Basketball legend Michael Jordan is scoring his biggest philanthropic donation ever with a $7 million gift to Novant Health.
The donation from Jordan, who owns the NBA's Charlotte (N.C.) Hornets, will be used to fund two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics, which are projected to open in 2020 in at-risk communities in that city.
"Through my years of working with Novant Health, I have been impressed with their approach and their commitment to the community," Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina, said in a release Monday. "It is my hope that these clinics will help provide a brighter and healthier future for the children and families they serve."
Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy said the former Chicago Bulls star was motivated by a study that found poor children in Charlotte have the worst odds of those of any of the top 50 cities in the U.S. to lift themselves out of poverty.
A release from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant stated the clinics will provide an avenue to affordable, high-quality care—including behavioral health, physical therapy, social work, oral health and family planning—to individuals in the community who have little or no healthcare.
The clinics have the potential to decrease emergency room utilization by 68% and decrease hospitalization by 37% for the residents of these neighborhoods, according to Novant.
Novant added that the clinics are projected to care for nearly 35,000 children and adults who do not currently have access to primary and preventive care or who use the ER for non-urgent medical needs.
"This gift will transform the lives of thousands of families and children living in poverty-stricken communities," Novant CEO Carl Armato said.