Born and raised in an underserved community on the east side of Cleveland, Marshae Lashley knew she wanted to spend her career making a difference by providing health care resources to individuals in need. As a student in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing’s Master of Nursing program, Lashley connected with the Student Run Health Clinic and discovered its mission—to provide free health care to all—perfectly aligned with her goals. When given the opportunity, she sought a leadership role and was named the clinic’s nursing director.
“I wanted to give back to the community that played such a major role in my life,” Lashley said. “Bringing free services to the community around me is one way I can ensure I am being the change I want to see in health care.”
Lashley has aspired to a career in health care since childhood, becoming a state-tested nursing assistant and working at local nursing homes while in high school. She went on to a historically black university in Nashville to study biology on the pre-med track.
After several shadowing experiences, Lashley switched her career focus to nursing and spent a few years working as a nursing assistant after graduation before applying to CWRU.
“The therapeutic relationship between a nurse and a patient is the reason I decided to change my career path to nursing,” Lashley said.
In addition to her work with the Student Run Health Clinic, Lashley is a class representative of her cohort, a member of the Primary Care Progress team, a blood service volunteer for the American Red Cross, and a youth speaker for the Cleveland nonprofit Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
The Student Run Health Clinic has not been able to provide direct in-person care during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has offered several outreach programs, including a hygiene product drive and a campaign to fight systemic inequality.
During this time, Lashley also has helped lead the Student Run Health Clinic’s plans for a new location, which is expected to open in January.
“It has been such a difficult task remaining active without actually being inside the clinic, but we never stopped working to make a better tomorrow and that is what makes me so proud to be an [clinic] director,” Lashley said.