First published in the Jan. 27 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Mary Donnelly-Crocker, who has served as executive director at Young & Healthy since its inception 32 years ago, will retire from the organization at the end of June.
“It is said that a good leader knows when to lead and when to leave … it’s time for me to leave this organization that I so love … so I can spend considerable time in a different role I have also grown to love: grandma,” Donnelly-Crocker said. “Four small humans in Santa Cruz will be getting large doses of grandparent time, as we plan to relocate.”
Young & Healthy’s mission is to provide access to high-quality healthcare for uninsured and underserved children and families, and to improve the quality of life for all children in the greater Pasadena area through prevention, education and enhanced healthcare services. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, Young & Healthy has provided $25,945,400 in volunteer medical professionals.
“I’m humbled when I look back and see all we’ve accomplished and all the ways that your generous gifts have been transformed into hope and well-being,” Donnelly-Crocker said in a letter to supporters.
Under her leadership, Young & Healthy evolved and expanded into the access-to-care and Trauma Informed Care fields, as well as health insurance enrollment and even tax assistance, all to benefit the Pasadena families most in-need. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she pushed the organization to become an early leader in COVID testing and vaccine distribution, all while keeping the organization on sound financial footing.
“It has been such a privilege for me to serve and lead Young & Healthy for all these years,” Donnelly-Crocker said. “This work has fed my soul. I can’t imagine who I would be if I hadn’t had the experience of watching this place grow and become all that it’s become. Please know that even as things change, Young & Healthy will carry on its important work and continue to meet the growing and changing needs of Pasadena’s most vulnerable children.”
In the last year alone, more than 350 healthcare professionals have provided over 20,000 services to almost 2,000 underserved children and adults, offering them direct healthcare services, COVID-19 resources, insurance and tax assistance, parent training, mindfulness education and more.
Board chair Sandy Roberts said that Donnelly-Crocker “deeply understands the needs of our community’s children, from both a data-driven perspective and a human one, and she has responded to those needs with effective solutions and good cheer. Her leadership and vision have positioned Young & Healthy well for its next chapter.”
The Young & Healthy Board of Directors has hired Morris & Berger, a Pasadena-based research firm with more than 37 years’ experience in the nonprofit realm. They will be supported by a transition team led by Board Vice President Christopher Mayne.
For more information on Young & Healthy and its mission, visit yhpasadena.org.