NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Novant Health is asking New Hanover County to donate a piece of county-owned land to the nonprofit corporation. If the transaction moves forward, Novant Health plans to station a Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic on the property.
Michael Jordan, the Wilmington-raised basketball legend, previously gave Novant Health $10 million for the creation of two new medical clinics in the Cape Fear region. His gift, which came two weeks after the publicly owned New Hanover Regional Medical Center was officially sold to Novant in February, was made to spur construction of facilities similar to existing family medical clinics in Charlotte that bear Jordan’s name.
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County politicians have been asked to consider the land transfer and donation request at the July 13 New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting. Specifically, Novant hopes to use the county-owned land for one of its two planned clinics.
Novant has its eye on 1410 S. 15th Street, a stone’s throw from the New Hanover County Health and Human Services headquarters, according to a draft copy of the upcoming meeting agenda obtained by Port City Daily. Draft agendas are subject to change; this story will be updated if more information becomes available.
“Novant Health has requested that New Hanover County transfer and donate approximately two acres of land located at 1410 South 15th Street, which is owned by New Hanover County, to Novant Health for the development of one of the two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics,” according to the draft agenda.
The county purchased this property from a power company for $200,000 three years ago. When the now-completed Health and Human Services headquarters on Greenfield Street was in the pre-construction phase, the nearby 15th Street parcel was purchased as a potential overflow parking lot.
“After approximately 18 months of operation of the Health and Human Services Building, it has been determined that the property will not be needed for overflow parking,” according to the draft agenda.
Staff are recommending commissioners proceed with the land transfer and donation, according to the draft agenda, with two conditions: Novant will return the 2-acre parcel to the county if construction of the Jordan clinic doesn’t begin within five years, and Novant will “work to determine if a day center shelter for the homeless can be co-located on the property.”
Philip Brown — former NHRMC chief physician-now-Novant chief community impact officer — wrote a letter to deputy county manager Tim Burgess dated June 23.
Brown wrote that Novant Health has selected 906 Fanning St. as the site of the second Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic. This location is west of Oakdale Cemetery, off N. 10th Street.
Regarding the 15th Street county-owned property, Novant hopes to install around 7,500 square feet of medical office space “that will offer multiple comprehensive services, including primary care, behavioral health, physical therapy, social work and support services, oral health, and family planning, all in support of the area’s most vulnerable patients, including low-income populations, in their own neighborhoods,” according to Brown’s letter.
When Jordan’s donation was announced in February, Novant set the target opening date of the two new Wilmington-area clinics for “early 2022.” Brown’s letter said the anticipated opening of the 15th Street clinic — if the county approves the land donation — will be in the first or second quarter of 2023.
“By hosting and nurturing robust partnerships with community organizations, the clinics can provide the comprehensive services required to optimize health, ensuring the patient receives the right care, at the right time, in the right place, and for the right price,” Brown wrote.
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