► Background: Physical therapist, dance instructor, and owner of Mountainside Physical Therapy, Mountainside Dance, and Hazel River Arts and Antiques in Washington, and Lakeside Physical Therapy in Unionville. Anne Williams has Volunteered with RAAC Community Theatre, Aging in Place and Rapp at Home, Claudia Mitchell Fund grantee for children and adult dance scholarships. Moved to Rappahannock in 2007. Lives with her husband, Dennis, six horses, one dog and a cat on Hazel River Farm in Sperryville.
► e Spark: Physical pain is what led me into my career in physical therapy. Growing up in the country and through gymnastics, dance, and other activities I was always getting hurt. I had my share of injuries, broken wrists, elbows, vertebrae, injured hips, etc. You name it. It was these injuries and my eventual healing that motivated me to want to help other injured people live a life without pain. My experiences have given me a lot of insight and compassion when it comes to understanding other people's physical challenges.
► Proudest Achievement:
Completing college and graduate school as a single mother, while supporting myself, is probably my proudest achievement. On a professional level, I worked with a patient who su ered brain and spinal cord injuries and was con ned to a wheelchair for ve years. A er working with him for three years he was able to ditch the wheelchair, start walking, and go back to a normal life. Helping people gain back their independence gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction and sense of achievement.
► Biggest Challenge: Starting my own business from scratch with just a massage table, a bottle of lotion and a clipboard, and eventually building it to include two physical therapy centers, a dance center, and an antique business. Having survived the nancial e ects of Covid was a big challenge, as it was for a lot of people. It was touch and go. We had to close for a little while, but eventually I was able to keep the dance center going, provide physical therapy services, and keep 17 sta members and contractors employed. Keeping the businesses running continues to be an ongoing challenge.
► Why It Matters: It is easy for people to get lost in the health care system and not always get the help they need and return to the things they love to do. It matters to me that I can help the farmer continue to farm, the dancers continue to dance, and people live in their homes independently. I don’t think I’ve ever turned anyone away because I believe helping people achieve their goals, along with a good dose of hope and positive reinforcement, can really make a di erence in a person’s life.
► Favorite Rappahannock Treasure: This place has a sense of community that I have not experienced anywhere else. So many of us know each other and interact in cooperative ways that contribute to the greater good of our county. The common thread is everybody values the sense of peace and beauty we enjoy here. I think that is what is really cool about this place.