2015 TCNAA Alumnus of the Year
Primus Wheeler, Jr. is currently the Executive Director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in Jackson, MS. He was born in a small Delta community to Mr. and Mrs. Primus Wheeler, Sr.. He is the oldest of eight (8) siblings, and the first Wheeler to receive a college degree. He graduated from Tougaloo College in 1972 with a B.S. in Biology. He also has an Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Hinds Community College and a Masters Degree in Education and Administration from Jackson State University.
Mr. Wheeler was employed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) from 1975 until 1986. As a UMC employee he served as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, Director of Clinical Education and Chairman/Associate Professor of the Department of Respiratory Therapy in the School of Health Related Professions. Mr. Wheeler was also employed by Apria Healthcare from 1986 through 1996 as a regional vice president.
He returned to UMC in 1997 as Director of Ambulatory Services with the primary responsibility of moving the teaching clinics and support services to the Jackson Medical Mall. He also implemented a multi-practice primary healthcare center for UMC at the Jackson Medical Mall. The clinics combined provide more than 100,000 patient visits per year. In addition to operating the Ambulatory and Primary Care clinics at the Jackson Medical Mall for UMC, Mr. Wheeler joined the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in 2001 as its Executive Director. The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation manages the Jackson Medical Mall facility. The facility is a one a kind comprehensive healthcare facility providing human, cultural, and healthcare services to more than 200,000 clients per year.
Mr. Wheeler has achieved numerous honors and awards including Who’s Who Among Black Americans, the first annual “Outstanding Community Service Award” by the National Society of Allied Health, Regional Vice President of the Year, Apria Healthcare, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Scholastic Honor Society, Alpha Eta National Scholastic Honor Society, and recipient of the National Role Model Administrator’s Award presented by Minority Access Incorporated. He is certified (CRTT) and registered (RRT) by the National Board of Respiratory Care. . He published the article “Manifestations and Treatment of the Hyaline Membrane Disease,” Alveolar Dispatch Volume I in 1980. He was also a consultant for the St. Dominic Hospital, Department of Respiratory Therapy, Florida A&M School of Allied Health and Mississippi State Board of Health.
Mr. Wheeler is currently a member of many professional and community organizations including Life Member, Tougaloo National Alumni Association, the American Association for Respiratory Care, The National Board for Respiratory Care, Rotary Club of Jackson, Mississippi Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers and 100 Black Men of Jackson. He also serves on the Boards of Rotary Club of Jackson, the Voice of Calvary Family Health Center, Tougaloo College Board of Trustees, and is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Cade Chapel M. B. Church. He is happily married to Mrs. Earlene J. Wheeler and they have two adult children, Primus III and Niki, and four grandchildren.
Primus’ favorite quote: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve – the fear of failure.”