OneCity Health Partners With NowPow to Address Food and Housing Insecurity Among NYC Health + Hospitals’ Patients

Utilizing NowPow’s platform, community-based organizations will connect patients to available services that are traditionally fragmented and difficult to navigate

CHICAGO--()--OneCity Health, the NYC Health + Hospitals Performing Provider System under New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, today announced the launch of two new programs to address food and housing insecurities among patients of the City’s public health system. The Food and Nutrition Service Networks and Housing Navigation Network will connect patients to available services that are traditionally fragmented and difficult to navigate. Three lead community-based organizations (CBOs), BronxWorks, Public Health Solutions (PHS) and RiseBoro, will be awarded a total of $4.3 million to organize a network of 26 smaller CBOs to assist with outreach and referrals to available services, such as Safe Haven beds and eviction prevention services for those facing housing insecurities, and food pantries and SNAP enrollment for those facing nutrition challenges. The contracts will run through December 2020.

“OneCity Health is bringing health centers and community partners together to provide services that can address whole-person care as part of our ongoing effort to transform the health care delivery system under DSRIP,” said CEO of OneCity Health and Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals Israel Rocha. “By helping patients access and more easily navigate resources like affordable foods or housing, we can create a seamless experience for patients to address both their clinical and social needs. A critical part of the DSRIP program has been building the underlying infrastructure that can facilitate these connections and get patients to the right resources. We are excited to partner with NowPow who will provide the referral platform for these programs.”

A housing and/or food navigator from one of the 26 CBOs will be stationed in all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals acute-care facilities and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis and Morissiana, where they will receive patient referrals from on-site social workers and clinical teams. The patients will be screened to assess for housing instability, food insecurity, and other social service needs. Navigators will use a standard form to determine a patient’s need.

Utilizing NowPow, a social service directory and referral platform, navigators will check for eligibility and then match and connect patients with the community resources that can best meet their identified needs. NowPow allows the navigator to identify these community resources. The housing and food navigators will also have information tables set up at the facilities where patients can self-refer.

“It’s exciting to expand our partnership with OneCity Health and NYC Health + Hospitals to support new innovative programs that will immediately impact many New Yorkers and continue to gather knowledge about community referral outcomes to inform future investments and policies,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “We are proud to see our platform being used to bring communities together to foster stronger collaborations and better care.”

To learn more about the lead CBOs that were awarded funding by OneCity Health, visit

Approximately 5,500 New Yorkers will be connected to food and nutrition services, while an additional 420 will receive assistance accessing housing services through these partnerships.

The NowPow web-based social directory will help navigators search for services that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of NYC Health + Hospitals’ patients referred for housing and/or nutrition support services. Through NowPow’s tracking and evaluation functions, navigators will know if their client received the service and follow up appropriately depending on the circumstance.

Recognizing that a lack of access to healthy, affordable food and stable housing is a key driver of poor health outcomes, OneCity Health has focused on connecting NYC Health + Hospitals patients to social services that address these needs. Disruptions in food availability are associated with poor health outcomes and increased health care utilization. Housing homeless people has consistently been shown to improve health outcomes, including reducing psychological distress, substance use complications, and intimate partner violence.

Recent implementation of PHS’ FNS Bundle model through OneCity Health’s Innovation Fund in the Bronx resulted in 871 families being registered for food and nutrition programs, with nearly 60 percent of participants screened being enrolled in one or more food and nutrition services. The proportion of families in need of emergency food resources who were able to access such resources rose from six percent to 56 percent.

According to the New York City Neighborhood Atlas, approximately 5.3 million New York City residents are housing insecure. Food Bank NYC estimates that more than 1.2 million New York City residents are food insecure.

About NowPow

NowPow enables whole person care across whole communities. NowPow’s personalized community referrals make it easy to connect people to just the right community resources so everyone can stay well, meet basic needs, manage with illness and care for others. NowPow’s multi-sided referral platform powers caring for people across all of life’s ages and stages and across networks of all sizes and sectors. NowPow’s unique population health solution also provides deep community resource and referral insights to support process improvement, network health and quality, and care access and experience. Find more information at

About OneCity Health

OneCity Health is the NYC Health + Hospitals-sponsored Performing Provider System (PPS), formed under the auspices of the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. Comprising hundreds of healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and health systems, OneCity Health is the largest PPS in New York State.

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit and stay connected on Facebook at or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.


Patty Keiler,, 312-550-5394


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Patty Keiler,, 312-550-5394