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Oregon Public Health Institute Responds to COVID-19 Through Contact Tracing

With COVID-19 cases continuing to overwhelm hospitals, an Oregon nonprofit is helping counties do an essential job better: contact tracing. Through the Tracing Health program, PHI and the Oregon Public Health Institute have trained hundreds of new contact tracers, helping local health departments and assisting people exposed to the coronavirus in getting the financial help they need to be able to quarantine. Emily Henke of OPHI discusses Tracing Health and its overall focus on health equity.

  • Oregon Public Broadcasting
Emily Henke, Oregon Public Health Institute

In parts of Oregon, COVID-19 cases continue to overwhelm hospitals. Now an Oregon nonprofit is helping counties do an essential job better: contact tracing.

Through the Tracing Health program, PHI and the Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) have trained hundreds of new contact tracers, helping local health departments and assisting people exposed to the coronavirus in getting the financial help they need to be able to quarantine.

In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Emily Henke of OPHI discusses Tracing Health and its overall focus on health equity.

Emily Henke
Contact tracing has to be delivered in a way that works for communities most impacted by COVID and by health inequities.... We have 50 languages represented on our team. At the end of the day, contact tracing is fundamentally a trust exercise. It is rooted in the ability to build rapport and to ensure that someone is deeply listening to you and providing information back to you. We find that's a lot easier when we are able to have that conversation in a language that someone prefers and with staff who share the background of the people they are calling.

Emily Henke, executive director, Oregon Public Health Institute

Originally published by Oregon Public Broadcasting


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