BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Community College is hosting its first-ever Traditional Health Worker Regional Workforce Summit from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at the Bend campus’s Coats Campus Center, designed to support best practices and provide career networking for these front-line health specialists.
Intended for new traditional health workers (THWs) and those already practicing, the event will feature breakout sessions, a panel discussion and a job fair. The event is at capacity, with 120 participants signed up.
THWs include community health workers, peer support specialists and other certified professionals whose role in the health care continuum provides education and advocacy, helping to connect those in need with social supports and services. With an emphasis on equitable and culturally responsive care, the work of THWs is often informed by lived experience which helps workers relate to patients through firsthand understanding.
“This summit is for individuals or agencies committed to improving community health, from community-based organizations and county health departments to human service agencies and educators,” said Sarah Baron, assistant professor of public health at COCC and a member of Oregon’s Traditional Health Worker Commission.
The event’s panel discussion will include experts from Central Oregon Health Council, Mosaic Medical, Thrive Central Oregon, Oregon Health Authority and the Deschutes County Behavioral Health Division. Attendees of the summit can submit professional development participation of up to seven contact hours to meet continuing education requirements.
Sponsors include PacificSource Community Solutions, Thrive Central Oregon, Oregon Health Authority, Central Oregon Health Council and the Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials.
COCC’s public health program offers a 10-week community health worker training and a four-week peer support specialist training, both approved by the Oregon Health Authority, which prepare students to become state-certified traditional health workers.
In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. For accommodation because of other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact disability services at 541-383-7583.