CICOA works with local, national organizations to find solutions through research

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When organizations like the prestigious Regenstrief Institute, Stanford or Indiana University call to ask for help, your ears perk up. Afterall, we’re a community-based organization, not a national program. Our expertise is caring for vulnerable populations, not research. Nevertheless, CICOA has earned a national reputation for its programs, innovation and outcomes.  

That is why a team from Stanford University will be visiting again this summer and why we’re partnering with the University of Washington and the University of California San Francisco, among others. While research isn’t our focus, participating in it can help us do even more for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers. The research being done today, right here in Indianapolis, also has the potential to change national policy and improve the lives of vulnerable populations across the United States.

I want to share what we’ve been up to, and how you can get involved.

First, about Stanford (yes, that’s where Andrew Luck played college football). Impressed with the partnerships CICOA has with IU Health, Eskenazi Health and other health organizations, Stanford University School of Medicine and Center for Clinical Excellence wanted to learn more. A team visited in 2019 as part of a study on value-based care involving community-based organizations (pictured above). The Stanford team is returning this summer to present their findings and explore ways to develop replicable models. What began as one project is evolving into a continuing collaboration that could have a significant impact on CICOA service delivery and may be life-changing for our clients.

Here’s a snapshot of research happening now:


Indianapolis Food Communities

Everyone in Indianapolis needs to take this survey. The findings will be used to eliminate food insecurity in the city. CICOA is working with several community partners, including Indy Hunger Network, food pantries, the City of Indianapolis and more, on this initiative. While CICOA’s meal program focuses on seniors, we know many households include several generations under one roof. This survey looks at food access for everyone.

Transportation Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This survey will help CICOA and other councils on aging, the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), and Easter Seals identify how older adults and people with disabilities from racially, ethnically and culturally diverse populations access and use transportation.


Self-Care While Caregiving

In partnership with Indiana University Health and Human Sciences, we’re working to understand barriers to caregivers in engaging in physical activity. We know burnout among caregivers is high, and we want to find out what barriers prevent caregivers from taking better care of themselves, including getting exercise. The results will help us gain insight into the ways we can support caregivers in leading a healthier lifestyle. The study is for people 60 and older in Marion County who are caring for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Decisions about Cancer Screening in Alzheimer’s Disease

CICOA is partnering with Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute, an Indy-based research institute focused on health innovations, in a two-year study of how nonpaid female caregivers make medical decisions for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Rural Dementia Caregiver Project

The University of California San Francisco and the National Institute on Aging sought CICOA’s help in a six-week, interactive, social support and skills-building workshop for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This research focuses on caregiver stress and depression in rural communities.

LEAF: Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers

This study is in partnership with the University of California San Francisco, Northwestern University and the National Institute on Aging and tests a program for lowering stress among family caregivers of people with dementia.


Bi/Multiracial/Multi-ethnic and Bisexual 50+ Health and Wellbeing Study

This research is in partnership with the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and explores how life experiences of bisexual adults 50 and older influence their health, wellbeing and community connections.

Aging with a Disability

This is a community health study with the University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine focused on adults ages 45-64, who have been living with a physical disability and/or long-term health condition since before the age of 40. Researchers want to test whether a phone-based health and wellness program can help individuals as they age. 

Dietary Nitrate and Muscle Power with Aging

In cooperation with the Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences and the National Institute on Aging, this study examines whether drinking beetroot juice improves exercise performance in older men.

This is an exciting time for CICOA as we leverage partnerships with these prestigious research institutes and universities to better care for older adults and people with disabilities in Central Indiana. I hope you’ll want to get involved so we can all enjoy a better tomorrow.

CICOA President and CEO Tauhric Brown
Tauhric Brown

As President and CEO, Tauhric Brown uses his strategic vision and experience in the elderly and disability service industry to expand CICOA services and collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. Before joining CICOA, Brown served as the chief operating officer for Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career started in the U.S. Army, and then he became a successful owner/operator for a multi-carrier wireless retail company. Inspired by his family and upbringing, he made the switch to the nonprofit world to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of others.

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