Composition of Allina Health’s Board of Directors Speaks Volumes

By Mathew J. Keller, RN JDkellerjan2016

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

A company leans on its board of directors for counsel, for investment, and for leadership.  The board is a group of advisers with expertise above and/or outside of the company’s executive team.  It’s disappointing to see that so many healthcare corporations don’t include nurses on their boards.

In the case of the 19 members of the Allina Health Board of Directors, a full seven are investment bankers or associated financial professionals. In fact, the list of board includes several CEOs (such as the head of Buffalo Wild Wings), a dean of a business school, a marketing guru, a supply chain VP for General Mills, and a retired attorney. Two physicians hold positions on the Board by virtue of their employment with Allina, in addition to one doctor who was appointed. Nowhere to be found? Even a single representative of healthcare’s largest and most trusted profession: nurses.

Interestingly enough, this failure to include representatives of healthcare’s most numerous profession seems to have occurred at nearly every level of Allina Health: the Allina executive leadership team, the United Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Mercy/Unity Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Phillips Eye Institute Foundation’s Board of Directors, and the Abbott Northwestern Foundation’s Board of Directors. At least Allina Health includes a Chief Nursing Officer at each of its hospital locations within that hospital’s leadership team.

When considering the composition of Allina’s Board, executive leadership team, and associated charitable foundation’s boards in the context of the impending nurse strike, it is easy to see why there exists a chasm between the nurses and Allina Corp.  As the following evidence suggests, Allina does not value nurses as leaders and agents of positive change in the healthcare system. If it did, surely one, at least one, of the 125 members of Allina’s executive leadership team, Board of Directors, or nurse strike -affected hospital foundation’s board of directors would be or have been a nurse during his or her career. Maybe, just maybe, even a bedside nurse. Just one.

The composition of Allina’s board and executive leadership team comes down to one thing –  priorities. What does a non-profit, charitable healthcare system value and prioritize? In the case of Allina, it appears to be investment banking. Contrary to the core values to which it pays much lip service, the priority of Allina Health is not patients, employees, quality care, or even healthcare at all. It is, at the end of the day, about one thing: big business.



  1. Why should nurses have outdated and significantly better health care than every other healthcare employee. The Federal government refers to the nurse’s union healthcare plans as “Cadillac” plans for a reason. They’re frivolous and unnecessarily expensive, and allow those who use them to make unnecessarily expensive healthcare decisions.

    Unbiased Allina employee
  2. Nurses don’t think they should have better health care than everyone else, we all should have this “Cadillac” plan! This kind of plan keeps people healthy instead of keeping them from getting necessary healthcare they need because they can’t afford it. To some people $6000 is a lot of money. Since when is getting good healthcare frivolous?

  3. It’s everything that’s wrong with big corporations and government deciding the “Cadillac” plan vs what? The worker bee paying damn near three mortgage payments before the employer actually starts to pay for care?
    Shouldn’t everyone be good enough or important enough to to get a “Cadillac” plan? It’s redicuiouls that anyone with a health issue or crisis should have to worry about who they can see, can I afford to take all three kids to the clinic and pay 90 plus dollars for all of them to be checked out, will this hospital fall under my insurance, can this suggested specialist see me for my care?
    Who says anyone is better orore deserving than the next person or child? It’s a damn shame this is how we have turned to treat care and each other all due to what? Greed! Plan and simple someone somewhere is doing this not for “care” it’s greed. And to know that hospitals and clinics and its own insurance company’s are not doing the right thing in “care” of its employees really makes you look at how they truly treat its patients or should we say customers? Cause that’s what you are to them if your in the care of them… A customer. Sad.

    Mom, healthcare worker who's NOT a nurse or Dr.
  4. Why doesn’t Allina value their other employees enough to increase their benefits to what the nurses have? Not to mention that these nurses have given up pay increases in order to keep their current healthcare plans. Lastly, it is very insulting to say that nurses are making “frivolous” decisions. Patients depend on nurse to not be anything near frivolous. Maybe if you are feeling the nurse’s plans are unfair, you should be raising concerns about your own healthcare plan, not knocking down what someone else has.

    Non-Allina Union Nurse
  5. I agree with the above, but what I haven’t seen mentioned is that in an ordinary year of medical expenses for my family, this amounts to about a 10% pay cut for me. Perhaps if Allina offered to increase wages to offset? They’re offering 2%, and the difference in premiums for my family doesn’t begin to come close to the amount of the deductable and out of pocket under Allina’s plan. I lose a significant amount of money while they make a healthy profit.

  6. I’m behind the nurses and their union. I believe that everyone gets to fight for the benefits that are important to them. We bargain for many things. We bargain for work environment, wages, insurance benefits, safety, etc… We all want to maintain status quo, and still allow for business to prosper. Business is prospering. Workers make that happen. Why shouldn’t workers have a voice in the things for which they are willing to work? Bargaining is give and take. Bargaining makes everyone’s workplace better. Thank you nurses for all the ways that you keep customers and doctors safe, and cycle patients through the broken system. You should be able to count on your healthcare insurance to take care of you after your long hours filled with exposures and potential injuries. I’m sorry that you have to draw the line in the sand in this way.

  7. One of the problems with the ACA is they didn’t take into account some Unions gave up raises for better health care plans. One Presidential candidate has said she will stop the coming “fines” for Cadillac plans. This is Union Busting at its finest. Shame on the Board. Since when does a Chicken Wing saleswomen belong on the board of a health care provider other than selling terrible food so people get sick and need medical services.

  8. Unbiased Allina Employee, There should never be such a thing as a Cadillac plan. We should all have quality care. Let’s not blame or bring others down. Let’s lift the bottom up!

  9. Interesting isn’t it? The nurses MNA health plan is called both “out dated” and a ” cadalac” plan.aren’t these terms contradictory? Which is it. The nurses plan does NOT encourage them to use ERs more, as nurses We are very into prevention, which means care before things get too bad. We do NOT use the higher cost brand name drugs over generics. The nurses policies also must use known formularies, most of which is generic, but pay slightly less. Nurses do not think they are better than the rest of the health care team. We would like to see all offered our plans as a choice. Don’t decrease health care, improve it. Interesting isn’t it, that there is NO NURSE of any of the boards at Allina.

    A retired Allina/ MNA RN

  10. Why should the nurses give up their healthcare plan? Will allina give back The things the nurses gave up to get this plan?… No ! I have the Healthcare plan that they are trying to give them and we ( union members) don’t like it and are trying to fight for a better plan in our next contract..

  11. The SEIU clinic division just completed our negotiations with Allina, and one of the things we always do is look up the bonuses and compensation the CEO’s and BOD members get. I believe it was something like 22 million dollars. Don’t take my word for it look it up. It’s outrageous what these people get and for a Non-Profit organization? Non-Profit my @##!

  12. The majority of health care facilities Mayo, Fairview etc gave up these cadillac high coverage low deductible plans long ago. Their employees all survived and their facilities are able to continue to keep doors open. These changes happened over 15 years ago elsewhere. Its time MNA realize they are asking to be given priority over the rest of the team.

  13. This is all about control and power please do not give in to corporate greed

  14. All this strike is going to do is put nurses at risk of not getting called back, losing a weeks worth of pay, and years of trying to get back on track. I find it sad when I watch the news or see FB post with people slamming the place they work. If you are that unhappy then find another job. If Allina is a money hungry, not caring about their employees then move on and find a place that will give you insurance plans like the ones nurses have now. I applaud the nurses that crossed the line to give patients safe care. You say all Allina cares about is money and not patient care? You all walked out on patients for the all mighty dollar so don’t sit and bad mouth the place you work when you are doing the exact same thing. If everyone had this “Cadillac” plan nobody would have a job because they would shut the doors because of the cost.

  15. Interesting that Allina refuses to grant their Nurses benefits that five other Facilities offered their Nurses in January. Five other Health Care System Nurses were able to keep their Health Insurance just as rich as Allina’s, Five other health care system Nurses in the Twin Cities ratified and settled their contracts earlier this year. No disruption of care or services. Five other Health Care Systems are currently running smoothly. Five other Health Care Systems in the Twin city area apparently have some respect for their Nurses and would rather see them at the bedside. So my question is? Why would I want to be a patient where there are Employees being treated so rotten? Why would a Nurse want to work for an Allina Facility when they are treated so poorly?

  16. Allina is not trying to cut Nurses healthcare to reinvest in patient care, they are doing it to pay their CEO more. Same as gas prices, did your grocery store decrease prices when gas prices went down? Hospitals are making money and paying CEOs and stockholders mega dollars. Allina, pay for safe patient care and decent benefits for your healthcare staff-what a concept. Even your CEO States these proposed healthcare plans cause serious healthcare problems because they often equal no care. I work for Sanford health, even the MDs state the healthcare plan sucks and they turn their staff into collections if they don’t pay their $5000 bill in less than a year. High deductible plans are crappy healthcare. Everyone deserves better, not less.

  17. Don’t like the fine for high value health insurance plans? Did you support the ACA? If so, blame yourself.

  18. It’s not that they deserve anything different. It’s that the Nurses contract wage =hourly wage+pension+the current health care package. That is the nurses total compensation package. When Alina cuts one variable and does not add to any of the others it’s simply a pay cut. It really does not matter what the other employees compensation is, since they are all on different compensation structures. Im sure some of them have matching 401k.

    It’s just simple math and definitely does not need 30,000 documents to explain it

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