors about their concerns about patient care, scheduling the appropriate number of nurses to care for patients, and workplace safety.
… Read more about: Spectacular show of solidarity  »

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845


(St. Paul) – November 20, 2017 – The Minnesota Nurses Association will file grievances to win back the jobs and wages of every single registered nurse fired for not participating in Essentia Health’s mandatory flu shot policy.

“Essentia Health showed nurses they did not intend to bargain with us in good faith,” said Steve Strand, co-chair of the bargaining unit in Duluth.  “We tried to sit down with management, but Essentia executives told us they intend to follow through with terminations and mandatory flu shots regardless.”

MNA nurses proposed a voluntary program that rewards employees for participating in the flu shot, rather than a contentious mandatory policy. 
… Read more about: Press Release: MNA Nurses Will Battle Essentia Health Over Flu Shot Firings  »


By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

Hospital and health system consolidation is a rapidly expanding trend across the country, and Minnesota is no exception. Many large and mid-sized health systems have been looking to privatize the state’s dwindling number of public hospitals, combine smaller non-profit systems, and also incorporate physicians’ groups and outpatient services into hospital systems. The driving arguments to lobby for these mergers are that larger entities can provide more integrated care and have the ability to make bigger financial investments to improve the quality of care via new tools, such as electronic health records systems. Many studies, however, have shown that price, cost and quality of care are not improved by mergers (see below for links).
… Read more about: Why Minnesotans Should Pay Attention to Hospital Consolidation  »

What’s taking Allina Health so long?

By Barbara Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

While MNA nurses in Duluth and Superior were working to reach a tentative agreement with Essentia Health on a new three-year contract this week, MNA nurses in the Twin Cities were preparing for a second strike against Allina Health.

Why is this a tale of two or four cities? There’s no reason Allina can’t follow Essentia’s lead and negotiate a contract that benefits the nurses and their employer.  Nurses really do put the care in healthcare.  They provide the value for the hospital.  Often, they are the first and last faces a patient sees when they’re admitted and discharged.
… Read more about: Essentia Hospitals Come to an Agreement with Nurses  »

Contact: Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

(Duluth) – August 19, 2016 – After months of trying to negotiate a fair contract, MNA nurses at Twin Ports Essentia Health hospitals are going to the public with their concerns about the hospital system’s refusal to respond to safe staffing proposals by sponsoring billboards in Superior and Duluth.

The billboards read, “Has Essentia lost the care in healthcare? Ask an MNA nurse about staffing.”

“Nurses hope that publicly calling Essentia out on our concerns over safe staffing will bring them back to the negotiating table ready to agree to a contract that benefits all involved: nurses, our hospitals, patients, and our community,” said Essentia Twin Ports MNA Co-Chair Steve Strand.
… Read more about: Press Release: Nurses sponsor billboards to call attention to Essentia’s refusal to negotiate safe staffing  »

By Mathew Keller RN, JD

Mathew Keller, RN JD Regulatory and Policy Nursing SpecialistMathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Limousine service, upgraded television setsnurse/patient “scripts,” gourmet food service, nurse uniform requirements – hospitals all over the U.S. are offering more “customer-centric” patient care in order to increase patient satisfaction scores, which are becoming more and more important for Medicare reimbursements.

These efforts often have unintended consequences.

In the first place, customer-centric interventions rarely (if ever) improve the quality of care patients receive: rather, they merely improve patients’ perceptions of care.
… Read more about: Essentia Health: Listen to your nurses  »

By Shannon Cunningham

Director of Governmental and Community Relations

It’d be great if we all could elect our own boss. And the boss’ boss. And the boss’ boss’ boss. A vote against is a vote to fire them. A yes vote is a vote to hire them. Most importantly, no vote at all signals that you just don’t care. Sound familiar? Maybe because we actually can do that now.

It’s why elections matter. Take Attorney General Laurie Swanson, for example. The Minnesota Nurses Association has had a longstanding great relationship with AG Swanson. We have worked with her extensively on issues, such as fair billing practices at hospitals and preventing a merger of Sanford Health and the University of Minnesota..
… Read more about: Politics & Contracts Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly  »