Some people re-use. Many people recycle. But few do as much as Elizabeth McLellan.

McLellan, a nurse at Maine Medical Center, is the founder of Partners for World Health, a nonprofit organization based in Scarborough.

Because of strict government regulations, hospitals and nursing homes throughout Maine must dispose of perfectly usable soap, syringes, surgical tools, IV tubing, gauze, crutches and hundreds of other medical supplies.

Those supplies used to go to the landfill. Now, McLellan collects and redistributes them to countries in need.

When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, Partners for World Health sent nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies with the Army National Guard to treat Haitian residents.

When civil war ravaged Libya’s health care system, McLellan and other volunteers traveled to Benghazi to deliver supplies and train medical staff.

From Asia to Africa to Latin America, McLellan’s efforts have aided tens of thousands of people, possibly more. She spent much of this month in Bangladesh, building relations so Partners for World Health volunteers can deliver supplies and train medical staff in the future.

“It’s irresponsible to let these supplies go to waste when so many people around the world are in need,” McLellan said earlier this year. “With just a few supplies and a little training, we can save so many lives.”



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