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Baldwin’s legacy honored in new simulation center

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Standing by the Ruth Ann Baldwin Room in the School of Nursing’s Simulation Center & Clinical Learning Lab are Ruth Ann Baldwin’s husband, Gary Baldwin, and her daughter, Jo Ann Becher. Ruth Ann Baldwin taught clinical skills in the School of Nursing for 15 years before retiring in 2001. Her family gave a gift of $100,000 in her honor.

Teaching and nursing were Ruth Ann Baldwin’s life. Baldwin, who earned her bachelor’s (1979) and master’s (1985) degrees in nursing from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, later taught clinical skills in the School of Nursing for 15 years, retiring in 2001.

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This class photo of Ruth Ann Baldwin was taken while she was earning her master’s degree in nursing at the UT Health Science Center. She graduated in 1985.

“She took her work very seriously,” said longtime colleague, Willie Hayak, M.S.N., RN. “She was very dedicated to helping her students learn to develop the psychomotor skills, such as giving injections, but also to applying theory and using available data to make good decisions on behalf of the patient,” Hayek said. “She expected perfection from her students, and they admired her for her specificity and her interest in their learning.”

Physically fit and a competitive runner alongside her husband, retired Air Force Capt. Gary Baldwin, Ruth Ann Baldwin surprisingly had a stroke in 1996. “She was very persistent in her rehab and she was able to regain a majority of her mobility. She came back to work in the clinical skills lab. Through those efforts and because the students knew her and admired her, she was quite an inspiration,” Hayek said.

Gary Baldwin recently gave the School of Nursing an endowment of $300,000 — $200,000 for student scholarships and $100,000 for the School of Nursing’s new Simulation Center & Clinical Learning Lab. The Ruth Ann Baldwin Control Center in the simulation center is named in her honor.

“The nursing school was her life. That’s why I decided to do something therein her memory,” Gary Baldwin said. “Ruth Ann was very dedicated to nursing and to her students. I have a feeling that even if Ruth Ann hadn’t passed away that we would have been making this gift,” he said. He also has included the university in his estate plans to supplement the endowment.

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