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Statement on Aaron Shirley, MD from Louis W. Sullivan, MD

Washington, DC, December 2, 2014

Dr. Aaron Shirley
(Photo: University of Mississippi Medical Center)

With the passing of Aaron Shirley, MD, all of us, especially the people in Mississippi, have lost a great servant leader.

Dr. Shirley distinguished himself by providing care to underserved people in rural and urban communities in Mississippi – serving for many years as the only African-American pediatrician in the state. He also helped care for the civil rights demonstrators in Mississippi during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the compassion he showed to patients, his strategic and nimble mind created health workforce development projects that benefitted the whole nation.

He led the development of the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center for many years and he helped to establish the Jackson Medical Mall.

Over the past two years, I had discussions with Dr. Shirley to secure his help in establishing a Mississippi state-wide chapter of the Sullivan Alliance. The purpose of the Alliance is to recruit and prepare more minority young people for careers in the health professions, to address the healthcare needs of Mississippians, who are presently not well served by our health system.

We will miss Aaron Shirley, but his good work lives on with us.

We thank God for giving us such a talented and dedicated servant of the people. And we extend our sincere condolences to his family.

Louis W. Sullivan, MD
Chairman & CEO
The Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions