Innovation: Pioneering Possibilities in 2024 and Beyond

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A new year often symbolizes a fresh start and positive energy. Some people celebrate New Year’s Day by opening the door at midnight to “let out” the old year and welcome in the new one. It’s exciting to look at the 12 months ahead, full of opportunities.

As we enter the new year, I’m taking a moment to reflect on the current state of home and community-based services for older adults and people with disabilities.

CICOA celebrates its monumental 50th anniversary this year. For decades, we’ve been providing essential services to ensure that vulnerable populations receive the care and support they need to live fulfilling lives. But as the needs of the people we serve has changed over the years, we too have adapted and innovated to best serve those needs.

Innovation has the power to transform the way we provide care and support to older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers. By developing new solutions that are more efficient and effective, we can improve the quality of life for those who need it most.

This year marks a pivotal moment in our journey, as we anticipate unique challenges and opportunities on the horizon. Let’s embark on this innovative exploration together, focusing on how CICOA plans to shape the landscape of care services in 2024 and beyond.

Setting the Stage: Current Challenges and Trends

As we head into 2024, we have our eyes on a few challenges and trends. Staying ahead is key to providing impactful solutions. With the aging population, emerging healthcare needs, the transition to Indiana PathWays for Aging, and shifting preferences in care delivery, we’re committed to navigating this intricate terrain and addressing the specific considerations that will arise.

Wrinkle Innovation: Focused on 2024

Wrinkle Innovation, CICOA’s venture studio, is at the forefront of our forward-thinking approach, driving intrapreneurship and corporate innovation. Wrinkle’s portfolio already includes two award-winning businesses aimed at filling in the gaps in social care – Duett, B2B software that connects clients with home healthcare more efficiently, and Postbook, an intergenerational postcard exchange that nurtures social connections. Bringing these ideas to fruition has been a catalyst for nurturing a culture of innovation at CICOA.

In 2024, we are intensifying our efforts to ensure our initiatives align seamlessly with the evolving needs of older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers. This commitment reflects our dedication not just to keeping pace but leading the charge in delivering transformative solutions.

We are dedicated to bringing innovative solutions to market that improve quality of life and that build capacity and efficiency for the organizations that serve them. We walk alongside staff and collaborative partners to ideate, prototype and launch new solutions to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. The result of this exciting work is not only visionary but also deeply rooted in the practical realities of care delivery.

Overcoming Challenges

As with any transformative journey, challenges are inevitable. At CICOA, we are fostering a culture of adaptability, emphasizing continuous learning and cultivating resilience within our team. The challenges of 2024 are seen not as roadblocks but as opportunities to innovate and refine our approach.

Opportunities on the Horizon

Exploring opportunities for innovation in 2024 will involve strategic collaborations and partnerships. Local business and community leaders, impact investors and supporters play a crucial role in shaping these opportunities. Together, we can capitalize on emerging trends in human services and healthcare to usher in a new era of care services that are not only efficient but also deeply compassionate.

Our vision for the year 2024 includes ongoing and upcoming projects that promise to leave a lasting impact on the communities we serve.

  • At the national level, Wrinkle Innovation will provide consulting work to help area agencies on aging across the country ideate and prototype solutions to improve care and efficiency.
  • Locally, we’re walking alongside Joy’s House to develop and grow Caregiver Way, an online community (website) dedicated to providing trusted information and encouragement to family caregivers.
  • In the last quarter of 2023, we launched our third enterprise from Wrinkle Innovation: Twain Health, a B2B SaaS platform that powers collaborations with social care. It was created from the belief that better care is delivered when health and social organizations work together. In 2024, we’ll continue to grow this business.
  • To kick off the new year, on Jan. 1 we launched INline, a compliance-in-a-box product/service. As we navigate the terrain of compliance with ever-evolving standards and regulations, this comprehensive solution for community-based organizations not only ensures adherence to compliance but also promotes a culture of excellence and consistency.
  • 2024 holds many opportunities for impact fundraising and cultivating partnerships to launch more exciting innovation solutions!

CICOA is committed to staying at the forefront of these innovations. We are excited to see what the future holds, and we look forward to continuing to work towards a world where everyone has access to the care and support they need to live fulfilling lives.

As we embark on this exciting journey into 2024, I extend an invitation to all our supporters: join us in shaping the future of care services. Together, let’s redefine the narrative of home and community-based services, ensuring that older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers receive the highest quality of care in a landscape that is dynamic, forward-thinking and profoundly impactful. Your support is not just an investment in our organization; it’s an investment in a brighter future for all.

Related: Impact investors Mike Simmons, and Tauhric Brown and wife Laura donate to CICOA’s Wrinkle Innovation Fund, toward the goal of creating an endowed innovation fund over the next few years of at least $1 million.

HOW CAN WE MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT?

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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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