April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012
Shame Shame

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about a clinic in Chicago which had misused HIV grant money and got caught. Today I will blog about more details I was sent concerning the clinic in question. The following was sent to me by someone who had a lot of experience dealing with the clinic and the situation in question in Chicago.

It is interesting that Mr Edwards states that he has, "tried to offset falling revenue by putting renewed emphasis on fundraising and by cutting spending."

What he does not say, and will not respond to public criticism about, is the fact that he has set key salaries at levels which are between two and three times what they should be for a not for profit with a budget at the level of Howard Brown's. To wit:

Between 25 Jan and 8 Feb, Jamal called board to meeting and Jamal's contract was renewed for one more year for $265,000. Believed that Jamal put gag order on everyone is because his contract was being negotiated.

Current hierarchy at Howard Brown is as follows:

Jamal Edwards: $275,000, plus benefits

There are seven operating officers beneath him:

- Chief Medical Officer: Approximately $150,000, plus benefits, for a PART TIME position which should be paying no more than $40K per year. She is also a doctor on staff at Howard Brown who collects additional monies for seeing patients.
- Chief Development Officer: Approximately $150,000 per year, plus benefits
- Chief Research Officer: formerly filled by Pediatric AIDS MD, temporarily transferred to Chief Medical Officer
- Chief Program Officer: Approximately $150,000 per year, plus benefits
- Chief Behavioral Health Officer: Approximately $150,000 per year, plus benefits
- Chief Financial Officer: Approximately $150,000 per year, plus benefits
- Chief Information and Compliance Officer: Approximately $150,000 per year, plus benefits

SENIOR TEAM all $70 to $80K range, plus benefits
- Administrative Director of Research
- Director of Human Resources
- Director of Lesbian Community Care Project [LCCP]
- Clinic Director
- Associate Director of Research
- Director of Social Services

Following get approx $50K per year, plus benefits
- Project Coordinators
- Head of Nursing
- Team Leaders
- Case Managers
- Project Managers
- Nursing staff

Following make approx $35K per year, plus benefits
- Research Assistants
- Medical Assistants
- Lab Techs

Conservatively factoring in the staff in the case management and nursing groups at 20 individuals, and factoring in the $35K per year group at 8 people, that brings us to a total of $2.55 million per year.

When you factor in another 35% for insurance, vacations, and other benefits, recognizing that Illinois not for profits celebrate the same holiday schedule as the Federal government, that adds another $884,000 to the overall cost of salaries, bringing the total to approximately $3,408,750 per year.

Unfortunately, and in spite of repeated requests by both the Tracy Baim, Editor of Windy City Times, and members of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Community who helped to found Howard Brown way back in the 1970s, Mr Edwards refuses to allow transparency, deliberately blocking access to the financial records of Howard Brown Health Center.

Mr Edwards has also created an employee revolving door at Howard Brown by firing more than 60 individuals since his takeover as Executive Director. If someone challenges anything he says, they are out the door. If someone doesn't agree with Jamal Edwards, they are fired.

As a long time activist, and someone who has watched Howard Brown go through many prior bad management teams, Mr Edwards is at the bottom of the list when it comes to his manglement [spelling deliberate] style; bleeding the agency's limited funding dry with excessive payroll; and putting the agency at risk by breaking the law in many of his activities.

Based on Mr Edward's claim of the agency having an annual budget of $15.0 millions for the 2011 fiscal year, that puts Howard Brown's annual payroll of $3,408,750, at approximately 22% of the total budget. After the cost of maintaining multiple locations is factored in, and the cost of utilities and liability insurance is added in, I am conservatively guessing that the annual operating expenses for Howard Brown easily exceed 40% of their $15.0 millions annual budget.

This is nothing short of a travesty because at least 15% of that expense could go toward the much needed programs which now have limited resources because of payroll greed.

Mr Edwards should immediately step down as the Executive Director of Howard Brown and let someone who has some fiduciary common sense step in and clean up the mess he has created by saddling the agency with unnecessary payroll expense and potential future legal liabilities.

Just makes you wonder how people can sleep at night.

Hope you have a great Thursday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab