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“She’s incredible, must be medical”

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, right, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, shows another Airman how to complete the mental health examination of their pre-deployment process at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, right, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, shows another Airman how to complete the mental health examination of their pre-deployment process at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018. Durrence won Air Mobility Commands’ 2018 Mental Health Airman of the Year for excelling in her field, including her work in the neurological testing program.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, measures a patient’s vitals at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, measures a patient’s vitals at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018. Durrence won Air Mobility Commands’ 2018 Mental Health Airman of the Year for her willingness to take on new challenges, such as a leadership role in the alcohol drug and abuse prevention and treatment program. (U.S. photo by Airman 1st Class Scott Warner)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, second from left, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, leads a mental health morning meeting at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Durrence, second from left, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, leads a mental health morning meeting at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 29, 2018. Durrence won Air Mobility Commands’ 2018 Mental Health Airman of the Year for excelling in her career field, including being a leader in the Air Force’s opioid-free pain management program. (U.S. photo by Airman 1st Class Scott Warner)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla --

Senior Airman Amber Durrence, a 6th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., was named Air Mobility Command’s 2018 Mental Health Airman of the Year.

MacDill’s 6th MDOS leadership nominated Durrence because she reflected Air Force core values and demonstrated not only expertise in her career field, but leadership above her grade and overall commitment to the Mental Health clinic mission.

“Airman Durrence always has a great attitude,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Allen, Durrence’s supervisor and the 6th MDOS NCO in charge of the behavior health optimization program. “She continually exceeds expectations, leads by example and is consistently hungry to help.”

A few of Durrence’s accomplishments include managing a Department of Defense neurological testing program, in which she prepared and examined approximately 1,100 members. By doing so, Durrence saved MacDill providers approximately 550 hours and $28,000.

She also was a leader in the Air Force’s opioid-free pain management program, played a vital role in the alcohol drug and abuse prevention and treatment program, and developed a flight tracking system to clear up months of backlog. She managed all of these duties while volunteering as a 6th Security Forces Squadron augmentee member and led a “Back to School” event, which helped approximately 1,900 attendees.

“She takes initiative and stays late to help out the office while making her demanding work load look effortless,” said Allen. “She is willing to take on any role, which is really a big understatement.”

One of those roles was leading a Pain and Well-being Group (PAWG), which was previously led by a non-commissioned officer.

“We use to have a technical sergeant that led the PAWG meetings, but Senior Airman Durrence has filled in wonderfully,” said Dr. Mary Ann McGrath, a 6th Medical Group behavior health consultant. “She is always professional, attendant, prepared and incredibly efficient.”

Despite all the recognition, Durrence remains humble.

“I am really grateful and honored to be receiving this award,” said Durrence. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of my mental health team and leadership.”

No matter the job, Durrence consistently has shown she is up to the task and it has earned the admiration of her co-workers.

“I love working with her,” said McGrath. “I couldn’t ask for anyone better.”