Almost exactly a year after opening his first health clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, last October, basketball legend Michael Jordan announced a second clinic to help Charlotte’s neediest neighborhoods.
The Michael Jordan Family Clinics, a partnership with local healthcare system Novant, offers affordable healthcare to individuals, including the uninsured and underinsured. Jordan made a gift of $7 million to ensure the clinics would be a stable presence in underserved areas of the city. The opening of the newest clinic was celebrated on Monday, Oct. 19.
“It gives my family great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte,” said Jordan, in a celebratory video call covered by the Charlotte Observer.
Jordan grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and played hoops at the University of North Carolina before joining the NBA. He now owns the Charlotte Hornets.
With the COVID-19 pandemic surging across the country, the new Jordan clinic comes at a critical moment. A key component of the clinics’ approach is integrated care, where social and emotional needs are addressed in addition to typical primary-care concerns.
“One of the things we’ve learned over time is that a patient’s ability to access food, housing, clothing, transportation, has a huge impact on their ability to achieve high-quality health care,” said Michael Hoben, a Novant doctor with the clinics, in the Observer. “So if we’re only addressing the traditional medical needs, we’re missing probably half of what they really need to achieve their highest or best health.”
According to a Novant Health press release, the Jordan clinics have social workers on staff. The centers even offer access to resources such as healthy food and housing assistance to patients who need a leg up.
Novant said the original West Charlotte clinic has treated more than 3,350 patients in its first year. The new one will be in the city’s North End.
Jordan retired from the NBA in 2003, but he’s still making headlines. In addition to opening the Charlotte clinics, Jordan attracted attention early this year for his heartfelt eulogy at a memorial service for Kobe Bryant.
“The Last Dance,” a ten-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls’ 1990s dynasty, featured candid, in-depth interviews with the star. After airing on ESPN in the spring, it’s now on Netflix.
Then, this summer, he and his Jordan athletic-wear brand pledged millions to fight voter suppression in Black communities.
Jordan’s really embracing his philanthropic side and we love to see it.