Delta Health Alliance hiring out-of-state entities for their work

By Steve Wilson
June 25, 2019

A non-profit organization in Mississippi that was founded in partnership with five of the state’s universities has given more than $2.5 million since 2008 to out-of-state entities for consulting and research.

The Delta Health Alliance is a non-profit organization that receives most of its revenues from government grants and manages 52 education and healthcare programs in the impoverished Delta region in Mississippi.

In 2016, the DHA gave to $443,946 to the Urban Child Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Memphis, for what it termed on its IRS tax forms as evaluations. In 2015, the organization gave the Institute $351,091 and $380,200 in 2014 for what it termed “evaluation management.”

The Urban Child Institute says it’s dedicated to promoting the health of children in Memphis and Shelby County (Tennessee). It receives grants from both the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee, plus the Lebonheur Children’s Hospital Foundation. 

Delta Health Alliance CEO Karen Matthews worked 19 years at the University Of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The University of Illinois received money for four years of consulting services. In 2013, the DHA gave the university $108,008, with $114,636 provided in 2012, $246,672 in 2011 and $137,804 in 2010.

Mathematica Policy Research Inc. received three grants from DHA, with the first in 2008 ($160,000) for external evaluations, the second in 2010 ($313,108) and the third in 2011 ($244,618) for program research.

Princeton, New Jersey-based Mathematica describes itself as a pioneer behind research and policy advancements in health, education, child welfare, criminal justice and other areas, partnering with federal agencies, state and local governments, foundations and universities.

The DHA administers two Promise Neighborhoods (an Obama era U.S. Department of Education program), a medical clinic, headstart programs, anti-obesity and anti-smoking programs among others. 

The organization receives grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. 

DHA’s CEO Matthews has averaged more than $350,000 in pay, bonuses and benefits annually over the last seven years.


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