Clinic facilities

Second Michael Jordan Clinic to serve the East Wilmington community

Althea Johnson, Deborah Dicks Maxwell and Cedric Dickerson joined Novant-NHRMC in East Wilmington at Princess Place Drive and 30th Street to present the location of the second Michael Jordan Clinic. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

WILMINGTON – After a year of deciding on a second location for one of two upcoming Michael Jordan clinics in the area, Novant Health-The New Hanover Regional Medical Center announced Wednesday that it has purchased a corner lot at Princess Place Drive and 30th Street. He will work with Charlotte-based architectural firm Neighboring Concepts to design the facility, which is expected to be operational by 2024.

In the winter of 2021, NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan – a graduate of Laney High School in Wilmington – announced he was donating $10 million to build two clinics in the area that will serve underinsured and uninsured people. He donated $7 million to launch facilities in Charlotte a year prior.

CATCH-UP: Previous Clinic Coverage

Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics provide comprehensive primary care and mental health services. When Novant began evaluating where to locate the clinics, it extended its focus to two of the city’s four areas with large populations of underinsured and uninsured patients: the Southside, the Northside, East Wilmington and Shipyard Boulevard.

Novant accepted a land donation from the county last summer to build a clinic on the South Side at 1410 S. 15th St. It will be built a stone’s throw from the New Hanover County Health and Human Services headquarters. at 16th and Greenfield streets.

The private health care company was also set to accept a donation of Northside land from the city – 2 acres located next to the nonprofit DREAMS at 906 Fanning St. In April, Port City Daily reported that Novant had refused the donation.

Dr. Philip Brown, Novant Health’s community impact manager, said at a press conference Wednesday morning that Novant had been in discussions with community partners at MedNorth, which also serves the underinsured and uninsured. of Fourth Street. The proposed second Michael Jordan Clinic would be located just six blocks away if erected on Fanning Street.

“We really started looking at the map,” Brown said. “We asked: how do we broadcast this? »

Dr. Philip Brown speaks to media about plans for second Michael Jordan Clinic headed to Princess Place Drive; it will be operational by 2024. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

He said a shipyard was the last choice. On the contrary, the east side of Wilmington, nearly 4 miles away, seemed to make more sense.

“It’s nice for transportation access,” Brown pointed out, for her part.

Wave runs the 101 bus route every 30 minutes around the corner weekdays during prime time.

Novant purchased the 3.4-acre lot for $247,000 from the Wilmington Housing Authority, located next to the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church and across from the Prince Mini Mart. It is surrounded by predominantly black neighborhoods like Creekwood and Turnkey. New Hanover County NAACP President Deborah Dicks Maxwell, also at the announcement, said it was close enough to serve areas of Kerr Avenue, where several residents live in mobile home parks.

According to the U.S. Census, 30% of black people in the Cape Fear area live below the federal poverty line, with Hispanic and Latinx populations accounting for 28.4%.

The Michael Jordan Clinics intend to help historically marginalized populations. The goal, Brown said, is to staff clinics with as diverse a staff as the patients they serve. He said he assessed the demographics of doctors and providers across the system to help recruit and close the gap.

“We know for sure that when provider and patient are of the same race, especially for black and Hispanic patients, clinical outcomes are better,” Brown said. “Bridging this gap is essential if we are to deliver equitable health.

Maxwell, a retired public health social worker, said it builds trust and communication for Novant to raise awareness with the community it serves. She and others, including Althea Johnson and Cedrick Dickerson, will help publicize the clinic’s arrival at the gates of the neighborhood.

“Sometimes people don’t ask for a service because of a lack of knowledge,” Maxwell said. “There’s been reluctance and fear, and sometimes that’s why you need diversity in staff.”

The goal is to remove all barriers, she added. First and foremost, this includes financial access. She stressed the need to strengthen and expand Medicaid legislation to “exponentially increase the number of people who will be able to receive services at no cost.” (The State Senate introduced a invoice“Expanding Access to Health Care in North Carolina” a few weeks ago during the short general assembly session that could insure more than half a million low-income people.)

Novant accepts Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and self-pay. It also has a financial aid policy that covers expenses for people earning less than 300% of the federal poverty level.

“So for a family of four, if the income is less than $80,000, care is free,” Brown said.

Johnson detailed that approximately 24,000 people in New Hanover County are currently underinsured or uninsured. MedNorth’s CEO said the facility currently serves about 8,000 patients a year. Partnering with upcoming Michael Jordan Clinics will help ease the overloaded workload.

“We’re pretty much at full capacity already,” Johnson said. “We need everyone on deck, and a few more health care providers who accept Medicaid and Medicare and offer services on a sliding scale for the uninsured.”

Johnson said that doesn’t just include people below the poverty line. It also wraps up essential workers in jobs to boost the tourism industry on which New Hanover County thrives — servers, bartenders, room attendants and guest service people.

“And part-time workers,” she added. “Primary care is the entry point to health care. If you take care of a problem before it gets too serious, you won’t end up in the emergency room or the hospital.

Novant’s Michael Jordan Clinic will be a community partner, Brown assured. Community member Cedric Dickerson said he remembered years ago when the vision was to turn empty land into a field or playground – a place to bring the community together.

Brown said plans are already underway to collaborate with churches and community centers in the area to help integrate the clinic into the culture of its neighbor and work to bring faith closer between the corporate entity and the people who ‘she serves. Brown pointed to the church opposite.

“We are in a food insecure population and Ebenezer has a commercial kitchen,” he said. “One of the things we’re looking at for the site is potentially another community garden.”

Another exists a few streets away.

“The real transformative power of Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics in communities that have been historically underserved, is not that people can see a primary care physician – it’s that people in those communities have a vision of what it’s like to be a primary care physician or another role within the clinic,” Brown said. “It really helps people see what’s possible, gives kids a chance to dream of do something that makes a difference in their communities and grow in that direction.”

Novant will likely open the Michael Jordan Clinic at Princess Place and 30th in six months. The first location at 15th and Greenfield is moving forward in its planning phase, with a community committee meeting soon to refine next steps. It will open by 2023.


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