Local 9460 President Deanna Hughes channels veteran experience, union training to lead Minnesota health care union

Local 9460 President Deanna Hughes, who also sits on the union’s Health Care Workers Council, was interviewed for the latest USW Solidarity Works podcast episode. The installment focused on women stepping up in leadership positions at all levels as well as the importance of women’s voices in the political and legislative conversation.

Deanna speaks in the episode on how her 12 years of military experience helped her develop that would eventually propel her into union activism and local union leadership.

“You learn how to be a follower first, and how to follow different styles of leadership,” Hughes said. “Then when you are responsible for people underneath you, you realize the choices you make affect everybody.”

Hughes also said she owes a lot to the union trainings she has received over the years, particularly the Building Power workshop, for how she has been able to handle challenges at work. Just this past spring, her employer, Essentia Health, laid off 800 workers amidst the pandemic—luckily, Hughes knew what steps to take.

“It was nice to have that education to fall back on. It helped immensely,” Hughes said. “We got a lot of community support and Essentia is finally starting to bring people back.”

To hear more, listen to the episode on your favorite streaming service or at usw.to/podcast.

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