Community Services

Baby Care Program

BabyCare is a home visiting program for pregnant women, up to sixty days postpartum and infants from birth until their second birthday. A registered nurse and outreach worker will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby by providing support and services to meet your family’s health goals.

Services include but are not limited to:

  • Education about pregnancy, childbirth, infant care and safety
  • Infant growth and development
  • Wellness checks through pregnancy for mothers
  • Mental health screenings for mothers
  • Assess and refer family to appropriate community resources
  • Assist family in securing essential baby care supplies, including pack ‘n’ play and car seat

BabyCare is covered by Medicaid and FAMIS. All other client’s will be assessed on an individual basis.

To learn more about the BabyCare Program, please contact:
Joanna Liston at 757-393-8585 ext. 8751 or

Safety Seat Installation and Use Class

Safety Seats are available through the Low-Income Safety Seat Program. To qualify, applicant must:

  • Eligible to receive Medicaid, SNAP benefits ,TANF, WIC, FAMIS, or School Lunch
  • 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

Classes are held at the Portsmouth Health Department. To schedule an appointment, Call 393-8585 ext. 8513.

For more information, contact Latrece Cowell at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8513 or

Safe Sleep Pack ‘n’ Play Class

The Safe Sleep Pack ‘n’ Play Program provides a free pack ‘n’ play travel crib along with education on best practices for infant safe sleep.

To qualify for a free pack ‘n’ play travel crib applicants must be

  • Eligible to receive Medicaid, FAMIS, SNAP benefits, TANF, or WIC.
  • Be in the last trimester of pregnancy.
  • Be the parent, legal guardian, or foster parent of the infant.
  • Infant under 6 months of age.
  • Attend an infant safe sleep pack ‘n’ play class.

For more information contact:
Latrece Cowell at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8513 or
Joanna Liston at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8751 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
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:

Avanti Allen-Benson at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8566 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:

Avanti Allen-Benson at 757-393-8585, Ext. 8566 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:
Valarie Gaskins at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8619 or
Laurie Richmond at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8593 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 we may be able to assist you, please contact:

Jessica Mullen at 757-393-8585, Ext. 8541,

Community Resources Guide

The Community Resources Guide (CRG) is a directory of public, non-profit, and some private for-profit human services available to Portsmouth residents. Designed and maintained by the staff of the Portsmouth Health Department, this guide seeks to provide service descriptions, service access criteria, eligibility criteria, location, language, and contact information for hundreds of organizations providing services to our community.

Download Community Resource Guide 2020.pdf (PDF Format)


Portsmouth Health Department Brochure (Requires Adobe Acrobat)