The Portsmouth Health Department is dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving a healthy and safe community.
For reporting a public health emergency, such as a reportable disease or environmental public health hazard, after normal business hours, on holidays or weekends, please contact 866-531-3068
Volunteer for the Portsmouth Health District MRC
PHDMRC volunteers support local public health initiatives and emergency response. There are roles for both medical and non-medical volunteers. Participate in mass prophylaxis and vaccinations exercises and community disaster drills. Train with local emergency response partners. To volunteer: visit www.vamrc.org
Sadly 600 babies under the age of 1 died in Virginia in 2013. That equals to about 6.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. In Portsmouth, we had 11.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. We are almost double the state rate. The loss of a baby remains a sad reality for many families and takes a serious toll on the health and well-being of families, as well as the nation, state and the city.
The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is an estimate of the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a city, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rate of infants. There are obvious differences in infant mortality by age, race, and ethnicity; for instance, the mortality rate for non-Hispanic black infants is more than twice that of non-Hispanic white infants.
Most of these babies die because they are:
What can You Do?
We all want to see babies reach their 1st Birthday. We provide services and classes to help all babies born in Portsmouth to celebrate.
PHD offers the Baby Care Program for pregnant women and infants enrolled in a Fee-For-Service Medicaid, FAMIS Plus, FAMIS, or FAMIS MOMS plan.
PHD offers free pack-n-plays for those who qualify. The best and safest place for your baby to sleep is in his/her own space, free of pillows, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, other children and adults. Please contact Leslie Rawls at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8531 or Leslie.Rawls@vdh.virginia.gov
Hurricane season began on June 1 and continues through November 30th. Do you know the difference between a Hurricane Warning and a Hurricane Watch? How are hurricanes classified into categories? Do you and your family have an emergency kit prepared with supplies? Have your first step to becoming hurricane ready by visiting our Hurricane Safety Tips.
Outdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook during the summer. As you and your family cook outdoors, its' important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illnesses. For more information and tips for safe grilling: