PHOENIX — The community is remembering a woman who spent her time listening to those who may have felt unheard, or unsafe. Dana Hatcher, a Valley woman who dedicated her career to helping teens in need, has died from COVID-19.
"She was definitely the bright light that we didn't know we needed," says Nikki Kontz, clinical director, Teen Lifeline. "That was one of Dana's favorite parts of the job, is knowing that in a single moment, you can make such a difference in a stranger's life. She passed that passion on to each and every one of the kids on the hotline," says Kontz.
Dana Hatcher shined in her role as a prevention specialist with Teen Lifeline over the past two years.
She has helped thousands of teens and parents - statewide - in that time, by providing training on suicide prevention.
"The amount of lives that she has potentially saved and the hope that she has not only brought to us but has allowed us to continue, especially in this time that has been so difficult for many to have hope," says Kontz.
Dana passed away in late December after a month-long battle with COVID-19. Colleagues tell us, young volunteers, at the organization would look up to her as a mentor.
She spent decades in the field helping adults as part of a mobile crisis team. She also helped those with developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues but, her passion was working with teens.
"I think one of the most crushing things over the last two weeks is to see the heartbreak of our volunteers who miss her because she has changed their lives. She changed our life, all of ours, and she's made an impact," says Kontz.