The Cumulus collaboration platform grew directly from a need in the spring of 2020 for community partners to rapidly coordinate their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like community-based organizations nationwide, Aging Ahead, an Area Agency on Aging in the greater St. Louis area, faced daunting challenges as local communities and businesses went into lockdown. The demand for some services like home delivered meals skyrocketed, while delivery models for in-home services changed overnight. Using the ad hoc tools available, Aging Ahead and its partners coordinated outreach and service delivery, providing reassurance and services to socially and physically isolated shared clients across a huge geographic area. Relying on email, phone calls, spreadsheets, disconnected data systems and old-fashioned ingenuity they made it work – thousands of seniors and people with disabilities were served during that crucial time.
Once the initial surge of COVID-19 cases began to recede, Aging Ahead and its key partners realized they needed to prepare for potential outbreaks later in 2020 and 2021.
As we were scrambling to coordinate and collaborate with our partners in March and April, I knew we had to find a better way.
-Aging Ahead CEO Lisa Knoll
Aging Ahead envisioned an innovative collaboration hub enabling community partners to rapidly assemble around a common objective – and Cumulus is the result. Cumulus integrates data from partners' case management systems and utilizes automated task management to optimize coordination of the groups’ COVID-19 community response efforts.