How Nutrition Danced Into My Heart

It was Alyssa Ward’s high school anatomy class that really got the wheels turning and peaked her interest with how the body works.

This interest turned into studying Human Nutrition Dietetics at Arizona State University, which later turned into a career with us at Mountain Park Health Center. Alyssa currently works as our WIC Nutrition Services Coordinator at our Tempe Clinic.

Growing up, she was a very successful competitive dancer. She was able to travel and perform for audiences all over the world, finding China to be most fascinating.

“I stopped dancing many years ago and now I just do it for fun,” she said. “My two younger sisters are into dancing. Now, I enjoy sitting back and watching them.”

Alyssa comes from a big family and has seven siblings. Her father is a software engineer and her mom owns her own business.

“I have two sons, Luke and Owen, and recently got engaged to Heidi, a nurse practitioner at our Gateway Clinic.”

Luke and Owen are all hugs.

Heidi, Alyssa, Luke and Owen enjoy spending time together as a family watching Michigan Football and participating in sports. 

Heidi and Alyssa met at our old East Phoenix Clinic and have been together for three years now.

“As a family we are really active and love to play sports. Our boys love Legos, so we spend a lot of time building, and we are huge football fans. Our older son is in a football league and the little one is exploring other sports,” she said. “And of course, we love Michigan Football. I’ve been brainwashed into ‘Go Blue’ because Heidi went to University  of Michigan.”

Working at Mountain Park allows Alyssa to live out her dream of teaching and giving people access to resources and nutrition. As the link to WIC and the rest of the organization,  Alyssa makes her team members feel supported and heard.

“It was noted very early on that Alyssa stood out,” Brittany Andrus, Breastfeeding Manager at our Tempe Clinic said. “Alyssa has a top-notch work ethic. She commits to tasks, creates staff training and excels at everything that is asked of her. This has earned her the respect of her co-workers one by one. She is an amazing asset to our management team–always having a ‘We can do it’ attitude.”

Thanks to her mom, Alyssa prides herself on being organized and detail oriented, something that is valued and appreciated at Mountain Park.

“I am able to absorb information and help others understand how something impacts their job or life,” she explained. “This transfers over to my relationship with the clients, and even family. I try to figure out the struggles people are faced with and help them attain their goals for themselves. Being organized really helps me get my work done without errors.”

Mountain Park is known for having people with passion work in our clinics and advocate for our patients and each other. We are here to provide our community with an abundant amount of resources and make sure that it remains easy, affordable and accessible, no matter what.

“We give a lot back and there is a lot of satisfaction in what we do,” Alyssa shared. “I feel like we are all here for the same reason and we are united for a common goal and to me, that’s inspiring. My driving force is equality for others. I just want everyone to feel loved and respected.”

Alyssa, you are in the right field and organization. We are grateful for all that you do for those around you!

The whole clan at Heidi’s graduation ceremony at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!

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