Dr. Aaron Shirley
Growing up, Aaron Shirley recalled Mississippi’s African Americans having limited access to adequate hospitals and healthcare. After graduating from Meharry Medical College, Shirley returned home to accept a position as a resident of the University of Mississippi Medical Center—becoming the first African American to hold the position at the facility. Throughout his tenure, Shirley worked tirelessly as both a physician and civil rights activist to help improve healthcare for African Americans in the state. He cofounded the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Healthcare Center in 1970 and created a partnership with Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center to form the Jackson Medical Mall in the late 1990s.