ROCHESTER, Minn. (8/17/09)--Kelly McDonough, president/CEO of First Alliance CU in Rochester, Minn., was chosen to participate in a roundtable discussion on health care reform Tuesday with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-1).
The group, picked by Walz, consisted of six Minnesota constituents who offered their perspectives on America’s health care system. Each constituent provided opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the current health care system during the private meeting. McDonough noted that each year it is more difficult for her credit union to continue offering the same level of insurance to its staff because of rising health care costs. She explained that while providing quality medical coverage to employees is important to First Alliance, the cost of offering this benefit is “staggering.” “The meeting was an excellent opportunity to meet with Congressman Walz to discuss health care reform,” McDonough said. “It was encouraging to see that he is considering the impact this issue has on not only big businesses but also small, not-for-profit organizations like [First Alliance CU]. “As leaders in the community, [credit unions] need to be informed about legislative issues and the ramifications they will have on our businesses and communities,” McDonough added. “It is our responsibility to be engaged in the political process and to advocate for what we need [to serve members].” Also, McDonough has been a strong supporter of the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MnCUN) political initiatives, hosting numerous “meet and greet” events for Walz and visiting elected officials during legislative visits in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. “Through regular communications with elected officials, Minnesota credit unions aim to serve as reliable sources of information on issues that directly and indirectly affect the industry and its ability to serve members,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president/ CEO. “Kelly’s relationship with Congressman Walz demonstrates the impact credit unions can have on the legislative process by simply meeting and forming relationships with elected officials.”