Jackson Medical Mall celebrates 25 years of health care and community revitalization

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:12 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s a silver anniversary celebration for the Jackson Medical Mall which rose from decline to become a staple in the medical community.

All week Jackson Medical Mall Foundation will be marking 25 years of providing health care and transforming the community around it.

The Jackson Mall sat empty and in need of repair in 1996 when two Jackson residents saw a way to improve the health of residents and revive the area.

“It’s pretty much a one stop shop for health care and social services,” said JMMF Executive Director Primus Wheeler Jr.

The Jackson Medical Mall is marking 25 years of improving health care and revitalizing the community. Two friends lunching at Piccadilly in 1996 had a vision for the declining Jackson Mall.

“We owe it all to the vision and the passion for the community that Dr. Aaron Shirley and Judge Reuben Anderson had,” said Wheeler Jr.

That vision was for the medical center and the return of business in the community.

In 1997 Wheeler was working with UMMC to set up space for their clinics. He is now the Medical Mall’s executive director.

JMMF has also built 30 single family homes nearby and a grocery store for the community.

“We maintain the whole building. This is our property and we contract very little work out to other folks,” Wheeler added. “We try to make sure we keep it in the community. So the total impact of this place on the whole Jackson area is about $25 million a year in payroll impact.”

The medical center sees over 200,000 clients a year, with 70 doctors on site almost daily. Katherine Townes, a breast cancer survivor, travels from Grenada for treatment.

“I love it,” said Townes. “I went for a second opinion in Atlanta, Georgia. Everything that I went up there to do they said that they were doing it here. So I came back home, came back to Mississippi.”

And there are more plans for expansion. JMMF has purchased four properties on Livingston Road with plans for a cultural center and space for the community to open businesses.

The mall was purchased for $2.8 million. JMMF now has $80 million in assets.

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