Friday, June 14, 2019

Bigger Pie Forum: Out of Whack Salaries at DHA

Imagine a CEO that makes more than Mississippi’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer and Secretary of State combined.


This CEO’s salary even dwarfs that of the nation’s highest paid state superintendent of education, Carey Wright, who makes $307,000 per year.

The Delta Health Alliance (DHA) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit whose stated purpose is to help improve the education and healthcare of the people of the impoverished Mississippi Delta.

The organization was a creation of Sen. Thad Cochran in collaboration with the state’s five universities and was heavily funded by earmarks funneled from the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The organization is a middleman for these grants and takes a substantial cut of the proceeds in administration costs and salaries ($10.4 million in 2017). Ten of the alliance’s employees make more than $100,000 annually.

According to a study by Charity Navigator, median salaries of CEOs for non-profits with similarly sized revenues (more than $19 million in 2017) are considerably less.


Matthews’ salary included lucrative bonuses of $91,935 in 2017 and $87,616 in 2016. Her compensation included a $3,000 monthly car allowance and a lease of a condominium in Oxford and these perks came to light in a 2011 lawsuit filed by an executive fired by the Delta Health Alliance. The case was later settled.

The Delta Health Alliance owns a health clinic in Leland and manages 52 programs, including the Obama era Promise Community program for both Indianola and Deer Creek, which were two of the three rural communities participating nationwide.

Just these two programs alone cost taxpayers $60 million ($46 million in federal funds and $14 million in state funds) over five years. In 2017, the DHA received $5.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services required the nonprofit to pay back $1.065 million because the group spent them on disallowed costs. The alliance will pay the money back starting in 2017 over the next decade in $100,000 annual installments.

The largesse isn’t just from taxpayers from California to Maine. In the last session, the Legislature appropriated more than $4.1 million from state taxpayers for the Mississippi Delta Medicaid Population Health Demonstration Project.

When a publicly-traded company that pays a successful CEO handsomely for their efforts, the criticism is often deafening. In a case like this where the taxpayers are paying the tab, one hears only crickets.

This is a sponsored post by Bigger Pie Forum.


37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read the article but I’m still not sure what they do

Anonymous said...

And where are our leaders on this one? I'm sure generous campaign contributions bought their silence.

Anonymous said...

If I’m that VP of IT, I’m finding out why my underling is making almost $30k more than me.

Anonymous said...

Total revenues (grants) of $18 million, and you gotta pay a CEO $300k and a CFO over $200k?

I'm in the wrong business. They don't even have to go out and kill their own revenue, its handed to them.

And nice travel allowance too.

Anonymous said...

Who appoints the CEO and sets the salary? That's the first step in finding the dirty hands.

Anonymous said...

I may have missed it (although I read it twice), but who is Matthews and what does she make per yer?

Unknown said...

"a creation of Thad Cochran". I have no doubt Cochran was a fine man, kind to children and animals. They talk about what all he did for the state, when in fact he did what he was elected/paid to do - bring home the bacon or in this case the pork. Every state has a Thad Cochran, and when you add them all together what do you get? The national debt. If there were ever a need for term limits, it is now. And yes I know there are those out there who say we already have term limits called elections. But anyone who knows anything about politics knows that it is extremely difficult to unseat an incumbent. And the longer they are in office the harder it is.

Anonymous said...

Private business that is running a "legal" con game but still a private business.

Anonymous said...

Is a paragraph or two missing from this post? You have to go through the filing to figure out who Matthews is and that she made $360K for running this boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

Wow somebody is getting busted wide open! Oh well, sometimes when you stealing the cookies you gotta catch some heat. Getting paid by the taxpayer isn't supposed to pay so well...

Anonymous said...

Stop hatin' Pimpin' ain't easy!

Anonymous said...

Nothing but the old Delta Council revised - a way for Chip Morgan to try to stay relevant through a different source of federal money.

Corrupt is just a good way to start the discussion; but don't worry, once Chippie gets his boy Chippie in as Chancellor, he can move into a new Oxford gig and maybe this one will die on the vine.

Theca Jones of the Roguish Gent Podcast said...

Amazing to me I don't see dozens of comments about "poor leadership" like you would see on the Jackson posts. I wonder why... Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Kudos KF for pointing out her largess. Someone should expose what some of the other poverty pimps make at agencies 'serving the poor.' Since the War on Poverty, poverty rates have gone up and the family unit has disintegrated. But, these nonprofit leaders are driving Benz's and traveling the world while the children go hungry. And before one of our Democratic cheerleaders comes on here to defend or deflect, 90+% of these people vote blue.

Anonymous said...

Tate brags about cutting lots of things, but he let's things like this go untouched. And ask Tater about his $1 BILLION dollar bond bill for Kemper. Amen re term limits.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw "Dr. Karen Matthews, CEO and President" on the attachment, I thought perhaps she is an MD and it took a substantial salary and benefit package to entice her away from a lucrative medical practice to this administrative position. BUT, according to her bio on the Delta Health Alliance website, she has a PhD in Health Science Administration. I know it's not easy to earn a PhD, but I am certain few who hold that degree earn $360K/year PLUS another almost $100K/year in bonuses PLUS $3K/month (?!) car allowance PLUS an Oxford condo. And I understand--again from her bio--that she "supervises a staff of over a 100 and an annual budget in excess of $45 million." I'm sure she is very accomplished (and she's cute, too), but THAT is an outrageous compensation package out of the pockets of taxpayers. If she wants to earn that much, let her go into the private sector and see if her performance merits it.

Anonymous said...

Much like Employment Security.

Around 2005, Haley convinced the legislature to disband the old Employment Security Commission, and resurrect that agency as "His" Department of Employment Security.

But that's for a different discussion.

Madison Rulz said...

Let me get this straight. Grift in Mississippi? I don't believe it.

Rod Knox said...


vote which blue 3:45? I would have voted Rand Paul but the GOP and Fox News didn't like him threatening to audit the Fed and the Pentagon but I would still support raising the minimum wage.

There are way too many distinct hot button constituencies huddled up in each party that have little concern for the others except they agree to scratch each others backs. I'll never understand how all the fundamentalist Baptists in the south can hold their nose and support Donald Trump but they do. And half the Democrats are skeptical of global warming but support it to keep the young educated voters in line. The two party system makes for some strange bedfellows.

Anonymous said...

This is a fine example of what Democrats will do when they are left to their own devices to run a state like Mississippi!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what you say..republican...Democrat, liberal...conservative,black....white, Bennie Thompson...Thad cochran(hate to speak ill of the dead)..all of these politicians are the same and very few look out for taxpayers, and almost none have real world business experience, thus we end with over expensive projects that tax payers fund

Anonymous said...

What does the Delta Council have to do with this ? Even if it did, the Delta Council is also a private organization. Once a contract is signed with these nonpublic groups the money is spent according to their rules. Is this right; who knows with federal spending.

Anonymous said...

"The organization was a creation of Sen. Thad Cochran in collaboration with the state’s five universities and was heavily funded by earmarks funneled from the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee."

The last time I looked Mississippi had EIGHT Universities (public), not just five.

MSU, UM, USM, ASU, MVSU, JSU, DSU and MUW.

Anonymous said...

SOMEONE SAID: Much like Employment Security. Around 2005, Haley convinced the legislature to disband the old Employment Security Commission, and resurrect that agency as "His" Department of Employment Security.But that's for a different discussion.

Indeed it is a different discussion and there no comparison. Nothing similar or even remotely related.

The Employment Security Commission (three men of the party of the sitting governor) for decades had control over hiring and firing and, more importantly, promotions, appointments, travel and sexual cavorting.

Whoever brought that commission thing to an end, did the right thing. MESC was probably the last State Agency to be directed by a three-man Commission of political appointees.

Anonymous said...

How to steal money legally -

Create a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. Get the state or federal government to fund it. If this is not possible have the state give you a vague mission and a method to collect fees or donations. Spend all of the money received on your friends and family. I mean employees.

If any profit is left over after paying employees you are doing it wrong. Pay employees more or as a last resort buy equipment you don't need.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. has become a banana republic.

Anonymous said...

Sam Mims

Anonymous said...

Lots of good points here. As a Democrat for the most part, I’d add that when you oppose large scale organized and well funded federal interventions, in the face of undeniable need (see the MS Delta), it’s human to do something... so you get scattershot small time grants and such that aren’t adequately overseen without any major accountability. How many of us had even heard of this program before this? It’s just too small and practically invisible. It fits that a Rep senator, who probably voted against anti poverty programs on a consistent basis, was instrumental and supportive in funneling a few millions in pork to some vaguely described mission in the Delta.

Anonymous said...

The republican legislature has known about this for several years, especially so in the senate. In spite of the new Medicaid director citing ineffective poor performance and recommending no funding this past session for Delta Health Alliance, Tate Reeves who is the supreme authority for every penny considered by the Senate, sent millions more to them, and Phil Bryant signed the funding bill.
I guess Tate was right on about this one with "He won't but I will" and Phil was too busy planning his next photo op with family values champ Kim Kardshian.
Fiscal conservatives my ass!

Anonymous said...

Much like the piss ant general managers and management of these rube rural electric coops. Check out the 990 forms for them and the Mississippi Energy Institute.

Anonymous said...

Glad this sham organization is finally being exposed. Maybe MILLIONS in taxpayer dollars won’t be wasted in future years.

Anonymous said...

Board member makes $58,000?

Anonymous said...

Someone may be jealous about a Medicaid contract and stirring up dirt on this organization. It’s a classic move by the quarterback.

Anonymous said...

Just think how many condoms the bonuses would buy much less the salaries. That and prenatal care would do a lot to control healthcare cost in the Delta more than anything else .

Anonymous said...

Makes you wanna throw-up.

Anonymous said...

12:53 mentions 'anti poverty programs' in the Delta. Please describe 'anti poverty' and while you're at it, reveal the name of one (JUST ONE), out of two hundred, that has worked (produced positive results) to any degree in the past sixty years.

And, yes! There have been at least two hundred in one or more of the Delta's 19 Delta and part Delta counties in that time span.

Anonymous said...

https://www.energyandpolicy.org/southern-company-wins-hundreds-of-millions-in-profit-from-rural-residents-and-businesses/

Poor poor rural coop"member-owners" once again "FLEECED" by Cooperative Energy and Mississippi Power. Poor rural electric customers over paid for electric generation and the ass wipe B Presley worried about robo callers.... Where is my check for overpayment????

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