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Traditional Health Worker (THW) Program

The purpose of the Traditional Health Worker (THW) program is to help THWs in Oregon become trained and certified to meet current standards, diversify the health care workforce, provide high-quality and culturally competent care to our increasingly diverse populations and ultimately promote health equity.

What are THWs?

THWs help individuals in their communities by providing physical and behavioral health services. 

There are five types of THWs:

  1. DOULA: A (Birth) Doula is a birth companion who provides personal, nonmedical support to women and families throughout a woman's pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum experience. (From original version of the THW rules, 410-180-0300)
  2. PSS: A Peer Support Specialist is any [range of] individuals who provide supportive services to a current or former consumer of mental health or addiction treatment. (From ORS 414.025).
  3. PWS: A Peer Wellness Specialist is an individual who has lived experience with a psychiatric condition(s) plus intensive training, who works as part of a person-driven, health home team, integrating behavioral health and primary care to assist and advocate for individuals in achieving well-being.
  4. PHN: A Personal Health Navigator is an individual who provides information, assistance, tools and support to enable a patient to make the best health care decisions.
  5. CHW: A Community Health Worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. (APHA CHW Section).

THW Program Information

Do you have a Civil Rights Complaint or concern regarding THW services?

Return the complaint form to:

OHA Office of Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights Manager
421 SW Oak St., Suite 750
Portland, OR  97204

Fax: 971-673-1330 or email:

Toll-free phone number: 1-844-882-7889 (voice) or 711 (TTY)

For additional Information, please contact:

Mohamed Abdiasis
Traditional Health Worker Program Coordinator

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