eLIZABETH mClELLAN, rn, msn, mph
photo by: christina wnek
While working as a Nurse Administrator in a trauma center in Saudi Arabia, Elizabeth had the opportunity to visit a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. While she was there she observed a surgeon who had just arrived from the operating room; he began to treat a man’s wound with a used bandage, wiped his hands onto his blood-stained, cloth scrubs then continued onto the next patient. It was clear that this hospital lacked even basic supplies such as linens, gauze, gloves, bandages, or tape. Nurses were using glass syringes and reusable metal needles. Sinks were not available to wash one’s hands. As she stood there in the middle of what could only be considered chaos, she thought to herself, "Someday, when I go home, I'm going to do something about this."
In 2007, she did just that. Elizabeth began gathering discarded supplies from the Maine hospital where she was working. She positioned collection boxes in different departments, educating nurses and housekeeping staff to save medical supplies located in rooms of patients who were discharged. Once a patient is discharged from a room, all supplies left behind go to the trash. For two years, she continued to gather these supplies until she eventually reached capacity within her home. In 2009, Elizabeth rented her first storage space, and with a group of volunteers moved an inventory of more than 11,000 pounds of collected wheelchairs, crutches, wound care materials, gauze, syringes, tape, depends, gowns, alcohol wipes, etc. out of her home. This was the start of Partners for World Health (PWH).
Elizabeth was highlighted in Oprah Magazine’s 2019 “Love the Planet” issue, and was honored with UNE’s 2019 Deborah Morton Award. She has also been recognized as a “Leader and Luminary” by Camden National Bank, and as the winner of the 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award by the Patriots Charitable Foundation.
Elizabeth received her Doctorate of Public Service (Hon) from St Joseph College in 2015 and received her MPH, MSN, BSN, a diploma in nursing and a BA in Psychology throughout her career.