CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions and its research partners are getting attention from national geriatrics experts. We were thrilled to get an invitation to present at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) conference last month in Orlando. AGS is a national nonprofit made up of more than 6,000 doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and others committed to improving the quality-of-life and independence for older adults.
Dustin Ziegler, CICOA’s vice president of clinical engagement and integration, spoke about our work with Dementia Friends Indiana, while Kelsey Stinson, director of data and research, shared the success we’ve found partnering with research teams, such as Indiana University Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute, to recruit and conduct clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia.
Yes, it’s quite an honor to share the stage with some of the nation’s leading geriatrics experts. Even more, we were able to learn from experts around the country to continue to gain knowledge about this cruel disease.
Identifying challenges and opportunities through data
Gaining knowledge through data is crucial to best understand how we can serve older adults in our community.
CICOA has made research one of our key pillars. By doing this, we’re able to see a more vivid picture of the challenges our clients are faced with. This allows us to be more strategic, and it enables us to go from a more “cookie-cutter” approach to services to more customized services. For example, like most service organizations, we have a menu of services we provide. However, if through research we identify that one area in our community has a higher concentration of people diagnosed with both Alzheimer’s and cancer, we can create specialized programs for clients and their caregivers in that area.
Data collected and analyzed through our strategic research partners is a powerful tool. In addition to using research to inform us about needed services, it also is helping us identify new funding sources and grants, and it’s helping us identify opportunities for collaboration with other community organizations.
Through data collection we have learned that many of our Meals & More clients live in multi-generational households. If an older adult in the household has food insecurity issues, chances are high that other members of the household also are suffering. We’re working with our collaborative partners at Indy Hunger Network to ensure food is available for other family members living with older adults who receive home-delivered meals from CICOA. This is something we never would have understood without data.
It’s only been about a year since CICOA has added a true research component to our strategy, but in that time, we already are making an impact on the lives of clients we serve in Central Indiana. We could not do this without Indiana University, Regenstrief Institute, Stanford University, University of Washington, University of California San Francisco and others.
Knowledge is power. We are working to dig deeper, seek more understanding of challenges and ultimately have an even greater impact on the lives of those we serve.
Interested in partnering with CICOA’s Research Institute for a research study? Reach out and see how we can help.
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.