CHWs bring rich life experience to their work, that cannot be taught in a classroom. Each is able to serve their community best by relating their own experience to those of their clients. In addition, CHWs gain additional knowledge and skills through a 90-hour foundational training program held statewide by Oregon Community Health Workers Association and other state approved training sites. This training program is often paid for by an employer, sponsoring organization, or scholarship.
CHWs, a Traditional Health Worker Type
The state of Oregon has supported the incorporation of Traditional Health Workers (THWs) within healthcare reform development. THWs who are registered with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), on the THW Registry, and meet all OHA required criteria are eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid for approved services. There is no fee to apply for the THW Registry.
There are 5 State of Oregon recognized Traditional Health Worker (THW), As defined by OHA:
There are estimated to be several hundreds of CHWs statewide. Because not all CHWs choose to register with the State of Oregon, on the THW registry, there are many community members serving as CHWs in their communities and families that are not formally accounted for. CHWs are highly versatile and work in community and/or clinical settings and in a variety of roles. CHWs are valuable in both rural and metropolitan communities.