Erin McClelland picked up the concept of striving for “habitual excellence” when she worked with former U.S. Treasury secretary and CEO of Alcoa Paul O’Neill.
She has followed the mantra that he imparted throughout years spent in the behavioral health field.
Now, the New Kensington resident hopes to use the approach in the world of politics. McClelland, 38, recently filed paperwork to run for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District seat in 2014. She is the first Democrat to formally announce plans to seek the position currently held by freshman Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley.
McClelland has never served in public office.
She decided to run, in part, because she does not “like the way policy is being handled down in Washington.”
She previously worked as the practice improvement collaborative manager at the Institute of Research Education and Training in Addiction, a role in which she received instruction from O’Neill during his time with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative. McClelland is currently the executive director at Arche Wellness, a holistic center that offers integrative conventional and alternative medicine, designed to meet each individual’s specific needs in areas such as addiction, obesity and mental health.
She describes the United States’ current approach to health care as a “very inefficient system that produces a lot of waste.”
If elected, McClelland said she would like to help improve the veterans health care system then use that model as a template for the rest of the nation.
On her Facebook page, McClelland has made recent posts addressing carbon pollution on Earth Day, complimenting authorities for “wonderful” work done in capturing alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and offering support to Jason Collins, an NBA player who recently became the first male to announce he is gay while still active in a major North American team sports league.
McClelland comes from a family in which her father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather have all been in unions.
“I’m a huge supporter of labor and what unions do for the working class, ” she said.