Michael Jordan Opens New Clinic in Charlotte, N.C. For Uninsured Patients
|thenorthstar||Oct 22, 2019|
NBA legend Michael Jordan opened a clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, for those who have little or no health insurance.
The Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic was opened to the public on October 17. The former Chicago Bulls basketball star donated $7 million to Novant Health in 2017 to build the medical facility on Charlotte’s west side. The healthcare provider and Jordan are also planning to open a second facility in the area.
“When I heard Novant Health’s plan to bring not only primary care, but other needed services to the community, there was no doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to help make an impact,” Jordan said in a statement.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to give back in this way, because I believe that your ZIP code or neighborhood should not determine the quality of your health care — or whether or not you can even get care at all.”
The new clinic, which is located on Freedom Drive in Charlotte, has 12 exam rooms, an x-ray room, and a physical therapy space, according to CBS News. There will also be a social worker on staff, as well as behavioral health and social support services. During his speech at the clinic’s opening, Jordan said it would help improve residents’ lives.
“The money is not an issue for me, it's the commitment to be able to make a difference and make an impact," Jordan said.
Carl Armato, CEO and president of Novant Health, said in a statement that the healthcare provider is “deeply committed to caring for patients beyond our walls.”
“This clinic will not only provide access to medical care for those who need it most, but it will connect them to resources to ensure their health extends beyond the doctor’s office. We are so grateful for Michael Jordan’s continued partnership and generous gift, which will transform thousands of lives in the west Charlotte community,” Armato said.
“The community is embedded into the very foundation of these clinics,” Armato continued. “I know how important that is both to Michael Jordan and to Novant Health. We want the community to know that we’re not just here when they’re in crisis or in need of urgent care. We’re here for the long haul.”
This is not the first time the Charlotte Hornets owner has given back to the city. In 2018, Jordan donated $2 million to help residents in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence, which caused devastation to his hometown in Wilmington, North Carolina and other parts of the state. The six-time championship winner donated $1 million to the American Red Cross and another $1 million to the Foundation for the Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund, the Associated Press (AP) previously reported.
“I know all of those places: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, and Wallace, which is where my father is from,” Jordan said in a previous interview. “So quite naturally it hits home, and I felt like I had to act in a sense that this is my home.”
Jordan told the AP it took days to get in touch with his friends and family, who live on the coast of North Carolina. He said he was relieved to find out all of them were safe.
“At the end of the day, it makes you think about the path that you have taken, and where your life has taken you,” Jordan previously told the publication. “And I just feel like, well, maybe if I can help in some sort of way all of the people, and all of the places, that have helped me along the road.”
In 2019, Jordan donated $1 million to help the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian. In September, Jordan’s spokesperson and manager, Estee Portnoy, released a statement on Twitter from Jordan stating that he would donate his funds to nonprofit that “will have the most impact” to care for those impacted by the storm. The category 5 storm touched down in the Bahamas, like Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, during Labor Day weekend. The hurricane killed at least 61 people, according to The Weather Channel.
“I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently,” Jordan previously wrote in his statement. “My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and those who have lost loved ones.”
“The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm,” the statement continued.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.