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Local Governments Considering Land Donations For 2 Michael Jordan Medical Clinics

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jul 7, 2021
Local officials discuss plans to seek land donations from the city and county to build two medical clinics, funded by a donation from pro basketball star Michael Jordan. (Photo by Christina Haley)

Novant Health is seeking property donations from the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County for two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics, officials said Wednesday.

The city of Wilmington will consider donating land for one of the two sites chosen by Novant Health for the clinics, which are being funded by a $10 million gift from Wilmington native Michael Jordan.

City council will consider at an upcoming meeting the possibility of donating property at 906 Fanning St., Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said during a joint announcement about the properties.

Novant Health is asking New Hanover County to consider donating about 2 acres at 1410 S.15th St. for the other clinic.

"These two clinics, which will have a combination of primary care and behavioral health, will make a tremendous difference in the overall health of Wilmington," Philip Brown, chief community impact officer for Novant Health, said during the announcement. "And they're geared towards serving people who maybe traditionally haven't been served too well, areas where the populations are heavily uninsured or have Medicaid."

Novant chose the two properties after spending several months looking for clinic sites, Brown said.

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will consider at its meeting July 13 whether to donate the South 15th Street property, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman said.

The property is close to the county's Health and Human Services Building and the Wilmington Housing Authority.

"It is an ideal spot for Novant Health to have a clinic that can serve anyone and everyone in this neighborhood and beyond," Olson-Boseman said. "I see this clinic working hand in hand with the county's health and human services agency to provide support services, and focus on improving social determinants of health for all of our residents."

"I'm grateful to Michael Jordan for the incredible gift to make these clinics happen," she added, "and to Novant Health for keeping affordability and quality health care a priority in our community."

Novant Health officials and Jordan in February announced the $10 million gift to open the two medical clinics in New Hanover County. 

The announcement came just weeks after Novant Health closed on its nearly $2 billion purchase of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, which includes a partnership with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine.

The clinics will be similar to two existing Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics in Charlotte.

Another driver of these clinics is further developing the local workforce.

"So staffing is one of the most exciting things about these clinics because an important part of the Novant Health commitment to Wilmington and New Hanover County, and really the surrounding region, is job creation. And so we believe that these clinics will be staffed by people from the community," Brown said.

"And our commitment is to also use these clinics as a powerful lever to create new health care careers for people from the community. So that ultimately, we're able to achieve health care provider workforce equity so that our health care workforces really begin to resemble the communities they serve. So that's one of the most compelling features of these clinics out of these locations," he said. 

Jordan's donation will fund the capital costs to build the clinics with $5 million going into each, Brown said. 

According to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agenda, the potential project's scope includes the construction of a 7,500-square-foot medical office building at 15th and Greenfield streets that will offer multiple comprehensive services, including primary care, behavioral health, physical therapy, social work and support services, oral health and family planning. A co-located day center shelter for the homeless is also being considered at the county site.  

If the property donations are approved, Brown said Novant would work to break ground as soon as possible.

"It is likely that by late 2022 or early 2023, one or both of these clinics will be ready to open and serve the people," Brown said.

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