United Way of Metro Chicago Teams Up With NowPow to Power Collective Care Across Chicago

More than 100 community-based organizations will join the NowPow platform, creating one of the nation’s largest multi-directional community resource referral networks

CHICAGO--()--United Way of Metro Chicago is implementing NowPow, a digital platform to power its Neighborhood Network Initiative, providing community organizations with the tools to digitally find and connect Chicago-area residents to the services they need to improve health and quality of life.

NowPow’s technology is a multi-sided community resource referral platform. NowPow provides neighborhood resource partners the ability to send and receive referrals to address basic needs and social services across the network.

The Neighborhood Network Initiative is United Way of Metro Chicago’s region-wide strategic approach to addressing local community challenges. With focused collaboration, United Way partners with neighborhood businesses, nonprofits, schools and leaders to identify their biggest challenges and develop solutions that create measurable impact. There are currently 10 Neighborhood Networks across the city and suburbs.

United Way of Metro Chicago is implementing a pilot of NowPow in the Austin neighborhood in June 2019. NowPow will allow all partners in the Neighborhood Network to coordinate referrals and track outcomes at the individual and neighborhood level. Once residents have been connected to resources, United Way's Neighborhood Networks can identify entry points and address gaps in service. With the help of NowPow, United Way of Metro Chicago can more easily assess each neighborhood’s unique needs by understanding the relationship between resource supply and demand.

“Our Neighborhood Network partners are already providing fantastic services. The challenge is ensuring that people know how to access all the resources they need,” said Sean Garrett, President and CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago. “With NowPow, we’ll be able to increase access to much-needed services for the residents of Chicago, building stronger neighborhoods and a stronger region.”

“Originally, we looked to achieve this level of coordination and collaboration through a vendor relationship, whereby Austin Coming Together (ACT) would pay a technology platform provider for its efforts, but we quickly agreed it should be a partnership. This is why we are excited to support United Way in their efforts to work with NowPow to create a platform that could be used across nonprofits and possibly government agencies,” said Darnell Shields, Executive Director of Austin Coming Together. “Neither ACT or United Way want to get into the technology business, so we needed a partner. NowPow was perfect, because its software is already equipped with a referral gateway and used by many of our healthcare partners.”

The Neighborhood Network partners are focused on addressing basic needs like food and housing, along with early childhood learning, workforce development, and living-wage jobs.

“We’re excited to partner with United Way of Metro Chicago to further the reach of its Neighborhood Network initiative,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO of NowPow. “This partnership will also expand the number of community organizations on NowPow, making the platform a more comprehensive community resource for all users throughout Chicago. This is a wonderful example of how translational science can lift up an entire community.”

This work extends impact from a 2012-2015 Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Health Care Innovation Award and National Institutes of Health-funded research, led by the Lindau Lab at The University of Chicago.

NowPow is already connecting health and community care in the city of Chicago with more than a dozen large health systems, community providers and payers, as well as a wide array of community-based organizations already on the platform. More than one million people in Cook County are currently included in NowPow’s patient database.

About United Way of Metro Chicago

United Way of Metro Chicago fights for the health, education, financial stability and safety of every person in every neighborhood across the region. We advance the common good on both a regional and neighborhood level by focusing on the building blocks for thriving people and communities: access to quality health care, a good education, financial stability and ensuring people are safe. United Way’s Neighborhood Network Initiative supports and coordinates investment and programming in 10 city and suburban communities to address community challenges and improve the lives of residents. Join the fight at LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.

About Austin Coming Together

Austin Coming Together (ACT) is a member based 501(c)3 organization whose primary goal is to increase the collective impact of their member organizations in improving education and economic development outcomes for the Austin community. For more information visit, AustinComingTogether.org.

About NowPow

NowPow is a woman-owned and led technology company that supports collective care across communities. NowPow, whose name is a play on “knowledge is power,” is a multi-sided referral platform that includes a hyperlocal community resource directory, social determinants of health (SDOH) screenings, resource matching algorithms, closed loop referrals, and more. NowPow uniquely connects both sides of the referral process to better support a community’s entire network of health and social resources in order to help people get well, stay well, manage with disease, and care for others. For more information, visit www.NowPow.com and engage with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Patty Keiler

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Patty Keiler