Allissa Ward

Allissa Ward is a CNA at Eastern Maine Medical Center. She works on the respiratory floor and can truly appreciate the needs of her patients as she has lived with asthma since she was a little girl. Her breathing has grown more difficult over the years to the point that she could no longer climb the stairs at work and playing with her children was difficult.  “I have always gotten sick, gotten my asthma under control, and then stopped paying attention to it until I had another flare up.” Recently, after two trips to the emergency department, Gavin Ducker, MD, her provider suggested she might benefit from some extra help.

Doreen McKenna, a nurse at Inland’s primary care offices who helps patients with chronic diseases. “I truly love this approach to helping people. Patients know we’re here for them and that we will help them understand their doctors care plan and learn how to live better with their disease,” explains Doreen.  The relationship Doreen is building with her patients is helping them understand and manage their disease and get back to living their healthiest. “Part of what I do is empower people that they have a choice and being healthy is a choice,” shares Doreen. 

When Allissa met Doreen in the fall of 2011 she was barely able to breathe, her asthma was out of control. They started talking weekly about different approaches son Allissa could get a handle on her asthma. “I knew I needed to quit smoking but I didn’t think I could. She helped me weigh my options and supported me and I did it. I haven’t smoked in six months.” That was just the beginning of the successes these two would accomplish together.  Doreen also convinced Allissa to get a peak flow meter, she’d never used one and Doreen was convinced it could really help. “She was right – by knowing my baseline I am able to catch little symptoms and treat them before I need to go to the emergency room.”

Feeling better than she has in years, Allissa is enjoying long walks and adventures outside with her children and excited about making even more changes in her life. “I want to get healthier, lose weight, and be a better example to my family.”