The Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award is a leadership and success award, and LeadingAge PA has named Susan McCrary the recipient of this award in 2023.
To the surprise of no one in her community, McCrary was not only put up for the award but also won it. She has all the makings of a great leader, and they know she is irreplaceable.
“Susie shared with the team her passion for serving low-income, older adults within the City of Philadelphia,” Acts Granite Farms Executive Director Brian R. Levesque said. “Susie began her career in aging services after a 20-year career in the field of Information Technology. She started at St. Ignatius Nursing and Rehab Center in June of 2002 providing IT support to the administration team and nursing staff. Recognizing that this was her true calling, Susie pursued her nursing home administrator’s license.”
Over two decades later, McCrary is still serving in the field of senior care. She loves helping out others, and her dedication to elders is top notch.
As if this was not already known, it became even more evident in 2020 when COVID started closing everything down and keeping everyone socially distanced. McCrary stepped up and did what she could do to ensure her residents still had the proper care they needed and deserved, and she also made sure her fellow senior care workers were shown a lot of appreciation as well.
“During the pandemic Susan worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of residents and staff, constantly communicating with resident families, board, donors, the city of Philadelphia and with LeadingAge to secure safety and dignity for all,” Patricia Talone, board member of LeadingAge PA, said.
In fact, during the height of the pandemic the public transportation system was shut down, which, as you know, is a huge deal in Philadelphia. However, McCrary figured out creative ways around this to help get her colleagues and coworkers to and from St. Ignatius.
On top of that, McCrary ensured everyone (both residents and workers) received their vaccines and all vital PPE. She was constantly taking charge and looking after everyone else, and that is what leadership is all about.
To put it simply, McCrary is as genuine and heartfelt as they come. Her selflessness is unmatched, and that is why she is appreciated and beloved in and around the St. Ignatius facilities.
“Through it all, Susan navigated these challenges with extraordinary skill and compassion for the residents, their families and the staff,” John W. Meacham, St. Ignatius administrator, said. “Susan is a spiritual person who has incredible inner strength.”
Whether you are talking about the way she carried herself (and others) through the pandemic or the way McCrary played a vital role in helping St. Ignatius get over the hump in the “ever-changing” healthcare environment, she really knows how to step up to the plate when she is needed most.
McCrary does not stop at her job at St. Ignatius either. She volunteers her time on multiple boards and works as an advocate within the aging services community. She really just wants to make a difference wherever she goes, and anyone who knows her will tell you she makes this a reality each and every day.
“Susie’s service to older adults extends far beyond her organization,” Levesque said. “She previously served as a member of the board of directors and secretary for SE-PANPHA (The Southeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging). Upon its dissolution, Susie was appointed to the board of directors of LeadingAge PA, where she served multiple terms as a very active and engaged board member.”
Talk about taking charge.
The leader in McCrary never takes a break in serving others and looking out for what is best for her residents and beyond, and that is why she is considered a leader by example. Many people look up to McCrary, and that makes her the ideal coworker to work with. People wish they could be half the person McCrary is, and that speaks volumes about who this amazing woman is.
“I have worked here for 12 years,” St. Ignatius acting Director of Nursing Deborah Lowman said. “I have always looked up to Susie. She is very approachable and ready to help in any way. She is very resident-focused, and she is warm and greets everyone with a smile. She is also a problem solver and follows up when something is brought to her attention.”
With McCrary you always know where you stand. And with McCrary where you stand it at the top of her list, as she loves everyone and she always approaches people with a smile on her face.
Between what she does for a living and getting to work with some great coworkers, McCrary has a lot to be joyful about at all times.
All in all, there are innumerable reasons as to why McCrary has won the Haas Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a leader in every sense of the word, and St. Ignatius is better because of her.
“There is no one within the membership of LeadingAge PA who is more deserving of this prestigious honor,” Levesque said. “Throughout her entire career in the field of aging services, Susan has demonstrated her commitment and dedication to improving the lives of residents and staff within her community of St. Ignatius Nursing and Rehab Center, as well as the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
“I also had the pleasure of working alongside Ms. McCrary as she served on the LeadingAge PA board of directors,” Anne M. Henry added. “She was always willing to share her views and experiences, especially as she often had a different point of view than other board members whose communities were significantly different from St Ignatius.”
McCrary is not afraid to speak her mind when it comes to what is good for the elders she serves, and that is yet another one of the many reasons as to why she won this award.
Congratulations to Susie McCrary!