IMPACT, the designated provider of 211 information and referral services in Southeastern Wisconsin, today announced a groundbreaking collaboration with local health systems, community organizations and NowPow, an innovative technology company, to improve health equity and outcomes across Milwaukee. IMPACT Connect will establish a shared digital platform for partner organizations across multiple sectors — including healthcare, food, housing, child welfare, mental health, corrections and others — to work together to better coordinate care and tackle social determinants of health.
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Founding health system partners include Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, Advocate Aurora Health, Children’s Wisconsin and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.
“IMPACT Connect will significantly improve care in our community round-the-clock, and will be a vital tool in times of crises such as weather-related emergencies or health pandemics like COVID-19,” said John Hyatt, IMPACT President and CEO. “This collaborative partnership of agencies makes it possible to connect people to the resources they need — like food, safe housing, transportation and mental health services — early and effectively.”
Public health data show vast, long-standing health disparities in Milwaukee based on ZIP code, income and race. To better address the socioeconomic factors at the root of these disparities, IMPACT Connect partners will use NowPow’s personalized community referral platform to identify individuals’ health-related social needs and coordinate high-quality, highly matched referrals to community resources that can fulfill those needs.
Drawing on NowPow’s integrated platform and IMPACT’s comprehensive resource database, IMPACT Connect will enable participating health care and social service organizations to share, coordinate and track referrals in real-time. The NowPow platform will also help support “closed loop communication” between health care and human service providers to ensure people get connected with the resources they need, as well as track outcomes and impact. Over time, this data will identify gaps in services, inform community investments and drive IMPACT Connect’s growth.
“It is an honor to see NowPow’s platform serve as the digital infrastructure to build a healthier Milwaukee,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “We are excited to help IMPACT Connect achieve their vision of truly connected care across the entire community. We know this innovative model of collective social impact will inspire and inform the work of other communities across the nation.”
The effort behind IMPACT Connect was initiated by members of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, a public-private health consortium dedicated to improving health and health care for low-income and vulnerable populations in Milwaukee County. IMPACT Connect will officially start connecting Milwaukeeans to community resources this spring.
“We’re all working together to better assess patients’ total health needs and make community services more accessible and navigable in order to improve health outcomes,” said Joy Tapper, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership. “This upstream approach to addressing social determinants of health will not only help Milwaukeeans get well, but also stay well — that’s ultimately the goal of population health.”
IMPACT Connect is funded by membership fees and with a start-up investment made possible by Inception Health. Visit www.impactconnectwi.org for more information about community benefits and membership opportunities.
Since 1960, IMPACT’s role has been to connect people to appropriate resources; work with providers to deliver services that produce positive, sustained change for individuals; and create efficiencies that foster system improvement. Over the past 22 years, IMPACT has served as the facilitator of closed-loop-referral systems through highly collaborative projects in both housing and AODA service navigation for Milwaukee County. Learn more at IMPACTinc.org.
NowPow’s personalized community referral platform supports whole person care across whole communities. NowPow’s referrals are highly matched and filtered, making it easy to connect people to the right community resources so everyone can stay well, meet basic needs, manage with illness and care for others. NowPow’s population health solution provides deep community resource and referral insights to support process improvement, network health and quality, and care access and experience. Learn more at NowPow.com.