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A traditional health worker (THW) is a public health worker that works either in the community or in a clinic or hospital. And some of them might have had experiences like the ones you're going through. A THW is:

  • Trained and certified.
  • Part of your community.
  • Culturally sensitive.
  • Free for CareOregon members.

What can a THW do for you?

THWs are trained to walk alongside you in your health care journey. They get to know you and your unique needs and can:

  • Connect you with someone who can help you understand your Oregon Health Plan benefits.
  • Connect the different parts of your health care to make sure you get what you need.
  • Coordinate care with your caseworkers and other people involved in your care.
  • Help you get connected to mental health and substance use care.
  • Find rides to your appointments.
  • Get help with food.

What kinds of THWs are there?

There are five different kinds of THWs, and each of them can help you in different ways:

Community health workers are public health workers who help connect communities with the health and social services they need.

Birth doulas are trained birth companions. They provide personal, non-medical support to pregnant people and their families during pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born.

Peer support specialists are people who have had their own experiences with mental health or substance use services. They help members or their family going through the same thing.

Peer wellness specialists have personal experience with mental health conditions plus in-depth training. They help members get the services they need to create and maintain recovery, health and wellness.

Personal health navigators provide information and help people connect the different parts of their care. They’re here to help you make health care choices that are right for your needs.

How can you get help from a THW?

There are four ways to get started:

  1. Talk with your primary care provider team or your behavioral health provider.
  2. Connect with Peer support and wellness specialists in your community.
  3. Call our Customer Service at 503-416-4100, toll-free 800-224-4840 or TTY 711.
  4. Send an email to the CareOregon/Health Share of Oregon THW Liaison Christina Chac at metrothw@careoregon.org