Interview with Alisha Madrone; NP, CNM

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alisha and her lovely 8 month old son for an hour or so. It was so enjoyable to get to know her better and see what her world is like. I hope you enjoy hearing about her and her journey as much as I did!

Alisha is one of the newer additions to Zenana Spa and Wellness Center (ZSWC) and we couldn’t be happier to have her as part of our wellness team. She is a nurse practitioner as well as a certified nurse midwife who offers pre, peri, post, and what she calls well-women care which includes family planning, STI screening, annual exams, pregnancy care, and basic primary care.

You might be asking yourself why Alisha Chose ZSWC as her venue to practice. Alisha felt it was a serendipitous move and found herself wanting to offer a different kind of care. The alternative setting helps to dissipate stereotypes surrounding women’s health care and hopefully bring a sense of ease to those who may see these services as uncomfortable. Alisha also saw choosing ZSWC as a way to tap in to the protective nature of women and offer a safe space for women to feel comfortable and to be proactive about their health.

It was fascinating hearing about what brought Alisha to nursing and midwifery. She describes it as a calling. Alisha began school in Alabama where she attained her bachelors degree. In Alabama at that time, it was actually illegal to be a midwife and perform midwifery services. So, she worked in labor and delivery, learning the ins and outs. Her next destination was Tennessee where she also practiced nursing with a focus on labor and delivery. From there Alisha decided travel nursing was the next step and decided to pursue that avenue. She traveled to California, Hawaii, Colorado, and eventually to Portland. It was during her time as a travel nurse that she became introduced and worked with midwives and the practices of midwifery.

In 2002 Alisha’s journey brought her to Oregon where she entered the masters program in midwifery at OHSU. After graduation, she worked at Willammette Falls Hospital- a small community hospital. It was her work here that helped to lay the ground for becoming comfortable with out of hospital births. In 2008, after feeling a little burnt out and disconnected with her patients, she began searching for that “something” to keep her profession more fulfilling. She applied to Chinese medical school. Shortly after enrolling, she was offered a position with Vivant midwifery, performing home births, and a teaching position at OHSU. She decided not to continue with the pursuit of a chinese medical degree. Today, Alisha is no longer with Vivant but still teaches at OHSU and attends births part-time. Near the end of her pregnancy, Alisha met Dr. Jess Desbrow and they began contemplating together the idea of a small practice and the possibility of sharing space together. And, that is how they both fell upon ZSWC.

Since the birth of her son, 8 months ago, Alisha has not taken on any new prenatal clients but has recently started to introduce the idea back in to her practice gradually. I asked her a little bit about how her work and life has changed since becoming a mother. She described it as a great reminder that balance is the most important thing and that without taking care of herself, she would not be able to care for her son or her patients. Alisha loves the connection and continuity of the life process with the women she cares for. She loves the journey and the empowerment aspect of encouraging women to take their health seriously and to take their health in to their own hands.

Alisha does strive to meet people where they are so she does offer a sliding scale for those in need or without insurance. She also accepts any and all insurance providers. If you have a questions about Alisha’s services or about affordability, please feel free to contact ZSWC or her directly.

We left with a hug, and this advice: “Trust yourself and follow your intuition, trust and surrender in the birth of life and the choices you make, take care of yourself 1st and then you can do everything, don’t be afraid and use money as an energetic exchange- give it less power.”

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