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Susan Carr and Adria Navarro - BEYOND THE VILLAGE

By Blog Master
Posted: 01/06/2021
Tags: bios


- Sue Kujawa -


When Susan Carr’s husband, Jim, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she turned to Alzheimer’s LA for help. As a Public Health Nurse who had worked for 40 years in the field, Susan knew how to find resources, and she found both resources and support from the staff and volunteers at Alzheimer’s LA. “They supported me on my six year journey. When I learned of his illness, I felt so alone. I realized it’s good to have someone to turn to who has been in the same situation and could guide me through the difficult decisions I faced.”


Susan became a strong advocate for her husband, and for others suffering from cognitive illnesses. She became a volunteer advocate for Alzheimer’s LA and focused on helping people in her community uncover resources to help deal with the many challenges that come with this disease. She co-founded Dementia Friendly Montrose, a community group based on a nationwide initiative that aims to improve the lives of those suffering with dementia.


After Jim’s death two years ago, Susan began building on the relationships she had formed with Alzheimer’s LA and with USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH). She shared her story with hospital executives and told them about the many people in the community who were reaching out to her for assistance. As a result, USC-VHH proposed the creation of a Community Resource Center focused on helping older adults.  As Susan explains, “The hospital wanted to do something for the community. I was only the catalyst.” In early 2020, with a generous grant from Navigage Foundation, the Community Resource Center for Aging (CRCA) became a reality.


During the days of dreaming and planning for a resource center, Susan often consulted with her friend and colleague, Adria Navarro. The two had collaborated on Dementia Friendly Montrose. Adria, a professor at Azusa Pacific University, had years of experience working with the Huntington Hospital’s Senior Care Network. Adria had also been a Board member of Pasadena Village and is now a member. It was a great stroke of serendipity when Adria was hired to be the Program Manager of the newly created CRCA.


Adria has always had a strong commitment to community. She finds great satisfaction in helping people navigate the system to access resources. Says Adria, “Our community resources can be so fragmented. I am thrilled to be able to go back to my roots, helping people seek support to meet their needs. USC-VHH has created a support network for older adults in our community at a very critical time."


Susan and Adria are examples of people who understand the value of community and the power of working together to achieve a larger goal. They bring expertise and experience that benefit our Pasadena Village. They receive friendship and support and practical help from the Village, and they go out into the world committed to making it a better place. We are grateful that they are examples of our impact “beyond the Village”.

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