Professionally, I’m fulfilling my dream of nursing, and emotionally, I’m fulfilling my passion for health care for the poor.
One grandmother was the first woman to get a driver’s license in Pennsylvania. As the youngest child of a large farm family, she drove the vegetables to market once a week. Nancy Lascheid’s other grandmother was widowed with four children – and then took in five more children when her brother’s wife died in childbirth.
Pittsburgh native Lascheid inherited a legacy of strength and resolve.
Like most people, she and her husband, Bill, moved to Florida expecting sunshine and rainbows. But they found a kind of paradise lost. So many low-income workers were desperate for health care. “We began to see a side of the community that was being neglected,” said Lascheid, who is a registered nurse. Bill Lascheid is a physician. Nancy worked from the time their children started school for a hospital and university in Pennsylvania while Bill was in private practice. “As medical providers, the needs we saw were their healthcare needs, and coming to Florida to enjoy sunshine and the charm and all the things that are so special here … suddenly, we saw another side, and as a result, we fulfilled a mission I believe we were called to do.
“The first day we retired (in 1998) … my husband looked at me and he said, ‘Nancy, I’m being crushed by my silence. We know too much.”
That shared passion and a legal pad began the Neighborhood Health Clinic journey 15 years ago. It took years of lobbying with legislators to push through measures that covered clinic doctors with malpractice insurance, but Lascheid and her husband – whom she describes as “my life” – made it happen.
Sometimes, it was at the expense of attending all the family birthdays and graduations. “I think compensation is the pride we see in the eyes of our children and the grandchildren and the comments they make,” Lascheid said. “They get it.”