THWs help individuals in their communities, providing physical and behavioral health services. THWs can improve patient and provider experiences while enhancing patient-centered care. They go beyond the clinical aspect of care and can help break down barriers that may exist for the patient. An effective THW workforce consists of individuals who are from the community they serve, who have shared “lived experiences” and who are representative of the population served.
THWs are essential in supporting patients with medically complex conditions during and between doctor visits. THWs also serve as the intermediaries that link clinical services to practical actions in the community to address the social determinants of health. The information THWs can garner about patients’ health status, and their unique understanding of patients’ social and cultural barriers to health can be shared with the care team, significantly improving care.
There are five types of traditional health workers:
The utmost goal of Umpqua Health Alliance (UHA) is to promote and encourage the inclusion of THWs on primary care teams. The THW Liaison for Umpqua Health will play a significant role in THW recruitment, contracting and educating the community on the benefits of THWs. UHA will host the THW informational sessions and provide additional communication and resources to the network on a regular basis in developing infrastructure to support the THW model of care.
Current information about THW services, resources and THW availability can be found at these links:
UHA Case Management page: https://www.umpquahealth.com/case-management/
THW Certification Resource: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEI/Pages/THW-Training-Certification-Requirements.aspx
THW Training Resources: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEI/Pages/THW-OHA-Approved-Training-CEU.aspx
OHA’s Traditional Health Worker Toolkit (THW scope of practice and many other resources): https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEI/THW%20Documents/Traditional-Health-Worker-Toolkit-2019-Final.pdf
If you are a THW and are looking to contract with UHA, please contact UHA THW Liaison: Carlos Gomez at 541-229-7066 or CGomez@umpquahealth.com