MedShare Recognized by the State of California for Their Commitment to Waste Reduction

MedShare, a top-ranked local charity, was named a 2011 Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)winner by the State of California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

MedShare receives CalRecycle's WRAP award

The WRAP awards honor California companies and nonprofits for workplace solutions to cut their waste output and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. MedShare was recognized for their efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment that helps to improve the environment and healthcare for the medically underserved. This is the third consecutive year the nonprofit has received the honor.

“This year’s WRAP winners are evidence that businesses and organizations of all sizes are achieving significant waste reduction and recycling goals, all while helping protect the environment and preserve our natural resources,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said.

MedShare launched California’s first large-scale medical supply recycling center in 2008. They collect unused, unexpired surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and medical distributors. These are items that would be destined for landfills, but instead, MedShare redistributes them to needy hospitals in developing countries as well as community-based health clinics throughout California.

“MedShare continues to deliver innovative solutions for healthcare providers that want to green their operations and we are honored that our waste reduction efforts are being recognized by the State of California,” said Chuck Haupt, Executive Director, MedShare’s Western Region. “In cooperation with leading hospitals and manufacturers we were able to divert an amazing 228 tons of surplus in 2011.”

In Northern California, there are more than 30 hospitals participating in MedShare’s innovative Hospital Recovery Program. These hospitals recognize the local environmental benefit that their contributions have, as well as the impact that they will have on people’s lives around the globe.

In 14 years of operation, MedShare has shipped over 750 forty-foot shipping containers of surplus medical supplies and equipment abroad, which accounts for over two million cubic feet of landfill space saved.

Trustee and Council Chair Mary Bersot Named Finalist for Community Leadership Award

Mary Bersot, MedShare Trustee and Western Regional Council Chair, was recently named a top-three finalist in the “Volunteer of the Year” category of the 2011 Community Leadership Awards presented by The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews.  As part of this honor, she traveled to New York on September 14 to attend the group’s fifth annual awards ceremony, and had the opportunity to ring the NASDAQ bell the following morning.

Mary Bersot, Trustee and Council Member, representing MedShare in NYC's Times Square

Mary has been involved with MedShare since 2008, when we expanded to Northern California. Her leadership and fundraising efforts were instrumental in making this expansion successful during a recession, and she continues to build community awareness of our mission to responsibly recover and redistribute surplus medical supplies to those in need around the world.

We’re thrilled to share Mary’s account of this incredible honor and trip, in her own words:

“It isn’t often that an individual can take the spotlight and represent an organization such as MedShare in front of 600+ people, and then in Times Square. I recently had that privilege, however, when I was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Community Leadership Awards presented by Invest in Others and InvestmentNews in the Volunteer of the Year category. Clearly, it wasn’t me that was nominated. It was MedShare, and I was honored to represent this incredible organization.

First, I didn’t expect to be one of the three finalists and was surprised and honored to be included. On September 14th, my husband and I went to New York for the Invest in Others’ fifth annual awards ceremony to honor financial advisors who make a difference in their communities. We were also invited to ring the opening NASDAQ bell the following morning with the other finalists and sponsors. I have been in the investment business over 30 years and my dream has been to ring the bell and launch another trading session; I had no idea that I would feel such emotion and pride at being part of MedShare.

Upon entering the dining room the night of the awards ceremony, I was in awe when I saw the photo of the recipient country flags on the wall of MedShare’s Western Distribution Center on the main screen. This photo was chosen as part of the colorful backdrop as we met the other finalists, and I couldn’t help but recognize the sharp contrast between the lavish ceremony and the folks we serve both at home and abroad who couldn’t imagine such a fine event. Those flags helped me stay focused on why I was there.

I am just as happy making labels for the boxes of supplies bound for Haiti as I am taking a bow in front of 660 people. What those attending the reception didn’t see were the thousands of volunteers and staff behind the scenes that have made it possible to ship over 700 forty-foot containers full of much needed medical supplies to countries around the globe. One person can’t possibly take credit – it’s truly a collective effort. The contribution MedShare makes to global health is enormous, and as the story was told throughout the event more and more people expressed a genuine interest.

It was overwhelming to think that I was recognized by my peers at the event, and the next morning I found myself as excited as a kid entering Disneyland when I walked onto the NASDAQ set. I didn’t really care if the market was opening higher or lower – I was just excited to be there. We had our individual photos taken at the podium, which were then projected outside on the 3 story NASDAQ tower in Times Square. We rang the bell as a group and went outside, where we had our photos taken again. I had no idea that behind me would be MedShare’s logo projected two stories high for all of Times Square to see! I felt such pride and excitement. Now I know what it means when someone mentions their fifteen minutes of fame!

I am proud to be part of an industry that gives back and to have had the opportunity to share the MedShare story with the many remarkable people I met. My hope is that the recognition MedShare received those two days continues forward so many, many more lives can be saved.”

-Mary Bersot, MedShare Trustee and Western Regional Council Chair

This article is an excerpt from our October e-newsletter. For more – including a letter from CEO Meridith Rentz, our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment with icddr,b and Americares to strengthen health systems in Bangladesh, and how to get your family and friends involved – click here.

MedShare’s Mary Bersot Honored for Contributions to MedShare in New York

We mentioned earlier this week that Mary Bersot, MedShare Trustee & Western Regional Council Chair, was named a finalist for the 2011 Community Leadership Awards presented by The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews.

Mary was honored for her significant contributions to MedShare last night at the Invest in Others Community Awards in New York. While not selected as the top winner, she was one of just 3 people selected nationally as finalists as “Volunteer of the Year.”

Hundreds of entries for the Community Leadership Awards are received each year, and 2011 brought nominations for nearly 300 advisors from over 100 different broker/dealers and custodians. Finalists were determined by a diverse panel of industry leaders and InvestmentNews editors, and were selected based on their level of involvement, contributions, and the impact of their efforts.

This morning, Mary had the opportunity to join The Invest in Others Foundation in ringing the NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell:

The Invest in Others Foundation Rings the Nasdaq bell on September 15, 2011. MedShare's Mary Bersot (front, in the white shirt) joined them.

Invest in Others Charitable Foundation visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square following the Invest in Others Community Leadership Awards, which were held Wednesday night at Cipriani 42nd Street. Invest in Others is a public charity established in 2006 to celebrate financial advisors across the industry for their philanthropic efforts. (via)

Congratulations, Mary!

MedShare’s Mary Bersot Named Volunteer of the Year Finalist

Our own Mary Bersot, Trustee & Western Regional Council Chair, has been named a finalist for the 2011 Community Leadership Awards presented by The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews. The recipient will be announced at the group’s fifth annual awards ceremony in New York on September 14 to honor financial advisors who make a difference in their communities. Bersot was among three finalists selected in the “Volunteer of the Year” category. Invest in Others will make a charitable donation to each of the finalists’ charity of choice.

Mary has been involved with MedShare since 2008, when we expanded to Northern California. Her leadership and fundraising efforts were instrumental in making this expansion successful during a recession, and she continues to build community awareness of our mission to responsibly recover and redistribute surplus medical supplies to those in need around the world. Recently, Bersot spearheaded a project to sponsor a container of medical supplies and equipment that was sent to the Kingdom of Tonga in April, 2011.

InvestmentNews featured a wonderful article on their site about Mary that we wanted to share with you:

2011 Community Leadership Awards Finalists


Mary Bersot

MedShare may not be a household name yet, but Mary Bersot is striving to fix that. 

The Georgia-based organization collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, medical distribution companies and individuals. It then solicits donations to ship them to impoverished health care facilities in the developing world and free clinics in the United States. 

Since 2008 Ms. Bersot, chief executive of Bersot Capital Management LLC in Mill Valley, Calif., (primary custodian Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services) has led the effort to expand MedShare’s resources beyond Georgia by leasing a warehouse in California. The organization currently collects medical surplus from 60 hospitals in the two states. 

In the past 18 months, Ms. Bersot has raised $100,000 to help fund shipments of supplies to Haiti and American Samoa for earthquake and tsunami relief, respectively. She also secured a $270,000 in-kind donation of medical supplies and recruited high-level community leaders to promote awareness of MedShare on the West Coast. 

“For me, it was a very easy decision to get involved in MedShare, because I’ve witnessed the primitive condition of clinics in Africa,”; Ms. Bersot said. 

“I believe that providing better quality medical care for the underserved here and internationally is critical for a healthy world,”; she said.

Mary and her husband, Tom, are headed to New York on Tuesday for this special event. Please join us in wishing Mary the best in the comments section below! For more information, you can read our press release here.

MedShare Southeast’s Rookie of the Year Volunteer Award: Rona Gilchrist

On Friday, September 2, 2011, Meridith Rentz, MedShare’s CEO, awarded Rona Gilchrist with our Rookie of the Year Volunteer Award.

MedShare CEO Meridith Rentz award Rona Gilchrist our Rookie of the Year Volunteer Award

Rona may be a familiar face to those of you who volunteer in our Decatur sort room. She’s contributed an impressive 320+ hours since this January, and has been a tremendous help in the MedTeam store, volunteer programs, and other countless other ways at MedShare. There aren’t enough words to express how grateful we are to our volunteers; without their incredible dedication to our mission, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission of bridging the gap between surplus and need. To all of you – thank you!

Congratulations, Rona, and thanks for your wonderful support! Please join us in congratulating her in the comments section below…

If you’re interested in signing up for a volunteer session in either our Decatur or Bay Area facility, please click here.

MedShare’s Southeast Region Employee of the Quarter: Tesfah Gebremichael

Every quarter, MedShare staff vote to elect an “Employee of the Quarter” in both the Southeast and Western Region. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated strength in the following areas:

  • Exemplary service provided during daily work
  • Notable contribution to department and/or overall organization
  • Projects an attitude of teamwork
  • Commitment toward excellence
  • Contributes to high staff morale

This week, MedShare’s Southeast Region named our newest Employee of the Quarter: Tesfah Gebremichael, Biomedical Engineer.

MedShare's CEO A.B. Short congratulating Tesfah on the announcement

CEO A.B. Short speaking about Tesfah's accomplishment

Tesfah first came to MedShare as a student at DeVry University. He volunteered under our Senior Biomedical Engineer, Eben Amstrong, in MedShare’s biomedical department, and made such an impression that he was hired full-time after graduating. Tesfah is incredibly hard-working, talented and always has a positive attitude. We consider ourselves lucky to have him on staff!

In addition to the wonderful recognition, Employees of the Quarter receive an extra day off and a prime parking spot. Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Tesfah!

MedShare SE Recognizes Moctar Bayor for 10 Years of Service

Moctar Bayor

Earlier this month, the MedShare Southeast office recognized Moctar Bayor for TEN years of employment. Moctar is a Distribution Center Associate, and began working with MedShare immediately after moving from Ghana.

Moctar works hard keeping our warehouse in impeccable order and loading containers for shipment. Of Moctar, an employee said:

I just wanted to take a time out to acknowledge Dr. Moctar Bayor for his continuous hard work that he does here at MedShare. On many occasions Moctar has been prevalent with his duties, but today I was amazed by his hard work even though he is pushing 65 years next month!

Today Moctar and I unloaded a truck with 58 boxed P.E.T’s, with each box weighing over 100 lbs. Now with that being having been said, Moctar and I manually unloaded the truck – a task that involved heavy lifting and pushing of each boxed P.E.T. Without any complaint, Moctar’s only response to our duty was “they loaded it very well” followed by a humble smile.

Originally from Togo, Moctar practiced medicine for many years before moving to Ghana. To read the inspiring story of his past, click here.

MedShare is lucky to have such a dedicated and hardworking employee, and we’re grateful for all of Moctar’s hardwork!