BISBEE — “We thought she was about 80 or 90 years old with all she has accomplished. She is just remarkable.”
So said Kevin Driesen, representing the volunteer Arizona Rural Health Association, as he presented Danielle Bouchever, registered nurse for the Emergency Department at the Copper Queen Community Hospital, with the Distinguished Martha Ortiz Volunteer Award on July 14.
The audience in the conference room at Premiere Alliance was filled with CQCH administration and physicians, StepUp Bisbee/Naco, Old Bisbee Firewise, Naco Wellness Initiative and Bisbee city officials who were on hand to see this gifted woman with the big heart and compassionate soul who impacted so many lives in so many ways receive the well-earned award.
The award “honors an individual who has contributed extensive time, dedication and commitment to supporting a rural health program or project that is making an identifiable difference in the health care provided to people in Arizona’s rural and medically underserved communities. This award also considers an individual who has been a strong advocate in influencing and shaping policies and programs that impact the provision of health care to residents of rural and/or medically underserved communities in Arizona,” according to the University of Arizona Center for Rural Health website.
Driesen told the crowded room, “I was on the committee that selected Danielle for the award. We knew nothing about Danielle and we had eight applications for the award, but hers just stood out. The range of achievements she has accomplished from housing to healthcare to COVID and international work and binational work were remarkable.”
Besides being an emergency department nurse, Bouchever is one of the foremost grant writers for numerous nonprofits and the city of Bisbee’s fire department and workforce affordable housing program.
She doesn’t stop there. She is also the founder, along with her husband Sloane, of the successful Women and Children’s Hope Foundation to help those in need in Haiti.
Sally Holcomb, Arizona Complete Health regional manager of community and governmental affairs, said she was told about the Arizona Rural Health Association award and a staff member said he knew of a great candidate to nominate — Bouchever.
In compiling the nomination form, Holcomb said she had four pages of accomplishments and was not finished.
Speaking to the crowd, Holcomb said, “You think you know what she does, but she’s an iceberg. We see a lot on the surface and think we know, but every time I turned around there was more and more. It was getting overwhelming,” Holcomb said with a laugh. “After writing all this, I was wowed all over again. Just writing this nomination was a journey in itself.
“I’m humbled very much to know you and am grateful you live in our town. You do these things for the betterment of people. You’re selfless. And, you charge and charge and charge on to do these great things. She’s a great nominee. Everybody in this room has worked with Danielle. When she needs money what does she do? She rattles a cage or two. And, I’m one of the cages she rattles.”
Ann Carl, an OBFW founder, said, “The one word to describe Danielle is ‘indefatigable.’”
Sloane Bouchever joked, “I’m her full-time employee and funding developer.”
To which Danielle Bouchever said, laughing, “He’s one of the cages I rattle on a regular basis. He also always has my back. He supports my endeavors. I’m super lucky.”
She told how morning coffee opens up the brainstorming sessions between the two. She comes up with “crazy” ideas and bounces them off him.
His usual response is, “Is that legal?” she joked.
She emphasized how important it was to have such great community resources and organizations that help so many people in the Bisbee/Naco community. To her, health and wellness is more than a checkup at the doctor or taking medicines. It involves having proper housing, having emergency personnel who have the right equipment at their disposal, protecting homes from wildfire, ensuring the elderly and disabled can stay in their own homes and much more.
“The local organizations are the heart and soul behind the push to keep things moving along,” she said. “I’m in awe of this community and what gets accomplished.”
CQCH CEO Rob Seamon said, “Danielle is an inspiration. The work she does is amazing.”
Bouchever took on a major role in implementing the successful COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Bisbee where hundreds of people were accommodated over a period of a few weeks. In one day, medical staff vaccinated 1,000 people. The team made sure that every dose they were given ended up in arms and were not wasted.
Working with the Rotary Club of Bisbee, she reached across the border to help with annual Christmas in Naco gathering donations and essential items to meet the actual needs of the populace. The Naco Wellness Initiative is another organization Bouchever has helped.
Her nomination form stated: “Danielle has quietly and consistently contributed to the betterment of the Bisbee/Naco community wellbeing. Her contributions run the gamut from philanthropic giving to building and improving Bisbee parks, driving infrastructure improvements through grants and reports and using her nursing and community mobilization skills to fill gaps to access health care and create a better quality of life.”
Somehow, all the people who contributed to her nomination managed to keep it a secret from her.
“I had no idea,” she said with a smile. “I was in Haiti. I didn’t know anything until they called me. This was such a surprise. I’m honored.”