Sallie Lipan-Callanen '65 BSN
Nurse and Quilter
July 22, 2020
I’ve been confronted with many challenges throughout my nursing career, which has included working in several hospitals, in a high-risk OB-Gyn practice in Washington, DC, teaching Maternal Childbirth classes, and successfully owning a medical sales distribution company. These experiences assisted me in the most rewarding challenge of my life; the recent coordination of a volunteer effort to produce surgical face masks for Beebe Hospital in Lewes, Del. Upon learning that face masks were in very short supply there, I called and asked if I could volunteer to supply homemade surgical masks. The hospital coordinator was delighted to accept my offer.
I contacted fellow members of my local quilting guild and was overjoyed by the level of concern, eagerness and energy displayed in support of this effort. From April through July, thirty-three fellow quilters teamed up to produce more than 3700 masks of various sizes & beautiful creative patterns. Dr. David Tam, President & CEO of Beebe Hospital sent a personal thank you note to each of the mask makers expressing his gratefulness for our valuable mask making efforts.
In addition to the much-appreciated notes of thanks, the Hospital Board allotted funds to have 50-kits, comprised of fabric, thread, needles, elastic, and rotary cutting blades, distributed to many of us. Each kit created 28-masks and was provided by one of our favorite supportive quilt shop owners.
Fortunately, by mid-July Beebe Hospital had an adequate supply of N95 masks, provided by its commercial medical supply source, so my “extra-ordinaire” quilters began sewing masks for a Navajo population in Kayenta, Ariz. It has been extremely rewarding while homebound to have been able to make a positive contribution to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in this together.