You must meet all of these criteria to become certified by the Oregon Health Authority:Have successfully completed all training requirements for certification for the worker type you would like to be certified for:
(Note: If you are a Certified Recovery Mentor (CRM) and are registered through
Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO), you are now required to also submit a THW Peer Support Specialist Application along with all other required documents).
Legacy Clause (formerly known as the grandparenting clause)
The OHA Traditional Health Worker Program is now accepting legacy clause for THW application:
(3) Individuals seeking THW certification and registry enrollment as a Legacy Clause for community health worker, peer wellness specialist, personal health navigator, peer support specialist, or birth doula shall:
(a) Be at least 18 years of age;
(b) Pass a background check as described in OAR 950-060-0070;
(c) Submit to the Authority all required documentation and a completed application on an Authority prescribed form by June 30, 2025 including:
(A) A minimum of one letter of recommendation from any previous employer for whom THW services were provided between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2025; and
(B) Verifiable evidence of working or volunteering in the capacity of a community health worker, peer wellness specialist, or personal health navigator for at least 3000 hours between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2025; or
(C) Verifiable evidence of working or volunteering in the capacity of a peer support specialist for at least 2000 hours between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2025.
(D) Verifiable evidence of attending 10 births and providing 500 hours of community work supporting birthing persons and families in the capacity of a birth doula.
Submit a completed application and all required documentation:
Once OHA has approved your Traditional Health Worker application and supporting documents, you'll get an email from our Background Check unit. You must complete the background check application and return it to the THW Program. If you've lived outside of Oregon in the past five years, you'll also need to submit fingerprints. The background check is required even if you have had one in the past. This process will take about 4-8 weeks and all costs are covered by the Oregon Health Authority. More information regarding the criminal background check:
- Pass a
Criminal Background Check - Look for emails from "ORCHARDS" which is the Background Check Unit. You will need to respond to these emails at your earliest convenience as this part of the process is time-sensitive. You may find these emails in your junk/spam folder.
- Completing the background check and fingerprint requirements is a necessary step for all applications, including renewals. As a courtesy, we offer a one-time resubmission if applicants miss the posted deadlines sent to their emails. Please remember that it's your responsibility to keep an eye on your email folders and respond promptly.
For those who have exhausted their resubmission attempts for background and fingerprints, you are welcome to reapply for THW certification after a 90-day period from your initial application. We look forward to receiving your application. Applications submitted before the 90-day waiting period, unfortunately, cannot be accepted. Your diligence in monitoring emails and following the process is greatly appreciated.
For more information regarding the certification process, view the
Traditional Health Worker Certification FAQ.
Completing the Process
If you meet all the requirements and pass the background check, we'll notify you of your approval by email and add your information to the Authority's registry of certified traditional health workers.The
THW registry is a reliable, trusted source for finding a traditional health worker in Oregon. You will also receive a hard copy letter with your certification ID number and an expiration date. Keep this for your records. Your certification is good for three years from the date of issue. During that time you will need to meet Continuing Education requirements in order to recertify. See THW Continuing Education and
THW Recertification Process.
All Certified Traditional Health Worker types are expected to abide by the following: