Extraordinary People

Free health care gifted to underprivileged thanks to generous hero Michael Jordan

From sportsman to saviour!

They say team work makes the dream work, and Michael Jordan has certainly taken this philosophy from the court to health care.

The basketball phenomenon has called upon his philanthropy powers once again to open a much-needed clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina for underprivileged communities.

It is actually the second medical clinic that the six-time NBA champion has funded, with the first opening last October.

They are both part of the same project, the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics, that have been set up to provide services to residents with little or no health care.

[Credit: Novant Health]

The $7million (£5.4m) cash donation, gifted by Jordan in 2017, marked the biggest donation he had ever made at the time.

Speaking about the clinic, the 57-year-old sports hero said he is immensely proud of the success that has been achieved especially amidst the unprecedented year of 2020.

Jordan said: “To see how this has evolved over the last year is too gratifying. It makes me want to continue doing more so we can keep answering the bell when the bell is ringing.”

He added: “When we came together to mark the first clinic’s opening last fall [autumn], no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later.

“I’m so proud of the positive impact our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during Covid-19.”

The new clinic boasts a 6,800 square-foot facility, equipped with 12 patient exam rooms, an X-ray room, and space for physical therapy too.

Its greatest asset, however, is that patrons will not need insurance in order to receive treatment which is usually required in America to access health care.

CEO and president of Novant Health, Carl Armato, said in a statement: “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.”

He continued: “Michael Jordan’s commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted.”

Jordan’s generosity is just as iconic as his performance on the court, after he made significant charitable donations over the years.

In 2015, he donated his winnings from a lawsuit settlement against supermarkets that had used his name without permission to 23 different Chicago charities.

While in 2018, he gifted $2m to relief efforts after Hurricane Florence damaged parts of North Carolina, including his former hometown of Wilmington, and a further $1m to aid the Bahamas’ recovery following Hurricane Dorian the following year.

This summer, following the death of George Floyd, he announced in a statement with his Nike-backed Jordan brand that they pledge to donate $100m over the next 10 years to organisations ‘ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education’.

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