Traditional Health Workers Are Valuable Resources

A traditional health worker (THW) is a community health worker, peer wellness specialist, personal health navigator, peer support specialist or birth doula. All traditional health workers provide resources, education and work with IHN-CCO members to promote healthy behaviors and link members to resources in their community.

Traditional health workers can help IHN-CCO members to schedule appointments, find rides to appointments, access food, find childcare and get screening tests. Traditional health workers are part of the Community Support Services available in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties and prior approval or referral is not required for IHN-CCO members to utilize their services.

Integrating traditional health workers and their services into a member’s care plan can help increase member engagement and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health or nutrition education.

Specialty types of traditional health workers and the services they provide include:

  • Birth doula provides support to members and their family during pregnancy, childbirth and after giving birth.
  • Community health worker helps members adopt healthy behaviors and navigate the health care system.
  • Certified recovery mentor focuses on supporting the member through recovery from addiction and has personal experience with addiction.
  • Personal health navigator provides information, assistance, tools and support to help members make the best health care decisions.
  • Peer support specialist focuses on supporting members through recovery from addiction and/or behavioral health conditions.
  • Peer wellness specialist works as part of the member-driven care team. This team combines behavioral health and primary care needs to assist and advocate for the member in improving their well-being.

Please contact our traditional health worker liaison to learn more about how these types of providers can help your patient. Locally, call 541-768-4550 or toll-free at 800-832-4580 (TTY: 800-735-2900).

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