Our Exciting Journey at Ruby

At Ruby we started with decades of hands on experience providing services for people with intellectual, developmental and mental health disabilities.  We then opened our own agency, Elegant Clinical Corporation, in 2012.  We quickly learned there was an ongoing need for our agency services. We also learned our industry needed a comprehensive, easy-to-use system for preparing and storing the thousands of pages of documents required when working with individuals with disabilities requires.  Working with our team of software engineers, we developed the Ruby Electronic Documentation System, or “Ruby Docs”.  Today Ruby Docs has evolved into an elite system that truly meets the needs of all of us who work in the disabilities field at the state, regional, national and international level. The Ruby system was first developed and tested at our own agency where we applied our working knowledge and experience to build a “dream system”. Our background is in psychology but we are growing and expanding our services into new areas of intellectual and mental health.  We are proud of what our software development team has accomplished, but will continue to build upon our success as a developer of easy to use, easy-to-learn, affordable record keeping systems for medical professionals. We encourage you to join us on what we are sure will be an exciting and productive journey.

Getting On the Road with Our Solution

When I first set out to find an electronic documentation system for our agency, Elegant Clinical Corporation, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. What was available was either too hard to learn, difficult to install, or too generic to use. Instead of making life easier for us they just created more work for them. They were also expensive and required endless training sessions. Again, more work!

So I set out to develop a product that had all the features we needed at low cost, was easy to use and was designed specifically for people like us. I’m pleased to report that we did it! We are now using it, benefiting from it, and sharing that benefit with others.

I couldn’t be more proud of what my team has accomplished. We have been traveling over the past few weeks, meeting with people, talking about Ruby Electronic Docs and educating our niche market about what we have done. It is a product you will want to use, want to tell others about and that we are proud to share with others.

Because we truly know and care about the individuals we serve, we are offering our solution, Ruby Electronic Docs, to our industry. We offer a provider-to-provider product because we care. And we understand.

Building From the Ground Up

Building an organization from the ground up is both exciting and frightening . . . with very little in between! You soon find how much you need to learn, not matter how good you are at what you do, and who is there to help you – or not! Of course there are always people out there who really don’t want to help you at all, along with naysayers, skeptics, and those who already have more than enough on their plates. But after a while, the whole process begins to come together, as you learn what to expect from yourself and those around you.

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Recognition

Recognition goes a long way. I always feel good when someone thinks of us. The holidays are traditionally a time when we recognize those closest to us. We send them a card or a note, give them a gift. Talk to them. It could be those we know through business, or our personal lives. No matter. It is a time when we express our gratitude for those who are part of our lives and part of our universe.

But lately I see less gratitude being expressed. Maybe it is because we are all so busy, so preoccupied and stressed there is no time to reflect gratitude for, and to, those who make our lives better. Maybe it is the volatile world we live in? Yet I really, really believe that recognition and gratitude are the foundations of our personal and professional life and must always be expressed.

It is really important to keep our relationships alive and intact. As a company, as part of the Ruby community, and for all those who are part of our success, we want everyone to know we are so grateful for knowing you. We recognize how wonderful you are . . . and thank you every day.

Social Skills, Plus Work, Create Opportunity

Social skills and work go hand and hand.  Both combine to ensure success in the workplace.  Social skills teach us everything about life — and I do mean everything! They teach us about personal hygiene, getting along with others, how to handle conflict, maintaining relationships with difficult people, managing emotions and much more.  Outside my office door I can observe ongoing social skills being developed right here at Elegant Clinical Corporation.  I am proud to say we are a state-of- the- art organization, with many interconnected activities that are not only fun, but relevant and relatable.

The daily job environment that our individuals are exposed to here simulates real-life work situations to ensure personal growth and growing independence for all those we serve.  Because things are changing rapidly in the workplace — not only where we live, but all across America — it is imperative that we all take a hard look at what works, and what doesn’t, for individuals in the workforce.  From our perspective, more education and greater understanding of  the needs of individuals, is badly needed. For most  individuals social skills training helps, giving them a jump start finding a place in the job market. But that isn’t all that is needed.

In order to create a better work environment for everyone, it is essential to think hard about how we can make more businesses appreciate the needs of individuals and boost general understanding throughout the broader population.  I have seen successful businesses, both new and well established, that effectively employee our individuals in coffee shops, florists, auto detailing and mechanics.  Admittedly, these businesses may be run by those who want to make a difference for their own family members,  or for  friends with disabilities.  But these businesses sustain individuals who might otherwise be overlooked or left behind. But there is still a larger group who are not yet working, partly because the level of public understanding is just not established firmly enough to sustain higher levels of long-term employment.

The same sense of accomplishment that makes any worker thrive, can be shared much more broadly than it is today. It is time to find more realistic alternatives for our individuals who work, instead of vainly hoping that they will be sustained in a highly competitive job market — if only conditions would allow them better access.

Resources for Those Serving Individuals with Disabilities

I have been reading articles lately about how scarce resources are today for those with disabilities. Really? A lot of unsung heroes work on a day-to-day basis creating loving, caring and stable environments for these individuals. Their combined efforts are a powerful force. But yes, more resources are always needed, as well as more charitable contributions. To keep support coming, it is important that those who donate see positive outcomes and progress made in the programs they support. They may want to browse posts from you on social media, receive newsletters or even get some personal recognition. In order to accomplish all that, you may have to pull together to focus your resources. Also, get your individuals involved. It is amazing when everyone works together wat kind of can be achieved.

Make sure to let people know about your program, where to “like”, or “follow” you on social media. Collect and use e-mail and mailing addresses of possible supporters. Follow up with people. Make sure they know how grateful you are that they are supporting you.

Understand that the foundation for growth of any venture is ensuring you are grateful for all those around you. In order to grow, you have to work together. Maybe you cannot afford a Human Resources person right now. You may all have to do double, or even triple, jobs for the time being. Everyone may have to work harder. Try to think outside the box to create a program that is authentic for you and remember enjoying and absolutely loving what you do is key. It takes commitment, it takes sacrifice and it requires spirit. But it is all worth it in the end, both personally and for all those you are able to help.

Local Differences for Donations

In running a successful non-profit, it is hard to market services given tight budget constraints. The work we are all doing is mission driven and necessary. Yet it is really hard to build momentum when you are a local non-profit and serve a very specific area. Counties and states have large foundations, but it takes time and patience to get through to them.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for local and regional non-profits to band together to raise visibility in the community and beyond? It would create something to be proud of right in your own back yard. It’s difficult when no one has heard of you, or your business, and community members are donating to larger causes because they have a familiar name. Yet, in reality, positive outcomes are occurring all around us and close to home.

I am a firm believer that when you help your immediate neighbors and communities you can then partner with similar communities and groups to make an even bigger difference. But first each of us must do our part locally. Succeed in your own backyard then watch the momentum build to make an even bigger difference in the state and the nation!

Karen Gaston, Ed.D.
CEO
Elegant Clinical Corporation

Ahead of the Curve

Because we now have our amazing new management information and reporting system, Ruby Electronic Docs, we find we are able to spend even more time improving our successful program for individuals with mental disabilities, Elegant Clinical. At Elegant we provide a structured environment that also offers individuals the space needed to expand their horizons. We use our new 5000-square-foot facility to develop social skills in all our individuals and prepare them to live happy and productive lives. We accomplish this by using creative techniques including, exercise, music therapy and – soon — meditation and yoga. 

We believe it is crucial for us to stay ahead of the curve to keep our program vibrant and viable. Our goal is to find out what works and eliminate what does not. We are always moving forward. One thing we have learned recently is that open access to administrative staff does not work. We thought it would be a plus, but instead we found it increased frustration and negative feelings for individuals when they cannot get answers fast enough. This was never our intent.

On the plus side we have learned that making relaxation time available for individuals is very important. We structure exercise, lunch, music therapy, preparing job applications, and all other community activities, so there is always relaxation time.  This creates boundaries and manages expectations (something many of our individuals have never learned!) Stretching time with innovations like Ruby Docs allows us to stay ahead of the curve, empowering individuals and staff alike. It also helps keep our ship sailing smoothly and on an even keel – so important for running an effective top-down program.

Karen Gaston, Ed.D.
CEO
Elegant Clinical Corporation

Beginning of the Holidays 2016

The Holiday’s are coming. It is the giving season. It is exciting and a warm feeling. I love Halloween. I love to hand out Candy. I love this time of year. Then, there is of course, Thanksgiving, where we feed our bellies to all kinds of good stuff, pies, cakes, turkey, potatoes, squash, oh my! I believe this season is to pay it forward. I plan to continue to each year give more and more of myself and what I have to others without of course leaving me out. Remember to pay it forward this season! I am so cheerful it is starting! Because we have an electronic documentation system we can count on…we have more time for working on this season and what it brings, which is light and love!