Learn More about RRT’s Coordinated Campaigns

Eviction Prevention  |  PPE Coordination  |  Vaccine Education


The early weeks of the COVID-19 Regional Response Team focused on convening lead agencies from across the social services sector in our bi-state region. Conversation groups were organized into clusters as a way to identify and seek to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and those most likely to be impacted by the disease. In addition to these conversations, we conducted research with a broader group of providers and stakeholders.

What we learned from over 130 organizations was that basic needs were the priority for all population subsets. Having a cluster focused on basic needs was too broad.
Having a cluster based on population was too limiting.
We needed a way to refine the problem and the specific opportunities for improvement.

Members of the RRT told us that we needed to make a pivot, and we listened.  Rather than organize by cluster, we would organize based on the immediate need to solve problems. This is accomplished through “Campaigns” executed by “Strike Teams.”

Campaigns: An area of emphasis with a distinct need addressing an element of immediate concern for a vulnerable population in the RRT footprint.

Strike Teams: With a project manager on point, and flanked by social service agency staff, strike teams approach campaigns with tactical insights and leverage all resources at their disposal to identify and implement a solution.

National and international reports discussed impacts of the disease on vulnerable populations. Grounded in knowledge of the St. Louis regional issues in health disparities and access to care, three campaigns were launched in April by forming strike teams. Immediate steps taken by the strike teams included drilling deeply and immediately into

  • naming the issue,
  • assessing available resources,
  • leveraging assets (including dollars), and
  • activating a solution.

Strike teams were formed to address the following core issues:

  1. Dedicated services for homebound older adults and persons with disabilities
  2. School food programs
  3. Health and shelter needs of unhoused individuals
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Coordination
  5. Vaccine Education

The campaigns focused on urgency, capacity, and impact. Project managers assigned to those campaigns led strike teams made up of partners and stakeholders best suited to meet this emergent need. The RRT has continue to evolve its efforts as needs emerge to identify new campaigns.

March 2020 - Critical needs assessment

In April 2020, 134 organizations provided data to the COVID-19 Regional Response Team. Thank you to the 58 organizations that submitted answers directly through the RRT survey, and we also want to acknowledge 76 organizations that provided previously collected data. Every effort was made to align those data with the questions in our research tool, and a summary of the findings is included below. If you choose to, you may open the raw data to review what specific organizations had to say. Additionally, we are continuing to learn from new content entered into the research tool.

Our commitment to regionalism is reflected in our data. While not all responders provided information on the county(ies) they serve, below is the known reach of 114 agencies.

County Number of Responders Serving This County Percentage of Reach
St. Charles County 67 59%
St. Louis County 89 78%
St. Louis City 91 81%
St. Clair County 32 28%
Madison County 33 29%

Critical Needs Research: Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Needs?

Basic needs were the clear leader in the number of times people selected it as one of their top three priorities.

The top 5 needs were as follows:

  1. Basic needs (total score = 237)
  2. Other (total score= 79)
    • Themes included:
      • Technology (internet, smart phones, laptop) to engage in telehealth and distance/virtual everything.
      • Information about COVID-19, including information conveyed through more than digital media
      • Social connection, especially for the elderly
  3. Housing (total score= 73)
  4. Healthcare (total score = 63)
  5. Education (total score = 56)

The top organizational need is FUNDING by a substantial margin

  • This was concluded in the same way community needs were identified above.
  • The top 5 needs were as follows:
    1. Funding (esp in light of grant restrictions) (total score =149)
    2. Materials (total score = 110)
    3. Other (total score = 62)
      • Themes included:
        • Information about how to keep staff and volunteers safe and healthy
        • Support transitioning to remote/virtual work from home
        • Staff capacity
        • Mental health support for staff
    4. Informational support (total score = 62)
    5. Education support (total score = 56)

The top organizational asset is OTHER. The next top asset is COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIENCE. *Note that most new responses did not answer this Q.

  • This was concluded by calculating the number of times an asset was endorsed and the percent of respondents who selected it.
  • The top 4 assets were as follows:
    1. Other (n=20)
      • Themes included:
        • Caregiver support
        • Basic needs (A/Cs, prescription medication support, utility assistance)
        • Networking capacity
        • Communications expertise (n=16, 29%)
    2. Policy making or advocacy expertise (n=16)
    3. Volunteers (n=12)

One of the first things the COVID-19 Regional Response Team (RRT) did after forming was begin the process of assessing the needs and assets of the organizations represented and the communities they served. This survey was one way of doing so. It was fielded from March 30th to April 21st via the Regional Response Team leads, who pushed the survey out to their networks. In addition, some organizations had data they had already collected on community and organizational needs, which a small team of research assistants “translated” into the RRT survey where possible.

How are these data being used by the RRT?

The results of this survey are being used to inform the RRT’s strategy and recommendations in terms of where, how, and why resources are allocated.

Why are several columns of data missing for some organizations?

Organizations were not required to respond to any of the questions, so they might have skipped some. Additionally, as mentioned above, to make the best use of data previously collected by other organizations, we took that data and entered it into our survey as much as possible. However, there were some questions that we asked that the source surveys did not ask, resulting in empty cells and missing data.

Can I use this data?

Sure! Please just reference the COVID-19 Regional Response Team if you do so.