Oregon’s health system transformation and the federal Affordable Care Act have emphasized the essential role of traditional health workers (THWs) in promoting health and delivering care. In Oregon, this workforce is comprised of community health workers, peer wellness specialists, personal health navigators and doulas. These THWs are trusted community-based providers who serve as a bridge between health systems and community members.
The Oregon Health Authority has convened a 15-member THW Steering Committee of culturally and professionally diverse stakeholders to advise on training standards and certification of THWs. Temporary administrative rules were filed February 4th, 2013, detailing the standards and process for individual worker certification as well as training program approval. A permanent rulemaking process will begin on after the close of the 2013 Legislative Session.