What happened to Clinton Foundation?

Published 11:18 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

In early December 2014, I was one of a large group of Adams County residents who attended a community health meeting planned by the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Humana Insurance Company, and the City of Natchez.

I was attracted to the meeting by an article in The Natchez Democrat announcing that Natchez was chosen to develop a preventive health demonstration project that perhaps could be replicated in other parts of Mississippi, the reportable 50th worse health state.

There were a good number of health experts at this gathering, including the Mississippi Department of Health. Also, Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez Board of Aldermen showed up. We spent the day coming up with ideas about how to improve health in Adams County. It was a very happy and hopeful occasion.  Everybody seemed very eager to work with the well-known Clinton Foundation and our local government to finally do something about the poor health of our communities.

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In May of 2015, the Clinton Foundation hosted a follow-up meeting to present their Adams County Blueprint for Change.  The blueprint had over 40 goals but there was no mention about how any of those goals would be reached and who would be responsible for reaching them.  I am no health expert, but I know that whenever any community project is proposed, there must be a clear plan with sustainable funding to get the work done. Funding is especially important in Natchez and Adams County that depend on grants from national and state governments.

After all of the hoopla and celebratory excitement, not much has happened that I can see since that last meeting.  It seems as though the Clinton people came to town and got everybody excited then did a disappearing act. From my observation and questioning of the Clinton representatives from the very start I was skeptical and suspicious as to whether the Clinton Foundation, Humana  Insurance Company, or any other sources would fund a much needed health demonstration project.

My suspicions have proved to be right. The Clinton Foundation has invested very little in this project.  One of the first things it should have done was to rent office/meeting space to make it easy for the public to get involved. Second, it should have hired the necessary staff instead of the one director, who doesn’t live in the county.  Third and most importantly, it should have funded the project. Was the Clinton Foundation really serious about improving health in our Natchez/Adam County area, or was it political maneuvering for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential aspirations, or simply a hustle? One thinks of Haiti when it comes to the Clintons!

I use the word hustle because we have since learned that Humana Insurance Company donated over a million dollars to the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the proposed Adams County Blueprint for Change project that is scheduled to end in a couple of years.  Why wasn’t there any public acknowledgment of that donation at either of those two meetings? There was no big check on display.  I could not find it mentioned in any newspaper article or TV news report.  But it’s there in black and white on the Clinton Foundation’s website that reports its donations by ranges and not exact amounts; I wonder why? Shades of Haiti where there was supposed to be a lot of money to help out the Haitian people.

Humana Inc. (the insurance company) is listed as a Clinton Foundation donor in the $1,000,001 to $5,000,000 category.  A million dollars would have gone a very long way toward improving the county’s health.  I haven’t heard of any local nonprofits that have received any of the money.  Neither the City of Natchez nor Adams County received any of the funding.   And, why on earth would the Humana Insurance Company give money to an organization that had no roots, not even an office, in Adams County?  Why didn’t the Humana Insurance Company require the Clinton Foundation to spend a percentage of its donation toward the demonstration project?

None of this makes any sense. So, what happened to the money? Was it used to pay for Hillary’s failed presidential campaign?  It surely didn’t go to the Haitians.

There has been a lot of confusion about the roles of the Humana Insurance Company and Humana Foundation in all of this.  In November 2015, The Natchez Democrat reported that the City accepted $250,000 from the Humana Foundation. Those funds actually paid for last year’s community health programs and the current diabetes program at Co-Lin community college for where I am a group participant. Those programs are very important to our community, and we all should be very grateful to the Humana Foundation for its commitment to public service.

But we deserve to know what became of the one million plus that the Humana Insurance Company donated to the Clinton Foundation and why those funds have not been used to carry out the work they committed to doing nearly three years ago. National organizations like the Clinton Foundation that have no real connection or investment in small towns have a history of exploiting poor communities in Mississippi and elsewhere, like Haiti. I hope this isn’t the case with the Clinton Foundation, but if it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck.


Ser Seshsh Ab Heter-CM Boxley is a Natchez resident.