NuPath hosted its third annual Technology Summit on Friday at the Hilton Woburn. Company executives, program managers, and special guests joined President and CEO Dan Harrison for a discussion on the current state of NuPath’s technological advancement and plans for the future.
The keynote speaker was founder and chairman of the Delphi Group Tom Koulopoulos. According to the website, his organization is a collection of “Strategic Business Advisors and Technology Market Makers focusing on the intersection of business and technology.”
In his hour-long talk about the ever-changing state of technology, Koulopoulos began by lauding NuPath for their continued work in providing individuals with disabilities the tools needed to live and grow in the community.
“I was genuinely moved by the mission and the purpose of this organization,” he said. “What really impressed me is not what you’re doing, but how you’re doing it.”
Koulopoulos used this as a launching point to engage in a discussion about how technology and how we “are entering an era where the ability to connect is important”. According to him, community is not possible without connectivity between everything and everyone. In addition, Koulopoulos declared people “will not be able to navigate life without connectedness.”
It is a direct link to NuPath’s Navigating Life project, part of the “One NuPath” movement. One of its main goals, according to NuPath Vice President of Marketing and Communications Greg Morris, is “community inclusion, taking us to a program without walls.”
“One NuPath” is based on providing community-based supports for all individuals to be involved in the communities with which they live and work in.
The use of technology in this mission is paramount according to Morris. NuPath recently partnered up with AT&T and the Salesforce Foundation to create a comprehensive network that encourages staff to use the tools given to them for the betterment of individuals being served. It includes the use of iPads, iPhones, and various other devices distributed to all residences and day programs for use in the community.
Morris also announced a partnership with New Horizons Learning Center to train NuPath staff with the new technology given to them on a one-to-one basis.
Since Navigating Life began, it has been largely successful. NuPath has 42 technological devices active across 19 groups averaging around 150 posts per day that are program related. In addition, 40 families of served individuals have signed up for the program with 87% of them reporting a positive reaction in a recent survey.
Navigating Life has continued to grow since the turn of the year according to the Manager of Mobile Technology and Outreach Ann Burket. “Active utilization has increased from 41-percent in January to 73-percent in July,” she proclaimed. “Only four families originally signed up for Navigating Life; today, we have 40.”
However, not everyone has jumped on board. According to Morris and Burket, 62-percent of eligible families do not participate, 40-percent are not aware of Navigating Life, and 27-percent do not understand the technology associated with it. To correct this, AT&T Client Solutions Executive David Decola announced a plan that, in part, includes the development of a Navigating Life application for increased usage and accessibility among staff, individuals, and families.
A dozen NuPath facilities will be included in the Navigating Life network by the end of the year, including its Martin Center day habilitation program in September.
Technology is important to the “One NuPath” philosophy but Morris reminded the audience that “the power of us is greater than the power of technology” and that all employees “should be looking for ways to improve services.” It serves as a reminder that the power of human thought will always be paramount to the technical devices employees will use.
In his closing remarks, Harrison delivered a reminder to those in attendance, summing up the day’s events and presentations regarding NuPath’s future.
“We are all of us connected. [One person] is not responsible to see to it that technology and innovation is used effectively throughout this organization. This is a shared responsibility.”
If the “One NuPath” mission and Navigating Life movement are to succeed, it must be a collective effort amongst the nearly 400 employees that make up NuPath, not just one person.