MNA Organizer Assaulted by North Memorial Security Guard

11 Jun

Without warning, MNA staff member Ona Keller, 23, was physically assaulted by a security officer this morning at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, MN. She sustained neck and arm injuries in the assault and was admitted to the North Memorial Emergency Room, where she was treated and released a few hours later. Keller, who works with North Memorial nurses as an organizer, peacefully and quietly walked into the hospital’s public lobby shortly after 7:00 a.m. Friday with other RNs, marking the end of a 24-hour strike for patient safety. She was accompanying North Memorial nurses as a show of support for those RNs walking back into the hospital to report for work.

A security officer grabbed Keller by the arm, began manhandling her and then physically dragged her across the lobby and threw her out into the street. The Robbinsdale Police Department was called to the scene, and Keller will be filing formal criminal charges later today.

In a daytime press conference, hospital officials called the incident “unfounded,” though Keller did receive treatment immediately after the incident at the North Memorial ER and was given discharge papers and a bill for the medical care she received.

Media Contact: John Nemo, MNA, 651-414-2863

55 Responses to “MNA Organizer Assaulted by North Memorial Security Guard”

  1. mary lee June 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Absolutely outrageous! Please send speedy recovery wishes to Ona. I’m happy to hear that charges will be filed against the security guard.

    I hope there are some witnesses that come forward cause you know the hospital will deny the whole thing. Outrageous!

  2. Rebecca Crofts June 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Unbelievable..Happy to hear she was released from the hospital, and wish her a quick recovery.

  3. Kathleen Malecki June 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Ona, so sorry you were hurt. Please press charges. And your care should be for free.

  4. Kathy E June 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    So very sorry to hear this. Such a shame!!! Ona please know that my prayers are with you. Security – good grief she probably weighs a hundred – and as nice as could be……

  5. Bev June 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Totally outrageous! Ona is the sweetest nicest person. This is shocking and disgusting.

  6. Bethany June 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    This shows lack of security training more cutting corners and trying to save $$$. We nurses only get regulatory or computer changes education now. It is truly UNBELIEVABLE.

  7. Ni cole June 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    I hope she is okay and I hope this gets reported on the local stations, but given their current bias; I doubt it.

  8. Sue June 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Ona, Thank you for what you are doing to help the nurses. I hope you will be sure to file the criminal charges and get the hospital to pay the bill! It is ridiculous.
    I sure hope that the others’ who witnessed this come forward.

  9. Laurie Bahr June 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    When we walked back into hospital this morning, we were shocked to find nurses being held by security, essentially being treated like criminals and not being allowed to return to their patients. Shame on the Hospitals for treating the nurses like criminals and I am outright calling Ken Paulus a total hippocrit for claiming that he respects the nurses and then turns around and treats the nurses with disrespect
    The exceptional nursing that has occurred at Abbott/Pei has made its reputations what it is in the eyes of the public.
    The behaviour on the part of the Hospital Ceo’s, Administration and Allina Legal if disgusting, unethical and imoral. Shame on all of you for not doing the right thing.
    Hospital administration, Human resources and Allina Legal people admitted today that they made up their own “process” and We have it on video. They claimed that they are disregarding the current contract we have even though they originally agreed to it.
    And even as the hospital behaved badly, Nurses stood strong today in solidarity to attempt to return everyone to patient care. even though the hospital would not allow them to enter.

  10. Sharon Leet June 12, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    they assaulted you , then billed you??????????? WOW

  11. Bunny Engeldorf, RN - United Hospital, MNA Union Steward June 12, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Sending well wishes to you Ona. The security at hospitals tend to be reative and not always cool and calm, the negotiating team at United also had a run in with security personnel that do not understand union rights and representation.
    Somebody needs to educate!
    Take time to take care of yourself ONA.
    Do you need a nurse?

  12. Beaney June 12, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Not very “compassionate and remarkable” .

  13. Bunny Engeldorf, RN - United Hospital, MNA Union Steward June 12, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Please correct my spelling , it is “reactive”

  14. Katie Harris June 12, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    Hey guys!! Be sure to ask for the security tapes from the time involved! I work at North in the pharmacy and believe me, they will bury this if they can! Go Nurses! Keep up the pressure!
    Hope Ona is doing well!

  15. Dave June 12, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    I have to assume it was one of the rent-a-cops… The regulars are way too nice to do that sort of thing.

  16. Linda Slattengren June 12, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    This attitude towards anyone entering a hospital is totally unacceptable. The agressive and hostile enviroment is one that feeds off of the Administrative disrespect towards their employees and esp their nurses. The culture is driven from the top down—meaningful written dialogue may come from the Boardrooms but actions speak louder than words!! My best to Ona who has a heart for those in need and a soul that is driven towards issues of social justice. The criminal assault should be addressed by North Admin first an apology then a quick review of the permission given to become so intimatdating and brutal!

  17. Lois June 12, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    Wow. I saw the security guard motion for Ona to move, but never saw what was described above. Maybe I missed something… but good thing North has security cameras everywhere. That will be telling for both parties involved.

  18. E June 12, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Ona is nothing more than a hired gun for the MNA. If it was truly about patient care the MNA would settle for what they need and worry less about what they want!

    • Al MN RN June 12, 2010 at 2:39 am #

      You have to be a plant, no nurse would feel this way.

      • E June 12, 2010 at 4:09 am #

        Feelings? What about due process and facts. Poor Ona, what about that poor security officer who is caught between management and the care givers who vow to do “whatever it takes” to get what they want.

    • an MNA OR RN June 12, 2010 at 4:22 am #

      Please review the current proposed contract by the TCH. Compare it to the previous contract. Please consider how bad the economy is. Please do the math and help us figure out how to pay for increasing prices on every day expenses with less compensation. TCH’s were approached by MNA A YEAR AGO and offered to have contract negotiations put off for a year and keep the current contract in effect during that time. They completely refused to allow this. Consequently, they are spending millions of dollars on replacement nurses, increased security,a felon sock puppet talking head and a talking head sock puppet who needs her roots touched up . What nurses NEED is to be able to care for their patients in a manner which is safe. Safe for patients, safe for staff.
      Perhaps it is difficult to phathom why the nurses are taking the strides they are taking. Well… one also wonders why soldiers are dying to protect the rights of those who protest against them… It’s probably because it is a right that those soldier believe in… even if it is an opposing view point they are willing to die to protect those rights of freedom. Nurses believe in taking care of their patients. They should be able to do it safely, without compromise to the patient or any of the staff. And after working for 30 years and trying to maintain integrity and safety… to allow the hospitals to simply say…. oh… by the way… we’re only gonna pay you half what we told you we were 30 years ago… for the rest of your life…. hmmm… yeah… that’s a bit important too. And did I mention the $750,000,000 PROFIT those “nonprofit” hospitals made last year…. in an economic recession?
      I guess what I’m trying to say is… Dude… lose the classwarfare envy… it’s so unbecoming…

    • Really? June 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

      Here let me correct the spelling error in your name kEn Paullis

  19. mary lee June 12, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Dave: Sadly, it was a NM security guard, Rick. I’m beyond disgusted.

  20. Nicole June 12, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    I HIGHLY doubt this woman just walked in the door and got “attacked”. You people are simply playing yourselves out to be victims. Acting like children makes me see why you haven’t reached any agreement yet.

    • northmemorailrn1 June 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

      you are pathetic and must live in a fantasy world

    • LM June 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

      Only the uninformed would make a comment that show their real lack of intelligence. I stand behind ONA 100%

  21. Barb June 12, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    I am also disgusted and appalled by this behavior, especially from security. We truly were treated disrespectfully upon our return to work, as Laurie said. We are the individuals who care for people daily in their most vulnerable time with endless compassion- and yet we were treated as criminals when entering the hospital at the conclusion of our strike. It is a public institution and we were not allowed entrance unless we were working. This is shameful!

  22. Al MN RN June 12, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    A person was injured, and you think it is ok? When is it ok to manhandle anyone? Are you a management plant?

    • E June 12, 2010 at 4:18 am #

      Who said it was OK? Due process….then we can judge.

  23. Barb June 12, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    I am also disgusted and appalled by this behavior, especially from security. Ona, take a break and some time to get better. I am so sorry this happened. You truly are one of the kindest people I know.

  24. Naomi English MPH, RN June 12, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Ona Keller is an organizer hired to work with us – with nurses who are MNA members. I think “E” that your “hired gun” remark would be more a describe the security guard, not Ms. Keller.

    • E June 12, 2010 at 4:21 am #

      Same difference.

  25. MNA RN June 12, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    Ona, so sorry… An attack on one nurse is an attack on all nurses. What happened to you should never have taken place! Wishing you well… I can’t believe this is happening!

  26. Pinkerton Thug June 12, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    C’mon, Ona is large and intimidating. And she probably had some of that banana bread in her pocket she could have used as a weapon.

  27. Bonnie June 12, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Compliments of Dave Cress.

  28. STEP AWAY June 12, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    from the banana bread…..slowly…….hands where we can see em.

    • Really? June 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      Great point what were they afraid we were going to do? Eat the Banana bread? I am sure they were not so concerned about protecting the patients from the SCAB care.

  29. North Memorial RN June 12, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    The event was witnessed by three North RNs who saw the whole unfortunate manhandling happen. They will be providing statements and see this thing through. Two comments…the North night security staff are deeply appreciated. They keep us safe and help us focus on our work with our patients because we know they “have our backs”. They are truly our friends. Rick used to be “one of them”…what happened? Secondly, the tip of the iceberg was when Robbinsdale PD showed up and refused to allow Ona to press charges. He said, “Well, we really don’t get involved in North’s security issues since they have their own private security staff. Take it up with them, and I am sure they can work it out. They will look at the videos and investigate. If that fails, then come back to us.” He absolutely refused to let her press charges. Is this the “good old boys” in action….covering for each other? I really don’t get it.
    Ona…you are so greatly appreciated. More than you know. We are so lucky to have you. As we met with the Robbinsale PD, though you were fragile and weary after the assault, you held your head high. You were there to support the nurses and did not deserve any of this. My prayers are with you. I promise.

    • ??? June 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

      Hey, John Nemo: quit pretending to be a North Memorial RN. Your writing style is just as telling as your fingerprint.

      • mnnurses June 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

        John Nemo here. I only write in this blog and post as the Administrator with the MNA logo.

      • North Memorial RN June 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

        Sorry – Wish I could post my name but after working the night shift at North and being treated like a criminal that morning, it is very clear to me that management is out to get us. My words are pure truth and factual. After crying on and off most of the day on Thursday (after being escorted out), I have a thinner skin than I thought. It was horrible. Walking for 12 hours overnight on the picket line – in the rain, thunder and lightning – with my peers re-invigorated me though….I am back on my game. But still fearful of management and the lack of hearts they have. Sorry.

  30. Suspicious Indeed June 12, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Pioneer Press – 6/11/2010:

    “Ona Keller of the Minnesota Nurses Association said a security guard dragged her by an arm out of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. The 23-year-old sought treatment in the hospital’s ER and a sling for the sore arm, recently injured in a car accident. North Memorial responded that there was “no merit” to the assault claim and that Robbinsdale police took no action upon investigating. ”

    Sounds like the 23-year-old was trying to bolster her acting career.

  31. Sww June 12, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Good old union tactics at it’s best. I seen a security officer being very patient and kind trying to move a loud mouth lady from in front of a bus at abbott on thursday and she just kept yelling “If you touch me thats Assault!” Well actually helping you along so you dont get HIT BY A BUS is NOT assault. These are the such annoying and Child-like actions from unions and many who believe in their cause. Organize and protest by all means but Grow up!

  32. John E. June 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Officials from North Memorial said her accusations were unfounded. “No action was taken by Robbinsdale Police,” they said in a statement. An internal investigation, including interviews with witnesses, found “there was no merit to the allegation,” the statement said

  33. Terri Erickson RN June 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    I am shocked that such a thing would happen. This is my first strike and I know I am very angry, but I would never assault someone over it. I hope Ona, you are doing better today.

    Management is very sickening to say the least. They think they are being professional, but they are really putting a wedge into our relationship. To treat the nurses that came in Friday morning like criminals has me out raged. I am also angry at other staff that supported them by working double shifts etc. The CNA’s say they are supporting us, but I don’t view it that way when they do whatever management/staffing wants.
    I think this is going to get worse before it gets better.

  34. MNA RN June 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm #


    What would JCAHO say?

    The Joint Commsssion is available to address issues that basically have the potential to undermine the provision of safe and high quality health care. They have a very interesting web site. (If you want to be informed about their high standards of what health care should be)…
    In my understanding (after reading all of the information) of what JCAHO says and what the TCH say… well, these two just aren’t matching up. It also seems to me that the Twin Cities Hospitals are trying to fool not only MNA RNs but JCAHO as well. I don’t think JCAHO would like what the Twin Cities Hospitals are doing anymore than the MNA RNs!

    Go to:

    There is also a section on their site to address complaints about a health care organization.

    They have on-line forms that can be filled out or here’s their phone number: 1-800-994-6610.

    • Jason June 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

      I might not look too much to JCAHO, they stopped looking at RN staffing ratios because they could not find a statistical link between higher ratios and better outcomes. Check it out.

      • JC June 14, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

        Jason, you need to go on JCAHO’s site and read public health recommendations re: nurses shortage. Their recomendations are very similar to the values of MNA in regards to the contract proposals we seek. JOINT COMMISION is the ultimate authority to try to protect patients. They rock on MNS’s side.

  35. MNA RN June 12, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Stand strong MNA RNs!
    Very proud to be a MNA nurse!
    I think the hospitals are very afraid of us… afraid of RNs, afraid of our union: MNA, Minnesota Nurses Association, afraid of NNU, National Nurses United… afraid of losing their million dollar profit margins, afraid of losing their million dollar salaries, afraid that someone is willing to stand up to them, afraid that they might have to follow laws and regulate what they do because then they will have to start doing the right thing, they don’t want anyone telling them what they can or can not do! But, JCAHO can… and we can as nurses also! We have our strength in our numbers and we are standing steadfast! Proud to be MNA RN!

  36. Medicine Doctor June 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I agree with Kathleen Malecki, her care should be free. They should cover it with nurses wages….would you feel so bad if she went to the ER and there were NO nurses to help her..thank God it was after the strike. Also interesting that “three nurses” are the witnesses. I doubt this girl is completely innocent and and assume she provoked this to some extent.

    • MNA RN June 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

      To: “SCABS”
      and their pimps:
      “Stike Busters”:
      I just read something that stated something regarding SCABS and Stike Busters:
      (to the effect):
      Karma is a bitch mistress when it comes to pay back.
      Your words are feeble attempts to justify your poor behavior. You are so self-absorbed that anything outside the realm of YOU and YOURS is blurred by your sense of self importance (or lack of it). You had poor upbringing – never learning the difference between right and wrong – at times you may glimpse the meaning or substance of integrity only to have it slip through your fingers like sand – unable to absorb its meaning into your heart because you heart has been so disfiqured and damaged. You are unable to sustain a functional lifestyle and prefer to maintain dysfunctional because that is what you were born and raised into and it is what is familiar and comfortable to you so you often find yourself gravitating towards ilk. You carry with you a sense of entitlement and low self esteem which is more than obvious to others. YOU are oblivious to your short comings and highly resent those that may correct you… often feeling persecuted and misunderstood and defiant and angry toward others for not recognizing your true brilliance. You lack moral integrity and do not play well with others. You are devoid of any inner beauty. You lack honesty and have the mind set of a thief just waiting for the right opportunity. You greedily will snatch at anything if you feel that it might in some way benefit you. You especially are attracted to bright and shiney things. Because others do not like you and are suspicious of you… you often build up defenses to protect what little and true honest feelings you may have because it may make you vulnerable. You are and can be offensive at times but you work hard to portray yourself as a real-live-human being and become easily defensive if needed to protect you self image. You would not think twice about stabbing someone – that you perceived (real or imaginary)as having wronged you in some small way – in the back. You would slap someone in the face but at the same time are a coward – you hurt others because you believe they will not stand up for themselves and fight back because you perceive them as weak – but you would run and hide if they did take a stand and face you and look into your eyes – you would divert your eyes and cover your face because you would not want them to see how weak you truly are. You would prostitute yourself if needed and without qualms “if the price was right”. Since you lack self-respect you fail to respect others. You prioritize your own self and needs over all others even if others may be more deserving. You are Number One in your small little world. You sit on a throne of self rightousness and falsly judge others. You are able to easity convince some people with your lies and deceit. You would gladly and willingly kick a dog or a person if they were down. You both admire and despise others for having attributes, characters and qualities that you lack. You place material worth over self worth. You are willing to sell your soul “for the right price…” and you have… many times. “One more time won’t hurt anything…” Because you are already absent from and sadly lacking any true and meaningful life.

  37. MNA RN June 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Beware of wolves in sheep clothing!

  38. MNA RN June 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Union One – No Union Busters – Don’t Believe the Hype!

  39. Mia Cassidy June 22, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    As a former Hospital Security Guard, and cop (5 years), and now an RN I don’t condone assualt. We can’t assume this did happen or did not happen until the video is reviewed by an independent party. The reality is that all must remember is that these are not public facilities. The hospital (whether you agree with them or not) has the right bar anyone from visiting. As a nurse you would want a drunk visitor who is being verbally abusive and disrupting to be removed. Furthmore a critical patient may have too many visitors and you may need to flex your ability to have Security ask them or help them leave. By MN statute 97A.315 a property owner or its agent (e.g. Hospital Security) may ask a person to leave. If the person refuses ot leave the statute allows appropriate force to escort a person from the property and/or arrest and hold for Law Enforcement. The deciding factor here is did we as nurses have the legal right to be in the lobby? What criteria was being used to keep us out, were the Security Officers acting to upon direction to keep areas locked down, ect.? If the Security Officers in following the administrators desire to keep us from the facility is legal, then what ever force used (escort… think confused patient, mental patient, ect) is acceptable. While Security Officer’s are not the police, if the police ask you to do something (pressuming its lawful) then you must do it. Police have the right to use acceptable force to make you comply.


  1. Mna Organizer Assaulted By North Memorial Security Guard … - June 12, 2010

    […] by North Admin first an apology then a quick review of the permission given to become …This Post var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_localize = { Share: "Share", Save: "Save", Subscribe: […]

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