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Piedmont Recognizes Respiratory Therapist Who Helped Family Say Goodbye to Newborn on Their Terms with Systemwide Award

Atlanta, Ga. (May 3, 2022) – Amanda Durrence, a neonatal respiratory therapist at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, is the winner of the annual President’s Award given by Piedmont leaders. Piedmont Healthcare President and CEO Kevin Brown personally selected Durrence from thousands of nominees for her efforts to give the parents of a critically ill newborn the chance to hold their baby in the NICU as they made end-of-life decisions for the infant.

Piedmont’s promise is to make a positive difference in every life we touch. The organization recognizes one employee from each entity within the system on a monthly basis for living Piedmont’s values in the form of a Promise 360 Champion Award. At the end of each year, every entity awards an annual winner and from these, the President’s Award winner is selected. Patients, family members and Piedmont employees may enter nominations.

At a recent virtual celebration, Brown told Durrence, “Having my own children and seeing the agony and the joy that come through the unit you work in—your story was really special. We are so grateful to have you at Piedmont. You are what makes Piedmont great.”

Durrence held ventilator tubing in the proper place for nearly three hours so the parents could have as much time as they needed with their baby before making the decision to withdraw life support.

“The chance of the breathing tube coming out while they were holding [the baby], if somebody wasn’t standing there, was high. And I did not want that decision to be made for them before they were ready to make it themselves,” Durrence explained.

“I’m proud to represent other respiratory therapists and so proud to work alongside everyone who works here,” Durrence said in accepting the honor.

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