Built On The Idea That “Knowledge Is Power,” This Women-Owned And Operated SaaS Platform Uses Community Resource Networks And Evidence Based Referral Technology To Connect People To The Right Health And Social Resources Through All Of Life’s Ages And Stages




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Healthcare innovation is often defined by radical discoveries like new vaccines or groundbreaking surgical techniques. But just as important are the innovations that reimagine how we use existing resources. These advancements make it possible for everyone to live their healthiest lives — through more equitable access to services that promote whole person care. That’s exactly the ethos behind NowPow, a personalized community referral platform born on Chicago’s South Side. NowPow builds community referral networks and leverages condition-based algorithms to provide high-quality referrals to hyperlocal resources, well-matched to a person’s demographics and needs.


NowPow is the brainchild of a team led by University of Chicago physician-scientist Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP, who began investigating how the assets of our communities could be leveraged for health long before “social determinants of health” became an industry buzzword. Her research was predicated on the idea that health is largely determined by factors like access to nutritious food, secure housing, employment resources, and other services, like smoking cessation programs and caregiver support. To support whole person health, Lindau pioneered the concept of e-prescribing community resources through a program of research called CommunityRx. In 2012, Lindau’s University of Chicago research lab won a $5.9 million award from the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to pilot CommunityRx in Chicago. Over 113,000 patients received personalized e-prescriptions for community resources through the program. With increased access to resources came a decrease in Medicare inpatient stays, unplanned Medicare readmissions and Medicaid emergency department visits, according to a third party review.

To meet expectations of that grant and further promote health equity and whole person care, Lindau founded NowPow in 2014. She joined forces with social entrepreneur Rachel Kohler to launch the company out of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. In seven years, Kohler (serving as CEO) and Lindau (serving as chief innovation officer), along with a diverse team of over 140 NowPowers, built a suite of referral tools and brought them to communities in 23 states — powering over 1.5 million screenings for health-related social needs and connecting people to millions of highly matched services.

While most referrals have supported basic needs like food, shelter and financial assistance, NowPow’s whole person care approach and custom, condition-based algorithms have made it possible to support many other interventions, including ones to address prenatal maternal and infant health, mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, caregiving and social isolation. Alongside this growth, NowPow has remained dedicated to supporting rigorous research through CMS programs like Accountable Health Communities and Integrated Care for Kids.

From the start, the NowPow team built a robust analytics architecture underneath the referral platform to capture data and generate insights on resource gaps and service inequities. That means the platform not only improves consumer knowledge of community resources, but it also improves broader knowledge of the supply and demand of community resources. This enables core clients like healthcare systems and school districts to identify macro-level trends and intervene, informing future strategy and policy decisions.

NowPow partnered with UniteUs in September 2021 to accelerate the integration of health and social care. Together, the teams are bringing its market leading social care solution to communities nationwide.

NowPow is a personalized community referral platform that connects people to the resources they need to support wellbeing, meet basic needs, manage illness and care for others. NowPow builds community referral networks that promote meaningful partnerships, drive greater health equity, and deliver data to bridge gaps in community care.


FOUNDER: Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP

CEO: Rachel Kohler

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