Michael Jordan Donates $7 Mil Toward Medical Clinics
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/11/2017, 9:38 a.m.
Hornets owner and former NBA star Michael Jordan is donating $7 million to launch two medical clinics in troubled Charlotte communities, in one of the largest gifts ever from the basketball legend with deep ties to North Carolina, reports the Charlotte Observer. Novant Health announced Jordan’s personal gift, which will fund Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics to be built in north and northwest Charlotte. One will be at 3149 and 3153 Freedom Drive; the other will be in the Brightwalk development on Statesville Avenue. Officials said the clinics will target a crescent-shaped region, hugging roughly an area north of uptown’s skyscrapers, home to some of the city’s densest concentrations of poverty. Opening of the clinics is projected for late 2020. Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy said Jordan began having conversations with Winston-Salem-based Novant – for years the Hornets’ official health care provider – about 16 months ago as he sought ways to help poor populations in Charlotte. She said Jordan was largely spurred by a 2014 study from Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley that found poor children in Charlotte have the worst odds of those in any big U.S. city to lift themselves out of poverty. That report, which stunned many in the community, led to the creation of an area task force charged with identifying ways to address the city’s economic-mobility problems. “Michael really wanted to do something personally, he and his family, in the North Carolina area, separate from the work we’ve done with the Hornets,” Portnoy said, adding that the idea for the clinics specifically emerged during the Novant discussions. In a statement, Jordan said he was proud to partner with Novant “to bring critical health services to under-served areas of Charlotte and the thousands of North Carolinians with limited access to health care.”