Blueberry Hill, a charming farm in Mauk, Georgia, is one of the latest sites for Perry Wellness Center's expansion of farm-to-table produce.
Dr. Robert Waller and his wife Hazel own the farm, which includes 225 blueberry plants. After a visit to the center, the retired physician offered Stuart Perry the opportunity to harvest and sell the farm's blueberries. Now they are in discussions about expansion of the blueberry planting to an adjacent lot.
Dr. Waller's affinity for the center is a natural progression of his life in medicine. When he was in his early years as a medical doctor, he began several programs at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. At that time, the institution was the only public inpatient site in Georgia for individuals with mental illness. Since that time, Dr. Waller has also worked as a Medical Occupation Specialist, a volunteer radiologist in the Army Medical Corp, and in hospitals ranging from Ft. Jackson Army Hospital to Phoebe-Putney Hospital in nearby Albany, Georgia. Retired since 1988, Dr. Waller resides with his wife at Magnolia Manor here in Americus.
In a recent conversation, Dr. Waller explained why he is so supportive of Perry Wellness Center. "Life has been good to me," he noted. "I am impressed with the program that Stuart continues to improve. I went to the book signing of Rudy Hayes' book, "Journey for Life," about Stuart's walk to Chicago ... At this signing, I met these two outstanding advocates for mental health. I wanted to do something to encourage Stuart. I hope our association will continue for years."
Recently, Dr. Waller offered a special gift to Stuart and the center. Both Stuart and Dr. Waller have visited and fallen in love with the beautiful islands of Hawaii. After re-discovering several photo panels of the islands that he had taken years before, Dr. Waller graciously presented the photo montages to Stuart and the center.
Certainly more than blueberries have grown during the development of a special friendship between a medical provider and a recovery center.