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Traditional Health Workers
Midge and Yugen

In 2011, the Oregon Legislature passed landmark legislation defining Oregon's approach to health care reform. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), under House Bill 3650, Section 13, established a public process to inform the development of an Oregon Integrated and Coordinated Health Care Delivery System.

Additionally, the legislation mandated the OHA, in consultation with the appropriate health professional regulatory boards and advocacy groups, to develop and establish a plan for integrating community health workers, personal health navigators and peer wellness specialists (referred to collectively as Traditional Health Workers) into Oregon's Health System Transformation process.

The Traditional Health Worker subcommittee was convened by the Oregon Health Policy Board to develop recommendations for integrating THWs into the CCO model. The Subcommittee, convened in September 2011, met over a five-month period to develop their recommendations. A draft of their report is available.

As trusted community members who also understand health issues and the health care system, THWs are uniquely positioned to work with communities to identify and address the underlying causes of health problems. It is hoped that incorporating these THWs into Oregon's health systems transformation will assist in resolving persistent health inequities and addressing their underlying cause.

THW Commission

House Bill 3407 established the Traditional Health Workers Commission to promote the role, engagement and utilization of the traditional health workforce in Oregon's Integrated and Coordinated Health Care Delivery System. The Commission will advise and make recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the development, implementation, and sustainability of this program and ensure the program remains responsive to consumer and community health needs.

Vist the Traditional Health Workers Commission page

THW Certification Applications

If you would like to apply for THW Certification, visit this page:

THW Certification Applications

For more information, please contact:

April Turner, Health Equity Workforce Assistant - ph:
971-673-3359 april.turner@state.or.us