Everything added up when it came to choosing Craig Slusser, senior accountant in the Fiscal Department, as the Pittsburgh Mercy Colleague of the Month for May.
Jerry Crockett, grants administrator for the Fiscal Department, nominated Slusser for the award because he exemplifies Pittsburgh Mercy’s core values of reverence, commitment to the poor, safety, justice, stewardship, integrity, and courage in his everyday work. Crockett says Slusser is “humble, unostentatious, and more than willing to help” in whatever ways he can.
“In all things he does, Craig is thoughtful, thorough, diligent, and decisive,” Crockett wrote in his nomination. “If you have a question and ask Craig for an answer, you do this knowing that the response he provides will be as wholly complete as he can possibly muster.”
Slusser mainly focuses on monitoring, posting, and reconciling cash transactions and bank accounts for Pittsburgh Mercy. This includes bringing in all charges and payments activity for programs billed in Avatar, as well as the Family Health Center and the Pittsburgh Mercy Pharmacy, into PeopleSoft. He also reconciles and posts all cash sweep transactions from our bank accounts to Trinity Health related to benefits, shared services, payroll, and accounts payable.
Slusser has served as a senior accountant in the Fiscal Department for 12 years. Prior to joining Pittsburgh Mercy, he worked for three other companies, one of them a Fortune 500 firm.
“I’m a numbers person,” Slusser says, “which is why I got into accounting in the first place. It feels good to be able to utilize my job skills with an organization that helps people in the community. Accounting is an important role that keeps things going, that makes it possible for those who work directly with people to help them.”
Using an analogy, Crockett eloquently described his colleague: “If we were to compare Pittsburgh Mercy to a ship, Craig operates in the crow’s nest, watching for dangerous hazards to be avoided and helping to guide the crew towards their destination. In many ways, this can be thankless work. If done well, the ship glides across the waves and arrives to its port without incident—nothing noticed, nothing mentioned.
However, if a storm is brewing on the ship’s plotted voyage, Craig’s information may mean that the time at sea is extended. While this keeps passengers and crewmates safe, the prolonged voyage keeps these same people onboard longer than expected. In all cases, safe and successful journeys across seemingly placid waters are made possible because of a constant stream of information relayed to those at the helm, helping them to avoid perils just over the horizon.”
Crockett continued that Slusser’s primary duty is “to present truths in their purest, unmodified forms to support and guide those leading the charge in delivering care to persons served. This responsibility requires unfettered attention to details, unwavering values, and comes with heavier burdens than some may realize. The information he provides through his work helps to chart Pittsburgh Mercy’s path forward, and mistakes, omissions, or misinterpretations could lead to dire consequences.
“He must have the insight and courage to do what is right and represent only those known facts, regardless of the instances where these truths can be inconvenient or daunting. Craig works without ego to help guide Pittsburgh Mercy toward safe, bountiful outcomes all in the name of doing what is best for those most in need.”
Slusser says the biggest challenge in his job is meeting the five-day, financial closing deadline each month that enables us to report our financial information on time to Trinity Health, our parent organization.
Outside of work, Slusser is an avid sports fan, following the Buffalo Bills (he grew up in New York State) and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He plays drums for his church and plays with a ‘90s-2000s cover band, “Seven Mile Detour.”
He and his wife, Karen, will celebrate their 25th anniversary this August. They have three children: Bryan, 22, who is starting his career; Amanda, 20, and Jonathan, 18, who are college students.