Community Services

Baby Care Program

Baby Care is a program for pregnant women and infants enrolled in a Fee-For-Service (FFS), Medicaid, FAMIS Plus, FAMIS, or FAMIS MOMS plan. The goal of the program is to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes. The BabyCare Program includes two components:

  • Case management for at risk pregnant women and infants up to age of two years.
  • Expanded prenatal services for pregnant women including client education classes, nutritional services, homemaker services and substance abuse treatment services (SATS).

Case management services are available for pregnant women and infants who are identified as at-risk and are eligible for FFS Medicaid, FAMIS, FAMIS Plus, or FAMIS Moms. Individuals who are not currently enrolled in any of the insurance programs listed above should contact the BabyCare Program Coordinator for information regarding eligibility. Pregnant women are eligible for case management and expanded prenatal services during pregnancy and up to 60 days post-partum. Infants are eligible for case management services from birth up to their second birthday.

Baby Care Services include:

  • Case management of medical services and other community services
  • Child development education
  • Homemaker services (if the mother is placed on restricted activities or bed rest by her doctor)
  • Nutrition counseling for the mother
  • Nutritional assessment of the infant
  • Prenatal and newborn education
  • Smoking cessation classes
  • Transportation services

To learn more about the Baby Care Program, please contact Joanna Liston at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8751 or

Child Safety Seat Installation Class

This program provides a free child safety seat to eligible families who cannot afford them.  To qualify for a free child safety seat, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Eligible to receive Medicaid, SNAP benefits or TANF
  • Be the parent, legal guardian, or foster parent of a child requiring a seat
  • Be in the last trimester of pregnancy
  • Be available to attend a safety seat installation and use class

For more information contact Leslie Rawls at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8531 or or Dwight Richards at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8570 or

Communicable Disease Program

Focuses on investigation, follow-up and prevention of contagious diseases that pose a risk to the community. Provide Immunization Clinics and TB Screenings in the community upon request. Please contact Valarie Gaskins at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8619 or or Laurie Richmond at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8593 or

Community Health Worker Network

Trained health advocates, established as part of Portsmouth Community Health Worker Network (CHWN), serve as information and health resource experts for their community. Through the use of Community Health Workers (CHW), the Portsmouth Health Department (PHD) aims to reduce the impact of Chronic Disease in our communities. Through evidenced based training and techniques, CHWs are volunteers equipped to disseminate health education information, assist in the management of chronic disease conditions and facilitate the referral process to available health resources in the community. To learn more about becoming a Community Health Worker or for more information on the Community Health Worker Network, please contact Brittany Watson at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8573 or

Health and Wellness Information Center

The Health and Wellness Information Center @Portsmouth Public Library (HWIC) is a safe place for everyone to find accurate information about their health concerns. The mission of the information center is to help Portsmouth residents find information regarding their health concerns and connect them to health resources within the community. The vision of the information center is every person is empowered to invest in their health through quality health resources and services. Your HWIC is located at the Main Library on 601 Court Street. Staff who have completed consumer health information certification will be on-hand on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 – 5 pm to help you. Books and other materials are available during normal library hours. For more information call 757-393-8501.The Health and Wellness Information Center @Portsmouth Public Library is a partnership with Portsmouth Health Department (PHD), Bon Secours Maryview Hospital, Portsmouth Department of Behavioral Healthcare Services, Portsmouth Department of Social Services, Eastern Virginia Medical School Brickell Library, Portsmouth Family Medicine, and Portsmouth Emergency Medical Services.

Health Fairs

Public Health Nurses and other professionals participate in community health fairs.  Blood pressure screening, health education displays and a variety of other services are available.
For more information please contact Delores Paulding at 393-8585, Ext. 8555 or

Nursing Home Screenings (for Medicaid eligible clients)

In partnership with Portsmouth Department of Social Services, Portsmouth Health Department provides screenings to assess the long-term care needs of individuals to provide the appropriate level of services through community based care or nursing home placement. For more information please contact Delores Paulding at 393-8585, ext. 8555 or

Obesity Prevention

Obesity prevention programs are designed to teach children, adolescents, parents and caregivers about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  These are fun, energetic, interactive classes that are held in the community.  If you are interested in learning more or hosting a class please contact Jessica Mullen at 393-8585, ext. 8541 or

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Teens are faced with many decisions that could affect their goals and future life experiences. Those choices may include substance abuse, sexual intercourse and other risky sexual behaviors that may place them at risk for HIV, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. We are here to help! Our program uses an abstinence based curriculum to empower teens to make positive choices that will impact their future. Additionally, our adult education program teaches parents, grandparents, and caregivers the skills needed to talk to their teens and pre-teens about making positive choices. For more information contact Dwight Richards at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8570 or or Stefani McFarland at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8573 or

Other Community Health Education Services

We can provide presentations on a wide variety of health topics, including:

  • Chronic Diseases such as:
    • Asthma
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • High cholesterol
    • High blood pressure
  • Communicable Diseases, including:
    • Influenza (seasonal and pandemic)
    • Lyme Disease
    • Rabies
    • West Nile
    • Whooping cough
    • MRSA
    • Many more
  • Infant Safe Sleep
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness and Prevention
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition

If you are interested in a topic that is not listed, please contact Jessica Mullen at 757-393-8585, Ext. 8541 or, we may be able to assist you.


Portsmouth Health Department Brochure