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:

Ashley Stacy at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8513 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
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

Positive Youth Development

Adolescents are faced with many situations and decisions that could affect their goals and future life experiences. We are here to help promote the positive development of Portsmouth youth through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning. Our programs are designed to meet the developmental needs of adolescents, reduce current and future risk behaviors that can be a barrier to success, and encourage them toward a positive future. For more information, please contact:

Miisha Clemons at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8758 or

Virginia Family and Fatherhood Initiative

Stronger Parents, Brighter Futures is a grant funded project for expectant and parenting teens and young adults ages 16-24 in Virginia. Through the program, participants will gain knowledge and develop resilience through holistic and integrated family support systems. The goals of the program are to improve retention and education attainment, ensure connection to critical resources to local supports and to improve parenting skills and co-parenting relationships.

The program components include:

  • Motherhood /Fatherhood support groups
  • Co-parenting Navigation
  • Comprehensive wrap around supports and intensive case management for each participant AND their families
  • Educational support
  • Participant incentives for program completion

To learn more about this project contact:

Deirdre Sanderlin@ 757-393-8585 Ext. 8583 or
Alisha Newman @757-393-8585 Ext. 8715 or

VFFI Referral Form for Portsmouth Health Dept

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)