Michael Jordan opened a clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday to serve people who are uninsured and underinsured. The NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic.
Two years ago, Jordan made a $7 million donation to Novant Health to build the state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte's west side, as well as a second facility that has yet to open.
In his speech, Jordan praised his hometown of Charlotte, and said the clinic is about making an "impact" that will be paid forward in the city.
"The money is not an issue for me, it's the commitment to be able to make a difference and make an impact..." he said.
The clinic has 12 exam rooms, an x-ray room and a physical therapy space. It was built on Freedom Drive, because a study showed that there was a lack of primary care providers in the area. Another study, conducted in 2014 by Harvard University and UC Berkeley, ranked Charlotte 50th out of 50 large cities for social mobility when it came to economic mobility for children born into poverty, according to Novant Health.
But Novant Health executives say it's about more than the physical health of people living in West Charlotte. "Care is helping to improve other drivers of health like access to food, housing, education and employment," said Jesse Cureton, the EVP and chief consumer officer for Novant Health.
A social worker will be staffed at the clinic to connect patients to other resources for patients with little or no insurance. The clinic will also offer additional comprehensive care, including behavioral health and social support services, to more directly address health equity gaps and social determinants of health in the community.
"It's just so great to have when you don't have insurance and you don't know what to do," said Sharelle Blake, a patient at the clinic. "So this is a huge blessing for the Camp Green neighborhood."