Physical therapist grateful for her colleagues, opportunities after earning hospital’s highest staff honor

by Mike O'Kelly

St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing, MD, presented the 2019 Amos Jacobs Award to Amanda Curry, Rehabilitation Services, in October.

St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing, MD, presented the 2019 Amos Jacobs Award to Amanda Curry, Rehabilitation Services, in October.

Amanda Curry of the St. Jude Rehabilitation Services Department has spent much of the past year working to implement a new early mobility program for critically ill patients. Her efforts in launching the new program are a major part of the reason she was selected as the 2019 recipient of the Amos Jacobs Award—the hospital’s highest employee honor.

Curry, a physical therapist who joined St. Jude in February 2017, said she is honored by the recognition, but she also credited and thanked her colleagues who helped make the program a reality.

“It’s an honor to receive this award, but there were a lot of people involved in making this possible,” Curry said.

The BRAVE (Beginning Restorative Activities Very Early) initiative rolled out institution-wide in August. BRAVE establishes guidelines for patients to help mobilize them as soon as possible to decrease time spent in the pediatric Intensive Care Unit, bouts of delirium and ventilation time.

Early mobility is more than walking—it can be passive range of motion or something as simple as turning patients over in their beds.

A passionate advocate for the program, she has found resources, attended conferences and meetings as well as educated staff about the program's benefits.

St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing, MD, announced Curry as the winner at the hospital’s October Town Hall meeting.

“This is an amazing program, and it took Amanda’s advocacy, her skill and her ability to work with individuals to make this possible,” Downing said.

Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Curry entered college at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, debating whether to pursue a career in physical therapy or athletic training. As a physical therapist, she enjoys helping patients achieve their goals while also building a rapport with families.

“When you can help someone that you have built a relationship with, it makes your work that much more satisfying,” Curry said. “The real honor is working with our patients.”

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