Roses Popular at Spring Market

Knock Out RosesRudy’s Happy Patch Market manager Phyllis Smith is a busy woman these days, as the market is in full swing.

“No one really knows the total number of different plant varieties we offer,” she reflects. “We often say, ‘If God made it, we sell it.’ “

She does know that roses are one of the best-selling items at the market, in a seemingly endless number of varieties.

“I know that the ‘Knock Out’ rose has been popular again this season,” Miss Phyllis explains. “The variety is hearty and blooms year round in our area. We still have hundreds in yellow, red, and deep red, some with single and double petals. Yellow has been the most popular.”

When a customer selects a rose bush for purchase, it is loaded in their vehicle in an effort to prevent accidental contact with the prickly thorns. All roses have spent blooms removed and are vigorous and healthy. Each day, the moisture level of the roses is checked. Increased temperatures can be harmful to the flowers, which are displayed on wooden palettes for customers.

We may not know the exact number of plants for sale, but customers are invited to browse among the thousands on hand at 302 E. Furlow Street, Americus, on the campus of Perry Wellness Center.

In the photo above, Javin Baker sweeps the display area of Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, as market manager Phyllis Smith removes spent blooms from plants.

Staff Spotlight: Mese Stewart

Behind the scenes at Perry Wellness Center, many normally unseen people are hard at work. In order to manage paperwork, billing, audit preparation, and other administrative tasks, the center employees several staff who make sure that everything is in order.

Once such individual is Mese Stewart, a data entry clerk who has worked at Perry Wellness Center since April 2011. The dedicated young woman quietly works in the rear corner of the Utilization/Billing Management offices.

A quick and dependable member of the team, Mese works so hard that she must be careful to avoid injury. She wears an elastic band to protect her wrist when she is typing. Like many individuals who do repetitive work with their hands, she must guard against pain from overstressed wrists and arms.

“When I realized the potential pain and damage to my wrists and arms, I was advised to wear this wrist and thumb band brace,” Mesa explains. “It does help, but when I get behind with my typing, the condition can become stressful.”

In Mese’s case, the brace limits her ability to type with her left hand to the use of Mese Stewartonly one finger. The fact that her typing is nevertheless so rapid and accurate is cause for praise from PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry.

“Each time I visit this corner, Mese is always hard at work,” Stuart notes. “I marvel at her report production with only six fingers.” With a smile, he adds, “I wish some of our others could equal or better her production!”

As do many of our staff and peers, Mese Stewart demonstrates that we do not necessarily have limitations because of our problems if we do not allow them to define us. Thanks to Mese for all her hard work!

Peer Spotlight: Jantwan Twiggs

Jantwan Twiggs 2016While Perry Wellness Center is a vital part of the recovery journey for numerous individuals throughout the area, it is not the final destination. The center seeks to provide a foundation for peers to achieve personal growth in their homes, communities, and future jobs, whenever possible.

One young peer who is setting his sights high is Jantwan Twiggs. A 2014 graduate of Americus-Sumter County High School, Jantwan is in his first year of study at South Georgia Technical College, where he is studying welding.

“I have always enjoyed creative construction, and many shared my possible success in welding,” Jantwan explains. “We have a top school here in Americus, and I decided to attend. It will be a good trade to learn and may lead me to other challenges in education.”

In his introductory quarter in the welding program, Jantwan says that he learned how to “lay a bead,” weld a T-joint, and safely cut metal, among other skills. “I was happy with the reception I received at South Georgia Tech,” he notes. “My instructors were ‘hands-on’ and showed me the safe and quick way to do my assignments. I made two A’s and one B and earned a 3.6 GPA.” He smiles in recollection as he relays this information.

Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry is also smiling. “When Jantwan told me his first quarter grades in welding, I was quite pleased,” he says. “I am looking for a way to use his talents in the coming expansion of our campus.”

As someone who made his own journey to recovery from mental illness, Stuart knows the stigma that can surround the disease in both school and workplace. But that is changing.

“It is very important that we share recovery and other personal successes at Perry Wellness Center,” Stuart explains with another smile. Like a proud papa, he is happy to see peers take their own steps toward normal life in the community.

In the photo above, Jantwan Twiggs poses for a photo with a smile, after sharing his first quarter grades at South Georgia Technical College.

HIV Prevention Education & Screening Provided at PWC

Nancy Collins 2016At Perry Wellness Center, the focus upon total health includes physical health issues. One such example is HIV, which is more prevalent with certain populations, including those who use IV drugs. Because many of the center’s clients are in recovery from substance abuse, and because HIV continues to be a problem in South Georgia, regular education and screening are provided.

Nancy Collins, the HIV Prevention Nurse with Middle Flint Behavioral HealthCare, frequently offers such services to the peers enrolled at Perry Wellness Center. This week, she visited the center to provide current health information to peers. Perry Wellness Center staff member Chelsea Hodges arranged this visit.

In a morning group setting, Nurse Nancy presented a new DVD produced by David Bromstad, a celebrity interior designer who is often featured on HGTV. In his video presentation, Bromstad began by saying, “In recent years, the news about HIV and AIDS has been mostly encouraging in the United States. The number of people getting infected with HIV is not rising, and the death rate from AIDS has dropped.”

He continued, “Still, HIV remains something everyone should think about. Thousands of people still become infected with HIV each year. And many of these people don’t know they are infected. Why? Because they don’t feel sick, or they have never been tested for HIV.  But this means they could pass the disease to someone else without knowing it. This booklet and DVD program explain the basics of HIV and the importance of HIV testing. By watching this DVD, you will learn the difference between HIV and AIDS, how you can get tested for HIV, and why getting tested can protect you and the ones you love.”

The informative DVD was viewed by the group, along with an accompanying booklet. The latter can be used for later reference during group sessions, to refresh peers’ knowledge and update new group members.

After sharing the DVD and leading open discussion with attendees, Nurse Nancy reminded all that HIV is both preventable and treatable, but it is not yet curable. (As always, the proverbial ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.) She also left reminder posters about an upcoming HIV testing session scheduled at Perry Wellness Center on May 27.

In the United States today, 56,000 people still become infected with the HIV virus annually. With education provided by professionals like Nancy Collins and organizations such as Perry Wellness Center and Middle Flint Behavioral HealthCare, that number can only decrease over time.

Improved Sight Offers Promise for Peer's Future

Laurie Slaton sightChange can come in our lives in the most unexpected ways. For Perry Wellness Center peer Laurie Slaton, it came through the insightful observation of a fellow peer.

Our readers have heard of Laurie before. She is the lady who is always learning new arts and crafts, including some striking loom work. She is also a positive spirit for self-discovery and growth at the center, inspiring other peers to open themselves to new interests and discoveries.

Her own interests are many. For example, Laurie has enjoyed participating in the arts and crafts festival experience. When groups of peers have travelled to the annual Andersonville fair and other festival sites, she has always been present to do her part in setting up and managing any booth.

She also loves music and is ready to sing and dance when music is played on campus. At the market, she is always in the first group to shell pecans or spring peas. In craft activities, she shares her creativity with others. Lately, Laurie has enjoyed making multi-colored potholders that she presents to guests and sells at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.

Along with her creative outlets, Laurie has been working to improve her reading skills. Each weekday, she is assisted by peer education enthusiast Wanda Liles. And now we arrive at our moment of insight: while assisting Laurie, Wanda discovered a possible reason for her reading difficulty. It appeared that Laurie had difficulty seeing correctly.

Within a few weeks, Laurie was scheduled for cataract surgery. A few days after receiving the surgery for her right eye, Laurie was excited about the improvement.

“I want to learn to read better and more,” Laurie stated. “I know that I can improve my reading with better sight. Praise God for this operation!”

Surgery on Laurie’s left eye is scheduled in two weeks. In the meantime, she is sharing her progress and hopes for the future with everyone she meets.

In the photo above, Wanda Liles, left, assists Laurie Slaton her reading efforts, as Laurie wears her protective glasses after cataract surgery.

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  2. Meeting the Demand for Tomatoes
  3. Service with a Smile: Lillian Mitchell
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  271. Larger Trees Now Available at Market
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  288. Executive Tasks: Stuart Perry Goes His Own Way
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  293. Edward Thomas Is Forceful Wellness Advocate
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  303. Creative Successes Continue at PWC
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  314. Late Winter Market Blossoms
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  317. Creative Display Boards Brighten Campus
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  456. Spring Preparations Continue
  457. Spring Greens on the Way
  458. Males and Eating Disorders
  459. Take Action to Stop Eating Disorders
  460. Artistic Value Is Priceless at PWC
  461. Puzzle Pieces and Knitting Needles Make for Creative Partnerships
  462. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Almost Here
  463. Manson Markette Works His Magic on PWC Grounds
  464. APA Cites Little Medical Guidance in Stress Management
  465. Save Energy; Save Money!
  466. Award-Winning Collards Recipe
  467. Blue Argo Offers Unique Gift to PWC
  468. PWC Intern Promotes Respect for the Environment
  469. PWC Team Wins Area Cook-Off
  470. Collard and Cornbread Cook-Off: Don't Forget!
  471. Net Results
  472. We're Growing!
  473. Legacy Walls: A Look Back
  474. Going Green: Collards and Competition
  475. An Artful Health Reminder
  476. Second Harvest: Pecans in Demand at Market
  477. Keeping the #1 New Year's Resolution
  478. "Recycle and Reuse" in Action at PWC
  479. Americus Banker "Pays It Forward"
  480. Local Civic Group Brings Holiday Cheer
  481. Community Spotlight: Local Businessman Gives Back
  482. Building a Sense of Community
  483. Winners Announced in PWC Gasoline Raffle
  484. 9 Holiday Depression Busters
  485. Walk 27 to Honor Shooting Victims
  486. 11 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Depression Triggers
  487. Cheer Up the Blues Is Big Success
  488. PWC a Christmas Parade Winner
  489. Equation for Wellness
  490. Cheer Up the Blues 2012 Coming Soon
  491. PWC Reps Attend Georgia Peer Support Institute
  492. No Rain Delays at PWC!
  493. Wellness Program under Expansion
  494. Beating the Holiday Blues: Part I
  495. Thanksgiving Offers Food for the Spirit (and Healthy Appetites!)
  496. THANKS for GIVING: Volunteers Make the Season Bright
  497. Going Green with Unique Garden Mulch
  498. Ten Tips for Better Mental Health
  499. Judicial Rep Tours PWC
  500. One Man's Anti-Smoking Campaign
  501. Net-Working at PWC
  502. Ready for Our Close-Up
  503. Pecan Harvest Prompts Holiday Baking
  504. Mental Health Wellness Week Almost Here
  505. New Peer Specialists Certified
  506. The Blueberry Connection
  507. Stuart Perry Speaks at Town Hall Meeting
  508. PWC Recognized for Best Practices
  509. Home Safe Home
  510. Six Exercise Essentials
  511. Joining Hands to Beat Mental Illness
  512. PWC Learns Fire Safety Tips from Local Experts
  513. Congratulations to DJ!
  514. PWC Promotes Healthy Environment
  515. Double Trouble to Double Recovery
  516. National Depression Screening Day
  517. Fall Fair Fun!
  518. Sowing the Seeds for Harvest Bounty
  519. Birthdays Provide Opportunity for Emotional Benefits
  520. National Depression Screening Day Is Next Week
  521. Peer Profile: Artist at Work
  522. They're Baaack -- Global Outreach Lends a Hand
  523. Fall Ramblings
  524. Hog Wild for Fitness
  525. An A+ for Effort
  526. Commemorating Suicide Prevention Week
  527. The Scarecrows Are Coming!
  528. September 11: A Time to Remember
  529. Fall Market Update
  530. PWC Reps Attend State Consumer Conference
  531. Happy Patch Market Prepares for Autumn Season
  532. Rosalynn Carter Visits Perry Wellness Center
  533. Planting a Seed of Hope
  534. Intern Promotes Social Contact for Mental Health Peers
  535. Peer Profile: Bible Study in the Garden
  536. Meditation Arbor Provides both Shade and Inspiration
  537. Lesson in Leadership
  538. Follow the Red Brick Road
  539. Local Food Vendors Support Happy Patch Market
  540. Global Outreach Ministries Students Provide Assistance at PWC
  541. 90 Minutes to Better Mental Health
  542. Wellness Tip: The Sounds of Nature
  543. Teamwork, Physical Activity, Friendly Competition: Let the Games Begin!
  544. Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network A Voice for Many
  545. Carter Center Celebrates 30 Years of Mental Health Focus
  546. More Healthy Eating for Summer
  547. Hope Park Provides Quiet Oasis
  548. FACTS: Mental Illness & Violence
  549. Healthy Eating -- Caprese Salad
  550. How Does Your Garden Grow?
  551. In the Cards
  552. Lessons of the Geese
  553. Lowe's Provides Garden Equipment to PWC
  554. For the Birds
  555. Stand Up for Your Health
  556. New Hours at Happy Patch Market
  557. PWC Participates in Local "Farm to Fork" Benefit
  558. Get Ready for a Farm to Table July 4th Cook-Out
  559. Stress Buster: Taking a Time Out
  560. Local Support Always Welcome
  561. June Is Men's Health Month
  562. Divine Bovine
  563. "Journey for Life" Re-Issued: Book Signing Planned
  564. Politicians and Potting Soil
  565. Ah, Summer Peas!
  566. Trash and Treasure
  567. Try "Mood Foods"!
  568. Wellness: The Mind-Body Connection
  569. Lives Restored: Faces of Recovery
  570. June Is for Healthy Eating
  571. Green Thumb Dads
  572. Silent No More: May Is Mental Health Month
  573. Welcome to The Peer Post


Wellness Center Hours

Mon-Fri 7:30 to 3

Happy Patch Market Hours

Mon-Sat 9 to 5:30

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Perry Wellness Center | 302 E. Furlow St., Americus, GA 31709 map | 229-924-2430 | 

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