David Bouche: An illustrious healthcare leader who has served as a servant-leader for 44 years

Life is a succession of 5ks, not a sprint or a marathon. Seek God’s grace at each stride of those 5ks. Every day, do an anonymous, random act of kindness. “Be compassionate whenever possible; it’s always possible,” says HH Dalai Lama. 

Aster DM Healthcare’s Chief of Service Excellence (Corporate), David Thomas Boucher, is 63 years old. He was raised in Europe and the United States of America (USA). He completed his undergraduate studies at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and his graduate studies at the University of South Carolina.

David, a man of immensity, had worked in various vocations before becoming a successful professional. He revealed during the interview that his first paid work was as a rodeo cowboy clown helper in South Dakota. Furthermore, at 14, he founded his first firm, a house-painting business with a high school classmate. His practicality spared him from completing his bachelor’s degree. He spent seven years painting homes and saving every dime to pay for his education.

He is now the Group Chief of Service Excellence at Aster DM Healthcare. He was in charge of 27 hospitals, 250 pharmacies, and 175 physician clinics. On the other side, he is the corporate lead for Medical Value Travel to Dubai and Aster Medcity in Kochi, India.

Vicissitudes’ latitude

David has worked in hospital management for 44 years, which he regards as a blessing. He began his career as an undergraduate student at Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1978. He worked for BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina for more than three years before taking the post of financial director at a hospital in northern Vermont, USA.

He shared: “Nine years later, I moved to North Carolina in my first CEO’s position, then was later the CEO of two hospitals in South Carolina.” It also comes to the point that he returned to BlueCross in the year 2000 and was involved in contact center management and health information technology initiatives. 

In 2006, he believed his stay at Bumrungrad International Hospital (BIH) in Bangkok, Thailand, to be a life-changing vacation. He said, “After returning to BlueCross after a week in Bangkok, I was asked to develop and incubate Companion Global Healthcare, an insurer-owned medical tourism facilitation firm. I traveled and visited hospitals in almost 30 countries with Companion.”

When he was set to retire in 2017, he was offered the Chief Business Transformation Officer position at BIH. He joined Aster DM Health Care in January 2021, after taking a few months off and withdrawing for the second time.

When Dubai Vibes Magazine asked him about his career, he answered: “Perhaps the highlight of my career was leading the turnaround effort at an American hospital in my first hospital CEO’s position. The hospital was near bankruptcy when we started, so we had to work very quickly to create a high-performing team. I have used lessons learned from Good Hope Hospital throughout my career.” 

He relishes the opportunity to be with the frontline Asterian daily in his current company. David enjoys spending as much time in their hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, labs, and optic stores. 

View towards challenges

“The most significant challenge is motivating speed to action. While we have made significant progress in service improvements over the past couple of years, we still have a way to go. I am continually signaling the reminder that “It’s not the big, the small, but the fast that eats the slow. So, while we are biased toward action, we need to accelerate the rate of improvement,” David said. 

He also mentioned that he didn’t realize it was okay to seek help until he was in his mid-40s. His most essential conflicts are those he fights within himself. It was tough for him at first to become a servant leader. However, after he submitted it, things were considerably more straightforward.

Today, according to David, he is living the dream. He visited Asterians and facilities throughout the GCC and India. He always reminds himself that it is a huge responsibility, but it is also much pleasure.

Dubai Life

He stated that Dubai is the safest place he has ever lived, and he appreciates living as a minority. David noted that Dubai has everything excellent. Overall, he finds it simple to evaluate and advertise Dubai as a medical tourism destination because the emirate has exceptional facilities and great physicians and nurses.

Gold Souks Market/ Creeks near the Al Fahidi Fort is one of his favorite spots in Dubai. As someone has always been fascinated by commerce, the souks give him a glimpse into the works of finance.

Did you enjoy reading the story?

This story has been featured in the 13th issue of Dubai Vibes Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Ms. Elaine “Bella” Marbella at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email to us at eic@dubavibesmagazine.com

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