Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, made himself a global household name with his superhuman dunks and uncanny ability to score under pressure.
Now, 16 years after his retirement, his name is associated with something entirely different: A medical clinic for the underinsured and the uninsured people in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jordan grew up in North Carolina and he now owns the Charlotte Hornets NBA team. At the opening of the $7 million Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic, the first of two clinics for low-income families he is funding, Jordan spoke with tears streaming down his face and praised the community the clinic will serve, telling the crowd that this is a very emotional thing for him to be able to give back to a community that has supported him over the years, from when he was playing the game of basketball, to now when he’s a part of the same community.
The clinic has 12 exam rooms, an x-ray room, and a space for physical therapy. It’s located in a lower-income area of Charlotte, and it will provide affordable primary and preventative care services to people with insufficient or no insurance at all.
Charlotte was ranked last out of 50 large cities for social and economic mobility for children born into poverty by a study conducted by Harvard University and UC Berkeley in 2014, so this clinic fills a vital need for affordable medical care.
Jordan announced that a second clinic was already underway, and, according to a press release from Novant, the clinics are projected to care for nearly 35,000 children and adults who do not currently have access to primary and preventative care, or who use the emergency room for non-urgent medical needs.
Michael Jordan vowed that the clinics are not only a one-time contribution to the community, but they’re just the start of a battle of being able to touch as many people as they can.
Check out Jordan’s emotional speech at the opening of the clinic below: