Basketball legend Michael Jordan has evolved into a fierce advocate for healthcare equality and he’s taking his efforts to the next level. According to CNN, the NBA Hall of Famer recently opened a new clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The clinic—which is the second location opened by Jordan—was designed to eliminate the socio-economic barriers standing in the way of accessibility to quality healthcare. Amid the pandemic, systemic inequities surrounding healthcare have been pushed to the forefront of a national conversation and Jordan wants to ensure that individuals have the support and resources needed to stay safe during this unprecedented time. The facility—dubbed the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic—houses an X-ray room, exam rooms and areas for physical therapy. Insurance isn’t a requirement for individuals seeking treatment. Jordan unveiled the first clinic in Charlotte in October 2019 and to date, the medical facility has served over 3,000 people and distributed more than 13,000 COVID-19 tests during the public health crisis.
Jordan—who donated $7 million to Novant Health in 2017—says he’s grateful to witness the effort evolve and drive change in Charlotte communities. “It makes me want to continue doing more so that we can keep answering the bell when the bell is ringing,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “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 our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during COVID-19.”
Initiatives like the one being led by Jordan are needed, especially in North Carolina. A U.S. Census Bureau report showed in 2018 more than 1 million residents in the state were uninsured.