NBA legend Michael Jordan has been stepping up to help the people of his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Last year, Jordan partnered with Novant Health to open a the Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in west Charlotte. Now, he's announced the opening of a second location in north Charlotte.
Jordan donated $7 million to make these clinics a reality, according to the Daily Mail. The clinics provide medical care to people in the area who are uninsured or underinsured.
"We are thrilled the North End community of Charlotte will have access to the same comprehensive care that is transforming lives at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in west Charlotte," said Carl Armato, CEO and president of Novant Health, in a press release.
"The impact of the first clinic has been measurable and if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the importance of having accessible, safe, and quality care in communities that need it most. Michael Jordan's commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted. We're so grateful to be his partner in bringing care and resources to those who would otherwise be without."
At the first location, 3,350 patients were seen in a year, including 450 kids. "Of those, nearly 700 patients were assisted by the clinic's full-time social worker with nearly 80 patients being referred for additional behavioral health care," reads the press release.
When health care is so often tied to employment or prohibitively expensive, a clinic like this can be such a positive force and a haven for a community.
And once the pandemic hit, the first clinic became a "respiratory assessment center" to bring COVID-19 testing and treatment to the community. Since April, "the clinic and nearby mobile health unit saw 12,584 appointments and performed nearly 14,000 COVID-19 tests."
Of the clinic's opening, Michael Jordan said, "When we came together to mark the first clinic's opening last fall, no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later.
"I'm so proud of the positive impact out clinic has had on the community so far, especially during COVID-19. Our second clinic will provide critical services to improve the health and lives of more Charlotteans, which is so important to me and to Novant Health."
The brand new clinic location in the North End has 12 patient exam rooms, an X-ray room, and physical therapy areas. There will be a full-time social worker on site just like there is in the first clinic.
Armato said, "When this clinic opened, I said, 'We're here for the long haul. Not just in a crisis.' In fact, the first clinic enabled us to better respond to the COVID-19 crisis. It gave us the infrastructure to set up walk-up testing — no referral needed.
"It gave us a platform to educate and treat patients — close to home. It even gave us a distribution point for our universal masking initiative, where we provided free masks to anyone who needed them. The second location is critical, as it expands our impact and reach."