One of two clinics endowed by six-time NBA champion and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has opened its doors.
Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic, which held its opening in mid-October, will provide primary and comprehensive care, including behavioral health and social support services to underinsured and uninsured Charlotte residents. Jordan pledged $7 million to Novant Health in 2017 to fund two clinics in the community.
“As you can see, it’s a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that’s supported me over the years,” a tearful Michael Jordan told the crowd.
A 2014 Harvard/UC Berkeley study looked at economic mobility in 50 of the largest American commuting cities for children born into poverty. Charlotte ranked last out of all 50 cities. During his speech at the clinic’s unveiling, Jordan referenced the city’s “devastating” health statistics.
North Carolina’s uninsured rate is the 9th highest in the nation, and has steadily increased since 2016. More than 1 million residents of the state—over 10 percent—did not have health insurance in 2018.
The clinic was opened in a high priority area of Charlotte with input from community members, elected officials and residents. Similar clinics opened in areas with high need saw reductions in emergency room visits, hospitalizations and total cost of care compared to traditional health care models.
“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,” Jordan said in a statement.