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Portsmouth Health Department

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
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


FREE FLU SHOTS on September 26th at Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth

Free Flu Shots at Portsmouth Tidewater Community College on September 26th, 2015.Portsmouth Health District in cooperation with the Virginia Dept of Health and Portsmouth Medical Reserve Corps. are offering FREE seasonal FLU vaccinations for ages 6 months and up.

No insurance, no co-pays, no fees!

Saturday, September 26th, 2015, 9:00AM to 1:00PM.

Drive thru at Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth Campus, 120 Campus Drive.

Please enter off of McLean Street.


Help us exercise our emergency response plans by participating in this even.

September is Infant Mortality Month

September is Infant Mortality Month, Image:Baby Pusing up.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?

  • Good preconception health means living a safe and healthy lifestyle before you get pregnant. 
  • Take Folic Acid (found in all one-a-day vitamins)
  • Get moving! 
  • Quit smoking (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
  • Stop using street drugs and reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Talk to your doctor about any prescriptions you are taking and how they could affect a baby, if you were to get pregnant.

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

PHD also offers free car seats for those who qualify.  Most hospital require you to have a car seat for your baby before you can leave the hospital.  Please contact Dwight Richards at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8570 or

Hurricane Season Is Here!

Hurricane Season ImageHurricane 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.

Grilling Safety

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:


Last Updated: 09-29-2015

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