Crystal Littlejohn, MHSA, CMC, CSA

As a Certified Geriatric Care Manager, Crystal has spent her career in service to seniors. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Plymouth State University, as well as a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from Strayer University.

During a health care career spanning almost 25 years, Crystal has obtained quality experience in the assisted living, skilled nursing, assisted living memory care, hospice and geriatric care management arenas.

In addition to her Care Manager Certified (CMC) credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, she holds a Certified Assisted Living Facility Manager Certification (CALFM) through the Arizona Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers. Additionally, Ms. Littlejohn obtained a Certified Senior Advisor designation (CSA) and is an active member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. In 2012, Crystal achieved certification as a Professional Patient Advocate from the Professional Patient Advocate Institute.

Crystal has been an active member of the Phoenix Metropolitan area health care network since her move to Arizona in 1994 from her home state of New Hampshire. Her education, experience and compassion for seniors make her an ideal advocate for this very special population.

As founder and Certified Geriatric Care Manager for Geriatric Resources, LLC, Crystal assists seniors and their families to identify needs, locate appropriate resources, and hire and monitor necessary services to keep them living safely in their preferred environment.

Petra Romero

An Arizona native, Petra plays a vitally important role as the Office Manager/Assistant Care Manager with Geriatric Resources, LLC. Prior to working with Geriatric Resources, Petra worked as a Lead Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) at CVS pharmacy in the heart of Sun City West, Arizona for approximately 15 years.

Petra began her pharmacy career with CVS in 1996, training as a pharmacy technician. Over the next few years she became nationally board certified as a CPhT and ultimately worked her way up to becoming lead pharmacy technician in 2001. She was very dedicated to her work and especially drawn to her senior clientele.

As she built relationships with her loyal customers over the years, she recognized that many of them did not have any local support or advocacy during their more difficult times. She so often felt bound to one side of the counter and powerless to help them.

In March 2011, Petra joined the Geriatric Resources team as the Office Manager/Assistant Care Manager. Since joining the team, Petra has been steadfastly dedicated to supporting and assisting Geriatric Resources’ clients, their families and the team. Life has imitated art in Petra’s personal life as she had cared for both her grandparents, both of whom had played major roles in her life as her “parents”. Petra has always had a passion for serving the senior community as she always wanted to give back for all her grandparents had done for her.

Through years of compassionate customer service and dedicated work ethic, Petra enjoys fulfilling her calling to serve seniors and give back every day through the important advocacy roles that Geriatric Resources’ plays in clients’ lives.

Luann Arvonen, BS, CMC

Luann’s professional career spans more than 29 years working in the senior care continuum, and she earned her certification through the rigorous protocol of the National Academy of Certified Care Managers.

A native of New Jersey, Luann earned a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation therapy from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. She began her career in healthcare with 10 years’ experience working with seniors in the skilled nursing facility setting. Following that, she held professional positions in memory care, assisted living, independent retirement living, and hospice care environments, helping older adults and their families adjust to the changes and challenges unique to each setting.

Luann’s skill in assisting older adults as they navigate complex medical, living and social challenges has been invaluable to countless families over the years. Over the course of her professional career, Luann has been working and living her passion – care and advocacy for seniors. Her philosophy is based on providing the same level of care and advocacy for the client that she would (and did!) provide to her own parents. All are to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, in order to allow as much autonomy and independence as possible. Through the years, she has been involved with many service organizations and has held positions on a number of boards, all devoted to enhancing the lives of older adults.

Luann’s strong observational skills and natural curiosity combined with her expertise ensure that all of her clients and family members are well-informed. She works to bring all available options to clients and families, giving them the information they need to make the best decision for optimum quality of life.

Val Litchy, MA

Val Litchy began her career in services to older adults in 1988, following completion of an undergraduate degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Working for a hospital-affiliated continuing care retirement community in Madison, Val served on the President’s Cabinet. During her eleven-year tenure there, she assisted in the operation and development of a senior living spectrum of housing and services where older adults could be part of the overall community in a dynamic downtown urban environment.

After relocating to Phoenix in 2002, Val continued to work to improve quality of life for seniors. As Community Relations Coordinator and Executive Director at a memory care facility, Val assisted seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias transition to and live in a supportive environment designed for their needs, and worked to support their families throughout the process. During her time with a home care services company, Val built an understanding of the support available from services delivered in a senior’s existing living environment, and coordinated provision of services there. As a Geriatric Care Manager, Val brings a thorough understanding of the spectrum of services available to seniors wherever they choose to live, and experience in addressing and adjusting to their changing needs and condition.

As part of her passion for service to seniors, Val has served on community boards, advisory committees and in charity event planning. Throughout her career, Val’s overriding goal has been finding the ideal living environment and service combination for individuals at each moment in their lives. In her work with seniors and families, Val draws on her experiences, both professionally and personally, to identify, address and communicate those changing needs, and to help seniors and their families understand and find joy within each season of their lives.

Rachael Johnson, BSW

Rachael is new to AZ, moving here with her family in 2021 from Indiana. She has been working as a case manager for the last 14 years and fell in love with working with older adults when she was a Care Manager at the Area on Aging in Indiana. Rachael lost all her grandparents by her early college years and now realizes how precious that time was with them. She has grown to love listening and learning from older adults about their life experiences. Rachael brings her Social Work ethics and integrity to care management in caring for and bridging that gap for loved ones for our Seniors. She understands the importance of communication for those who cannot be local or available to their loved ones and is excited to be able to be that advocate and link to ensuring the best care.

Rachael graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Ball State University in Muncie, IN in 2009. During her college courses, Rachael primarily focused on working in Child Welfare, helping families through hard times and getting back on their feet. Rachael changed her career focus when she began her work with CICOA, the Area on Aging in Indiana, working with older adults and individuals with disabilities. Throughout her time here, Rachael worked as both a Case Manager and Case Manager Team Lead implementing resources and services so that individuals could remain in their home safely. Rachael believes in the importance of ensuring that our Seniors are taken care of with the utmost dignity and respect.

When Rachael isn’t working, she spends her time with her husband and four kids at sports, working in her garden or exploring all that AZ has to offer.

Kate Sawert, P.T., M.A.

Kate grew up in Arizona, watching her parents care for and support friends and neighbors through life transitions. An early predilection for the performing arts gave way to a lifelong career passion when Kate met a physical therapist in the medical practice that her mother managed.

Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University.  She worked in pediatric, orthopedic, home health and acute care settings with the goal of improving both functional mobility and quality of life for her patients.

During her 30-year career as a health care provider, Kate was drawn to the older adults she was privileged to serve, delighting in their stories and gaining from their experience. She developed health and wellness workshops and traveled around the country to share her knowledge and to learn from her participants.  She later joined Franklin Pierce University, Plymouth State University and Midwestern University as an adjunct professor teaching behavioral science and psychosocial aspects of health care.  Her most cherished role was stepping in to care for her own parents as their health declined.

As a home health physical therapist in the Phoenix area, Kate had the opportunity to partner with patients and their families to locate community resources and to maximize dignity, autonomy, and optimal function for each individual she met.  She brings this wealth of experience to her role as Thought Engagement® Specialist for Geriatric Resources.

Dalynne Denhof, BS

Dalynne is excited to join Geriatric Resources as a Thoughtful Engagement Specialist. Her love and respect for the senior community began as a child while growing up close to her grandparents. Their house was always a safe and loving place for her to go. After the passing of her grandfather, Dalynne remained close to her grandma and formed a close bond. Recognizing the valuable wisdom available, she often turned to her grandma for advice and comfort. Years later, life circled back when the opportunity came for her grandma to move in with Dalynne and her family. She is grateful to have been able to return some of that love and care back to her grandma and allow her children to better know their great grandma.

Connecting with and supporting others is a passion of Dalynne’s. She graduated Cum Laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho with her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Marriage and Family Studies. Dalynne is an advocate for healthy family relationships. Being able to support loved ones and fellow community members is an important part of her life. She volunteers with various community organizations and has earned certifications in Advanced Marriage & Family Function and Marriage Family and Human Relations.

Years ago while visiting another grandma in a nursing facility, Dalynne saw a need in the senior community for those living in facilities who don’t receive visitors. As she was raising her children, they would make cards and visit nursing homes to visit, perform musical numbers, and spread some love and cheer. Showing love and respect to the older generations of our society is an important part of the life circle. Seniors offer wisdom, experience, advice, and strength to the younger generations if they are but willing to listen and learn.

Monica Gardea

A native of Surprise, Arizona, Office Assistant Monica Gardea was a pharmacy technician and a cafeteria manager for Dysart School district before joining the Geriatric Resources team. She continues to serve on the PTO board at Dysart high school.

As the first voice callers hear, Monica brings professional skills, a calm and caring demeanor and great sense of fun to all her interactions with our clients, their families and service providers. Our clients, families and care partners also receive the benefit of her skills in managing a blended family of seven children, two grandchildren and 3 dogs!  Monica also provides support to her elderly grandmother, who recently experienced a fall, knee replacement and skilled facility stay, acting as a caregiver for her one day each week.

Additionally, Monica serves our clients in a one-to-one role as part of our Thoughtful Engagement® Program.  In that role, she has taken clients horseback riding, has researched executed meaningful outings to the butterfly garden, aquariums, museums and has just time spent together with clients talking about music and their other interests.

In her spare time, Monica enjoys cooking, classic rock, quilting, puzzling, and bringing together family and friends.