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Novant Health announces second location of Michael Jordan-funded clinic

Novant Health announces second location of Michael Jordan-funded clinic
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A $10 million donation from basketball star and Wilmington native Michael Jordan will help build a clinic on the corner of Princess Place and 30th Street.

“People associate Michael Jordan with a series of special moments but true greatness comes when you’re able to make moments when you’re not even physically present,” said Novant Health’s chief community impact officer Dr. Philip Brown. “That’s what he’s doing today. His family gift is going to fundamentally change medical care in Wilmington.”

Novant Health announced its plans for the second Micheal Jordan Family Medical Clinic on Wednesday morning. The clinics will focus on primary care with integrated behavioral health.

The goal is to support historically underserved communities in that area. With Creekwood South just across the street, leaders say that plan should be a success.

Both clinics will serve people who don’t have nearby clinics to offer easy access to healthcare like Sandra Bell, who has lived in Creekwood South for a year and a half.

“I have to go over there to Northside Clinic -- about 20 minutes,” said Bell. ‘I catch the city bus and I thank God we have the city bus.”

Bell says many of her neighbors avoid doctors’ visits altogether. North Carolina NAACP president Deborah Dicks Maxwell hopes this clinic’s proximity might change that.

“Sometimes people don’t seek service because of lack of knowledge, so once you physically place a place here, people will be prone to seek the service,” said Dicks Maxwell. “We will also advertise and assist Novant in getting the word out. They will have community health workers who will also engage, which they are doing now with the community.”

Not only will the clinic help foster a healthier community, but possibly open up new career paths for neighbors as well.

“The real transformative power of the Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics in communities that have been historically underserved is not that people can see a primary care physician,” said Dr. Brown. “It’s that people from these communities have a vision of what it is to be a primary care physician or some other role within the clinic.”

Last July, Novant announced the first of the two clinics would be at the corner of Greenfield and 15th streets near the Wilmington Housing Authority. The second lot was originally slated to be built on Fanning Street, however continued conversations labeled Princess Place to be a better fit.

“East Wilmington was in need of some additional access to healthcare even though MedNorth is on North 4th Street and on a bus line,” said Althea Johnson with MedNorth. “This area still needed additional access to healthcare.”

While Bell is looking forward to having a doctor’s office just steps away from her front door, she hopes her neighbors plan to take advantage of it, too.

“Right here in the area, that might give them some confidence that not everybody will be in their business or something,” said Bell. “Everybody works different, everybody thinks different, but this is how I’m going to take it. They’ll feel more confident to go across the street to the clinic.”

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