MNA Requests Meeting with US Bank in order to Save Allina Money

By Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

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

We’ve detailed at length the connections between Piper Jaffray and Allina. Piper Jaffray, as you recall, served as a broker/dealer to a 2007 “Auction Rate Security” bond offering that ultimately led Allina to sue. Allina claimed that the other broker-dealer (UBS) knew the Auction Rate Security market would fail mere months after the bond offering, but, interestingly, Allina did not make that claim against Piper. This transaction caused Allina to lose tens of millions of dollars in penalty interest rates, interest rate swaps, and early termination fees when it refinanced the bonds. Piper Jaffray was well represented on Allina’s Board of Directors throughout the 2007 bond offering and Allina’s lawsuit against the other broker-dealer (but not Piper).

When Allina refinanced its 2007 bonds, US Bank benefitted immensely. US Bank and Piper Jaffray have strong ties going back to 1998, when Piper was acquired by US Bank. Piper spun off US Bank in 2003, but the two corporations still do brisk business together. Until now, though, we’ve never had evidence of a direct connection between US Bank and Allina, apart from the presence of US Bank Chief Investment Officer Mark Jordahl on Allina’s Board of Directors.

Considering Jordahl’s presence on Allina’s Board, it shouldn’t be surprising that when Allina refinanced its bad 2007c series Piper Jaffray/UBS bonds, it gave $121 million worth of business to US Bank. The refinancing terms on the 2007c US Bank bonds were better than those Allina had with UBS/Piper, but still unfavorable overall. Allina lost $4 million dollars on these loans last year alone.


If Allina were to refinance this debt (again) to save money, it would have to pay US Bank a $25 million termination penalty. As MNA Executive Director Rose Roach put it in a letter to Mark Jordahl requesting a meeting to discuss these loans, “that is money that could be used to better serve Allina patients.”

Roach continued to argue, “we are especially concerned about this situation, given your long tenure on the Allina board [from 2006-2016], and your leadership position as the Vice-chair and Chair from 2012 through 2014.”

The more one looks into Allina’s business dealings, the more conflicts of interest between spending money on patient care and throwing money at big banks emerge. Given these ongoing discoveries of conflicts of interest between big business and patient care, shouldn’t we all be concerned?


  1. Seems to me that all one really has to do is find out who else is on the board and who they are affiliated with and we will know exactly where Allina will be flinging its next wad of money. I can tell you as an Allina nurse who is about to strike that Allina doesn’t give a damn about its nurses, so I can assure you that bedside nurses are not on the board!

  2. Allina VALUE-> Is this what Allina calls using it’s resources wisely?

  3. As an Allina employee who is not striking, I think Matthew Keller gets paid very well to make mountains out of mole hills. BTW – Allina cares about all of its employees, in spite of what MNA has spewed.

  4. This just like the mudslinging campaigns we see on tv. It is taking a mole hill and making a mountain out of it and spewing it’s spin to everyone.

  5. Mathew Kellers blogs are so informative. This stuff is mind-blowing. I think the general public needs to know this. Can’t it somehow get published in the Star Trib & Pioneer Press newspapers, or are the owners of them on the board too? Does the Piper Building at ANW have roots in the Piper family as in Piper Jaffrey? That is probably why Allina didn’t sue them, probably big philanthropy from them to Allina that they didn’t want to jeopardize!

  6. I have just read a new research article today that found the more registered nurses, the higher patient survival. Allina will not discuss nurse-to-patient ratios with their nurses. This is an example of Allina not caring about their employees or patients.

  7. The IOM report about nursing and patient survival is that the more BSN or higher educated nurses the better the outcomes. Allina has been trying to push in that direction, but the MNA has not been supportive. The percentage of nurses on boards across the country is 2%, but…… nurses are not applying to be on the boards. That’s on us!! We get told over and over to raise our voice by the MNA, but we don’t dare not agree with the MNA leadership without fear of being bullied and punished. How is that professional behavior? Again, that’s on us! I’ve worked many places and Allina Health DOES care about us. An Allina Health Nurse.

  8. The Minnesota Nurses Association provides money for nurses to further their education. The Minnesota Nurses Association’s members constantly beg their managers to staff more nurses so patients will get the quality care they deserve. Many studies show an increase risk for patient death for each new patient assigned to a nurse. Can you honestly say that if you had a family member in an Allina hospital during the recent strike, that you felt perfectly comfortable having that family member cared for by a travel nurse who was not specifically trained to the unit they were working?

  9. I assume you looked into all the Metro medical facilities, associates and partners. Or is your search narrow to only Allina health because of the contract negotiations and the need to make sure Allina is painted in the worst ink possible?

    I have no issue with Facts and Truth yet the reader is obligated to know the reason behind the data with rhetoric and if the data is universal rather than secular.

  10. Singular not Secular.

  11. To Anne. Yes you are correct the Virginia Piper Brest Center/ Piper Cancer Institute is absolutely named for the Piper matriarch of Piper Jaffrey. All big business is very well connected apparently and we the public are often not aware. Good call.

  12. Anne, It is named after her because they donated a very LARGE amount of money to help MANY people. So, instead of being complaining you should be grateful.

  13. I wasn’t “complaining”! Just trying to figure out why Allina didn’t also sue Piper Jaffrey over the bad deal. So it would appear because of the interconnections of the boardmembers and Allina and the big philanthropists. Quite a web.

  14. Information is a very good thing. One can speak coherently if informed. While I respect the opinions, I must say this. My daughter is an Abbott Northwestern nurse. She is devoted to nursing and the work of caring deeply for her patients and fellow nurses. And she’s extremely intelligent. She’s not being led among a group of lemmings following each other to the precipice, that is implied by some of the comments about MNA. She supports MNA wholeheartedly. And I trust her judgement explicitly. MNA organizes support from a variety of resources for food, gas, car payments, mortgages. And what is Allina doing? Devaluing the work and dedication of their nurses and the care they provide for patients and their families, the safety of nurses and patients, staffing, and a cheaper healthcare plan through MNA. This is my opinion, something is rotten in the state of Allina!

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