Primus Wheeler-Jackson Medical Mall Foundation

Primus Wheeler, Jr. is currently the Executive Director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation.  Mr. Wheeler began his career at UMMC where he served as a registered respiratory therapist, director of clinical education and chairman/associate professor in the School of Health Related Professions. Mr. Wheeler served as regional Vice President of Apria Healthcare from 1986-1996.  Upon returning to UMC in 1997, he served as the Director of Ambulatory Services with the primary responsibility of moving the teaching clinics and support services to the Jackson Medical Mall.  Mr. Wheeler became the Executive director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in 2001.  The JMM is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive healthcare facility which provides an innovative intersection of art/culture, healthcare services and community development for more than 200,000 clients annually.  Mr. Wheeler has been married to his wife Earlene for 46 years, they have two adult children and 8 grandchildren.


Founded in 1996 by Dr. Aaron Shirley, the Jackson Medical Mall was transformed from an abandoned shopping mall to a modern medical and retail facility. The mission, to provide healthcare for the underserved and to promote economic and community development, was made possible through strategic partnerships with UMMC, Jackson State University and Tougaloo College. Twenty years later, the Jackson Medical Mall sits proudly in the center of the state’s capital city, providing high quality health and community services to the public. 


The JMM houses healthcare providers/tenants from all areas of healthcare; it’s a one stop shop for all healthcare needs.  In addition to healthcare services, the JMM offers a variety of community services, restaurants, retail shops and community outreach programs.  The Jackson Medical Mall is over 900,000 sq. ft. while the foundation covers more than 100+ acres.  The JMMF has increased their foothold on bringing medical care to the underserved by providing transportation for healthcare visits.  The JMMF has rehabilitated houses and property in the Jackson area, created playgrounds, built affordable lease to own housing, provides care both medical and social for HIV/Aids patients and has created senior living facilities.  The JMMF has focused on creating healthy environments for all people living around the JMM.


The JMMF recently changed its vision statement as they have begun integrating art/culture as a driver to their mission.  The JMMF drives to be the leader in healthcare, economic, artistic and technological development.  The JMMF recently received grants from the ArtPlace for $3 million.  The JMMF is using art/culture to draw people into things such as health or diabetes screening.  Using such events as their Tommy Johnson Blues Festival or their Back to School Jam to attract people for a fun activity, but giving them screenings and healthcare while doing so.  The JMMF is focusing on the youth of Jackson through SING Jackson (youth choir) and summer science, education and art camps.


The newest mission statement of the JMMF is “to eliminate healthcare disparities holistically through the promotion of creativity and innovation”.  With this vision in mind, the JMMF has plans for a community arts center, a community garden, a community orchard with a retail store, a teaching kitchen and facelifts of many of their existing buildings, including the medical mall itself.


For more information on the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, you can follow them on social media at jacksonmedmall.