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Become a Certified Traditional Health Worker

Why Get Certified?

Once you are certified with the Oregon Health Authority, we will add you to our state registry. The registry is a reliable, trusted source for finding a traditional health worker in Oregon. 

Who is Eligible?

Traditional Health Workers (THWs) help individuals in their communities, providing physical and behavioral health​ services. There are 5 traditional health worker types:

  • Community health workers (CHW): Assist community members in receiving the healthcare they need.
  • Peer support specialists (PSS): Provide support, encouragement and assistance to addictions and mental health consumers.
  • Peer wellness specialists (PWS): Provide support, encouragement and assistance to address physical and mental health needs.​
  • Personal health navigators (NAV): Provide care coordination for members from within the health system. 
  • Birth doulas: Provide companionship and personal, nonmedical support to women and families throughout the childbirth and post-partum experience. 

Become a Certified Traditional Health Worker (THW) or Renew Your Certification

You must meet all of these criteria to become certified by the Oregon Health Authority:

Criminal Background Check

Once we receive your Traditional Health Worker application and supporting documents, you’ll get an email from our Background Check unit. Complete the background check application and return it to us. If you’ve lived outside of Oregon in the past 5 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.

If you meet all the requirements and pass the background check, we’ll notify you by mail and add your information to the Authority’s registry of certified traditional health workers.

Criminal Background Check Rules

Background Check Weighing Test

Submit Your Documents

Send all of the following documents for review:

Send your application and documents to:

Traditional Health Worker Program
Office of Equity and Inclusion
421 SW Oak St. Suite 750
Portland, Oregon  97204
Fax: 971-673-1128
Email: thw.program@state.or.us

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