234 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI JACKSON MEDICAL MALL Founded by Dr. Aaron Shirley in 1996, the Jackson Medical Mall works with community partners on a daily basis to provide quality healthcare for the people of Jackson and the state of Mississippi. The idea for this unique healthcare venture came about when, near the end of the 1980s, Jackson’s first shopping mall closed as a result of competing shopping centers. Several years later in 1995, community health specialist and resident of Jackson’s Midtown area Dr. Aaron Shirley was inspired while walking through the deserted mall to convert the space into a healthcare facility for disadvantaged citizens. As a result of collaborative efforts of Reuben Anderson and several institutions including University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College, as well as three state financial organizations, the Jackson Medical Mall has been able to carry out its mission of providing healthcare to those in need, as well as fostering community development, for more than two decades. Under direction from the Medical Mall’s Community Advisory Board, the facility works with local businesses, schools, churches, and other entities to improve local healthcare access for the well-being of Jackson’s people. The Medical Mall also partners with and receives grants from institutions outside Mississippi. Dr. Shirley remained dedicated to the continued success of the Medical Mall long after founding the institution, serving as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation until he passed away in 2014. PHOTO COURTESY OF JACKSON MEDICAL MALL GREAT SOUTHERN INDUSTRIES Founded in 1962, Great Southern Industries, Inc., has produced and distributed packaging and shipping supplies for more than fifty years. The company, located in Jackson, uses its 189,000 square foot facility to manufacture products for its customers—including corrugated boxes, plastic and bubble wrap, and tape and labeling supplies— and to deliver them throughout the Southeastern United States using the company’s own fleet of delivery trucks. PHOTO COURTESY OF GREAT SOUTHERN INDUSTRIES, INC.