Alisha Baldwin


Calhoun Nursing Student Makes Hundreds of Protective Masks for Healthcare Workers

May 6, 2020

Although first-year Calhoun nursing student Alisha Baldwin of Huntsville, AL has another year remaining in the college’s nursing program, she is using her current education to benefit healthcare workers fighting to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Serving as an Air Traffic Controller in the National Guard from 2003-2013, Baldwin survived an explosion during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Bagdad. She was injured after becoming in close proximity of indirect enemy fire. As a service member to the country, she always had a love for helping and protecting people. Baldwin wanted to do more and felt she had not fulfilled her desire to serve others.

On November 17, when the first COVID-19 case surfaced in China, Baldwin began diligently tracking new developments on the virus. She felt an unrelenting drive to do something to help. As soon as the first case was announced in the United States, she immediately knew there might be a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment). She turned on her sewing machine and began making masks for healthcare workers in between her coursework. “It started with a few dozen masks for neighbors, friends and family who work in healthcare,” commented Alisha Baldwin. “As of today, I have stitched more than 300 masks for healthcare workers at Huntsville Hospital, area clinics and as far away as Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” added Baldwin.

Donating masks to a hospital in her hometown would seem obvious, but some may wonder why Vanderbilt? Both Huntsville and Vanderbilt were chosen because that is where she fell in love with nursing and the nursing profession as a whole. In the fall of 2013, after returning from the National Guard, Baldwin was diagnosed with cancer. Nurses at both Huntsville Hospital and Vanderbilt played a vital role in her treatment and recovery. That’s when she decided to begin her collegiate journey at Calhoun in the fall of 2018 and began taking the required prerequisites to enter into the competitive nursing program.

“It makes me feel weird for receiving recognition for doing the right thing,” said Baldwin. Service to her country is something Alisha doesn’t take lightly. If she could get in the trenches and help fight the war against COVID-19, she would, but since she can’t, making masks is her way of fighting and helping. “Alisha Baldwin is an awesome example of selfless service to our country,” commented Dr. Lynn Hogan, Calhoun Nursing Department Chair. “She is a not only a great representative of Calhoun’s Nursing Program, but she genuinely embodies the characteristics of a great nurse and we look forward to seeing her graduate from the program,” added Hogan.

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Alisha Baldwin