RHHD celebrates successful school-required immunizations and physicals campaign

RICHMOND, VA  The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) celebrate distribution of 2,273 doses of schoolrequired immunizations for middle and high school-aged children at 64 events in Richmond and Henrico. 258 students also received school-required physicals at 11 events. RHHD began its 2023 immunizations and physicals effort in April and held its final event on August 29. Students received vaccinations for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV); Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap); and Meningitis (MenACWY). In addition to hosting its own events, RHHD nurses coordinated with and provided support to Richmond and Henrico public school nursing staff for in-school events. 

“We are proud to have such a strong partnership with the Henrico County and Richmond City Public School systems, said Public Health Nurse Supervisor, Ashley Lancaster. “Our shared goal is to remove any potential barriers that might prevent students from receiving their required immunizations.” 

Families can access immunizations and physicals for their children at RHHD facilities year-round. RHHD offers appointments at Henrico East, Henrico West, and Cary Street clinics. Families can schedule appointments at an RHHD site by calling (804) 205-3501 and can find more information at RHHD.gov/childhoodvax. 

RHHD, Henrico East Clinic 1400 N. Laburnum Ave. Richmond, VA 23223 

RHHD, Henrico West Clinic 8600 Dixon Powers Dr. Henrico, VA 23228

RHHD, Cary Street Clinic 400 E. Cary St. Richmond, VA 23219

Families may also schedule an appointment with one of RHHD’s community partners. A list of community partners can be found here: rhhd.gov/childhoodvax-partners. 

Posted in pr

A lactation room of one’s own

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee focused the first week on “making a difference for working parents.” Without federal or state-guaranteed paid family leave for all workers, parents making a difficult decision to return to work after childbirth also have to deal with the logistical challenges of breastfeeding while separated from their children. The Virginia Department of Health notes that parents with less than three months of maternity leave report ending breastfeeding earlier than those who receive three or more months of leave.

One resource workplaces can and should offer breastfeeding employees is a private, clean, and safe space for expressing breast milk while at work. This year’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month is the first since Congress passed the PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers) Act, which expands nursing workers’ right to private lactation spaces and breaks for pumping in almost all workplaces, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. “Widespread use of these tools will help create an environment where pregnant and postpartum workers can succeed in work and family life balance,” says State WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Jarene Fleming.

For RHHD, lactation spaces aren’t only a public health recommendation; they’re an important part of our workplace landscape for breastfeeding employees. Small lactation rooms exist at our Cary Street, East Henrico, and West Henrico locations.

Joanna Cirillo is RHHD’s Public Health Nurse Supervisor and mom to Matilda, who will turn one in September. As part of a department funding initiative to make the lactation spaces feel safer and cozier for breastfeeding workers, Joanna spent her final days in the office ahead of maternity leave refreshing the Cary Street room, adding wallpaper to complement the existing milk fridge, warm lighting, and pump cleaning supplies. The most important touch, she says, came from previous employee Stephanie Toney: a bulletin board where nursing parents could post photos of their infants to look at while they pumped (a strategy—like other relaxation techniques—that has proven to increase milk output). Having worked in a maternity clinic previously, she knew that “Such a big transition is so hard, and anything that you or your workplace can do to make the transition back easier and more welcoming [matters]. Obviously, we know breastmilk is good for babies. You will be more productive in a nice space, too—if you’re relaxed and happy and looking at pictures of your baby, it will go better for you.”

While a lactation space should offer privacy and calm for a breastfeeding parent, Joanna says that the room actually helps her feel connected to other moms in the building: “Motherhood is such a unique experience, and you gain so much knowledge and advice from other mothers. When you’re doing anything for the first time, it’s so intimidating, especially a huge thing like birth and then coming back to work. All my other coworkers that had used [the space] had advice: ‘here’s some things that could make it easier, here are some things you can use.” You forget certain parts [of the pump], you have to clean it at work, and it’s all stressful, so it makes it a little bit easier to know you’re all in it together.”

Maybe most importantly, Joanna’s time using the lactation room has helped her reflect on the intersections of her roles as a mom, a colleague, and a public health worker: “Having gone through figuring out breastfeeding, pumping, being a working mom and pumping at work so that my baby gets as much breast milk as they can, it’s so much easier to relate to people when you’ve gone through it yourself. Any public health intervention that we want people to do, having lived experience ourselves just makes it so much easier to say, ‘yep, I remember when I forgot all my pump parts or when baby wouldn’t latch.’ It makes it easier to connect and support people when they’re having problems or help people advocate in their own place of work if they don’t have a safe and clean and private place to pump.”

If you’re a worker currently or soon-to-be breastfeeding, or if you want to support your co-workers returning to work after giving birth, consider the following resources:

  • Rights in the workplace: this fact sheet on the Fair Labor Standards Act (updated to include PUMP) will help you understand who and what is covered, and where to go if a workplace is violating your rights
  • Advocacy support: even knowing you have federally protected rights to things like a clean, private lactation space or breaks to pump, it can feel difficult to talk to a supervisor about what you need. This toolkit on talking to your boss offers suggestions for when and how to have important conversations about workplace accommodations. (In Spanish: Cómo hablar con tu jefe acerca tu extractor de leche materna)
  • Design time! If you have the ability to create or offer input on your workplace’s lactation space, these recommendations will make the room feel friendlier, safer, and more productive for lactating workers.
  • A bigger toolbox: “The whole ethos of being a family-friendly or supportive workplace includes being breastfeeding friendly but extends beyond that,” Joanna says. Helping breastfeeding workers succeed in the workplace might also include other accommodations like schedule changes or uniform modifications. And discussions about how to support workers in the early stages of raising children shouldn’t stop as kids grow.

Joanna knows it can be isolating to feel as if you’re asking for “special treatment” in the workplace, particularly if you’re the only currently pregnant or breastfeeding worker. Remember, she suggests, that “there were people before you and there will be people after you. Even if you don’t know anyone that is going through this exact stage at the same time, there will definitely be people after you who need the service.” When we speak up for the accommodations we need to do our work well, all workers benefit!

Stay tuned as Breastfeeding Awareness Month continues!

RHHD Community Health Workers expand access to naloxone and naloxone training in Resource Centers   

July 31, 2023 — Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) expand access to naloxone (generic Narcan) and naloxone training for residents living near RHHD Resource Centers through the REVIVE! Lay Rescuer Training of Trainers program. This program empowers Community Health Workers (CHW) to teach the general public how to administer naloxone to stop an opioid overdose. Residents can receive this important training in RHHD’s Resource Centers during routine visits. 

“Teaching residents how to see the signs of an overdose and how to administer naloxone makes me proud to know that I have somebody here in the community to save life when I’m not there,” shared Community Health Worker Quawneisha Peoples. “My goal is to have Narcan in the hands of everyone in the community,” said Community Health Worker Patrice Shelton, “We have not come up with a way to keep opioids out of the community, but we do have a way to equip the community with naloxone.” 

RHHD offers free virtual REVIVE! training each week via Zoom. REVIVE! is Virginia’s statewide opioid overdose and naloxone education program, which covers recognizing signs of an opioid overdose and how to respond using naloxone. Residents can register for a 40-minute training on Tuesdays from 6-7 PM or Thursdays from 1-2 PM using the following link: rhhd.gov/overdose-prevention and can indicate if they would like to become a trainer themselves. Those who are unable to attend a training but would like to be trained on and receive naloxone, can call or text (804) 592-8069 for more information. Residents can call ahead to arrange for free, contactless naloxone dispensing from RHHD Resource Centers from 10am to 1pm, Monday through Friday while supplies last: rhhd.gov/RC 

Naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, blocks or reverses the effects of opioids — including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness — when administered during an overdose. On March 29, 2023, the FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of Narcan in the U.S. Previously, Narcan and generic naloxone were only available with a prescription. Virginia’s Good Samaritan Overdose Law states that no one is subject to arrest or prosecution for drugs/paraphernalia if seeking emergency medical attention for themselves or others who are overdosing. Between January 1 and June 30, 2023, RHHD hosted 158 naloxone distribution events, dispensed 553 units of Naloxone, and trained 211 residents to administer this life-saving drug.  

For more information about VDH and RHHD’s Opioid Response, please visit rhhd.gov/overdose-prevention or call (804) 592-8069. 

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs. 

Posted in pr

RHHD commemorates World Hepatitis Day on July 28 

July 28, 2023 —Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) commemorate World Hepatitis Day on July 28 and emphasize this year’s theme, ‘We’re Not Waiting.’ This theme is “a call to accelerate elimination efforts of viral hepatitis now and the urgent need for testing and treatment for the real people who need it,” says the World Hepatitis Alliance. “Individuals and communities around the world are making change happen in their own lives and in world around them. We celebrate them, while demanding more action.” Please visit the World Hepatitis Day website for more information.

“Viral hepatitis is known as a silent disease where people often do not experience obvious symptoms until they develop serious complications. The more we understand how it is spread and know our status, the better we can protect ourselves and our community from its grave consequences like cirrhosis, liver cancer, or even death” says Louise Lockett Gordon, Epidemiology Supervisor for RHHD.
According to VDH data on communicable diseases, Hepatitis C and B are in the top 5 most reported conditions in Virginia (excluding COVID-19). Virginia students are required to complete the Hepatitis B vaccination series as part of routine school immunizations. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. Many people who become infected with Hepatitis B or C do not experience symptoms and are unaware that they have the virus. Residents can reduce their risk of getting sick by taking the following precautions: 

  • Get tested – all adults 18 years and older should be screened for Hepatitis B and C at least once in their lifetime. 
  • Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.  
  • Avoid using personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, even in amounts too small to see, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes. 
  • Avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting. 

Residents can receive vaccines for Hepatitis A and B and be screened for Hepatitis B or C at their health care provider or at any of RHHD’s clinics. For more information about RHHD clinical services and to schedule an appointment, call (804) 205-3501. Residents can also find a testing site at the following link: CDC testing site locator. 

As defined by the CDC, “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver, a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause affect liver function and can also cause hepatitis. 

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs. 

Posted in pr

The Richmond Health Equity Fund announces open application period for 2023-2024 funding cycle

Richmond, VA – July 26, 2023 – The Richmond Health Equity Fund (HEF) is now accepting applications for its 2023-2024 funding cycle. The deadline to submit applications is August 13, 2023.

The HEF seeks to fill gaps in funding and resources for vital, innovative, and impactful initiatives that serve the Richmond community. Single organizations, collaboratives, and individual leaders providing services in the following health disparity focus areas are all eligible to apply:

  • Access to care and health education
  • COVID -19 vaccination, prevention, and treatment access
  • Food access and security
  • Maternal and child health
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery
  • Underlying health conditions Applications may be accessed here or by visiting the Richmond and Henrico Public Health Foundation (RHPHF) website: https://rhphf.org/health-equity-fund/. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) provides updates about the HEF and other health equity initiatives through its weekly newsletter.

Funding decisions will be made with the HEF Community Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of local community members with professional and/or lived experience with health disparities. The CAC will work to select partner organizations to receive funding and will indicate gaps in the application pool for consideration during future funding cycles. The HEF will host a virtual information session for those interested in applying for funding on Monday, August 7th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM.

In October 2021, Richmond City Council voted to establish the first-ever Health Equity Fund (HEF) in the City of Richmond through an initial investment of $5 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. With the support and leadership of City Administration and the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD), the HEF was established under the Richmond and Henrico Public Health Foundation (RHPHF) – the nonprofit arm of RHHD. Since then, the HEF has funded 15 partners that serve Richmond residents experiencing deep health disparities and the longstanding impacts of racism. The HEF has invested $1.2 million to-date in initiatives that address these historic inequities and will continue to award new projects to support strong, thriving communities across the city.

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs.

Posted in pr

RHHD encourages families to complete school-required immunizations and physicals

June 28, 2023 — The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) encourage families to take advantage of the summer months and sign up their middle and high school aged children for school-required immunizations and physicals. Children can receive immunizations and physicals from their pediatrician, a local pharmacy, or from RHHD.  

“Summer is a great time to get your child up-to-date on school-required immunizations and physicals,” said Dr. Becca Bruhl, RHHD Advisor on Community & Children’s Health. “These safe and effective immunizations help keep our children and community healthy. I encourage parents to take advantage of one of these upcoming opportunities, and help ensure your child is ready for school on day one.” 

RHHD has opened registration for school-required immunizations and physicals at Henrico East, Henrico West, and Cary Street clinics, Resource Centers, and via its mobile van clinic. Spanish bilingual staff will be available at each location. Families can schedule appointments at an RHHD site by calling (804) 205-3501 and can find more information at RHHD.gov/childhoodvax. 

RHHD, Henrico East Clinic
1400 N. Laburnum Ave.
Richmond, VA 23223

RHHD, Henrico West Clinic
8600 Dixon Powers Dr.
Henrico, VA 23228 

RHHD, Cary Street Clinic 400 E. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23219 

RHHD Resource Centers
Whitcomb, Creighton, Fairfield, Gilpin, Hillside, Mosby, Southwood

Henrico Arms Community Center
1566 Edgelawn Circle 
Henrico, VA 23231






Families may also schedule an appointment with one of RHHD’s community partners and can learn more by visiting rhhd.gov/childhoodvax-partners. 

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs. 

rhhd.gov | henrico.us/health | RCHD Facebook | HCHD Facebook | IG: @richmondcity_hd | Twitter: @richmondcity_hd 

Posted in pr

RHHD commemorates National HIV Testing Day on June 27th 

JUNE 27, 2023 — Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) commemorate National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) on June 27th by reminding residents who think they may be affected by HIV to seek testing and to learn more about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment. The NHTD theme for 2023 is “Take the Test & Take the Next Step.” The CDC advises residents that “knowing your HIV status can help you choose options to stay healthy.” For more information about National HIV Testing Day, please visit rhhd.gov/CDC-HIV-testing-day. 

“Testing regularly is not just a routine, but a vital aspect of sexual wellness,” says Richmond City Health District PrEP Coordinator, Joshua Young. “We strive to educate our patients, ensuring they grasp the significance of testing and providing them with the knowledge to effectively communicate their sexual well-being needs to both their healthcare providers and partners.”  

Residents can receive HIV testing from their physician as part of regular appointments or from local health departments, pharmacies, and community organizations. Virginia residents can search for a testing facility near them at rhhd.gov/VA-HIV-testing.

As part of its HIV and broader Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) prevention initiatives, RHHD offers clinic-based testing opportunities at its Cary St., Henrico East, and Henrico West Clinics. 

RHHD, Cary St. City Clinic 

Call (804) 482-5500 Mondays and Fridays between 8:00 AM-12:00 PM to set up an appointment.
Appointments offered Monday mornings and afternoons, Wednesday afternoons, and Friday mornings and afternoon
400 E. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23219 





RHHD, Henrico East Clinic
Call (804)-652-3190 to schedule an appointment
Appointments offered Monday and Wednesday afternoons and all day Thursday
1400 N. Laburnum Ave.
Richmond, VA 23223  RHHD, Henrico West Clinic
Call (804) 501-4651 to schedule an appointment
Appointments offered Tuesday morning
8600 Dixon Powers Dr.
Henrico, VA 23228 



Residents can obtain condoms and be connected to HIV and STI resources at any of RHHD’s Resource Centers. HIV and STI screening and treatment as well as family planning resources are available at Mosby, Gilpin, and Southwood Resource Centers. Virginia and Maryland residents can request a test by mail through this form: rhhd.gov/HIVhometest.

RHHD operates a program to help Virginia residents have access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a daily medication that is highly effective at helping to prevent HIV. Residents seeking PrEP can leave a voicemail with the PrEP coordinator at (804) 664-2125 or fill out the interest form at rhhd.gov/PrEP. 

For more information about HIV testing in Virginia, please visit rhhd.gov/VDH-HIV-info. 

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs. 

rhhd.gov | henrico.us/health | RCHD Facebook | HCHD Facebook | IG: @richmondcity_hd | Twitter: @richmondcity_hd 


RHHD Offers Shingles and Pneumonia Vaccinations in the Community

February 8, 2023 —The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are proud to announce that we will begin offering shingles and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations to members of the community through our in-home Doses on Demand program. Interested individuals should call RHHD’s Contact Center at (804) 205-3501 to schedule an appointment—in the comfort of their own home! Vaccines will be billed to patients’ insurance or provided free-of-charge for patients without insurance.

Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The shingles vaccine (Shingrix) can reduce the risk of developing the disease and minimize its severity if it does occur. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can lead to hospitalization and even death, particularly in older adults and those with weakened immune systems. The pneumonia vaccine (Prevnar 20) can protect against the most common strains of the disease. “Preventing shingles and pneumococcal pneumonia among our older residents helps maintain the health and wellbeing of our entire community,” said RHHD Health Director, Dr. Elaine Perry. “We hope that, by expanding our Doses on Demand program, we make it easier for people to get these important vaccines.” The shingles vaccine will be available to individuals aged 50 years and older and the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine for individuals aged 65 and older. Both are available to individuals with certain medical conditions. Find more information about vaccination clinics on the RHHD website (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/richmond-city/walk-up-covid-19-vaccination-events/) or call (804) 205-3501.

Posted in pr

Mpox: The new name for monkeypox disease

December 6, 2022 — Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they will recommend “mpox” as a new name for monkeypox disease. Starting this week, RHHD will begin transitioning all of our language and materials to the new name as well.

WHO is responsible for assigning names to new and existing diseases. As a result of racist and stigmatizing messages that resulted from the monkeypox moniker, WHO began to gather input from a range of experts and the public and decided on the new mpox name. WHO will begin using the new preferred term immediately, but both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.

RHHD recommends adoption of “mpox” in all reporting and communications to prevent confusion and any further negative impact of the previous disease name.


About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

rhhd.gov | henrico.us/health | RCHD Facebook | HCHD Facebook | IG: @richmondcity_hd | Twitter: @richmondcity_hd


Posted in pr

RHHD brings vaccines to the community with mobile vaccine clinics

November 17, 2022 — The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are partnering with local groups and organizations to bring vaccine clinics to locations throughout the community. RHHD mobile clinics offer the COVID-19 bivalent booster, influenza, and monkeypox vaccinations at no cost to partnering organizations and attendees. Interested groups should fill out RHHD’s mobile clinic request form (rhhd.gov/mobileclinic). 

“One of the greatest barriers to preventive healthcare is accessibility.” Says Dr. Elaine Perry, Director of RHHD. “By bringing vaccinations into the community, we hope to make it easier for people to protect themselves. We can make a real difference in stopping the spread of illness when more people are vaccinated.” 

Current vaccine eligibility details: 

  • Anyone five years of age and older is eligible for the COVID-19 booster after completion of the primary series and two months have passed since the last dose.  
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older is eligible for the influenza (flu) vaccine.  
  • The monkeypox vaccine is recommended for anyone with a higher degree of exposure to monkeypox, or at high-risk for future monkeypox exposure: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/monkeypox/vaccination/  

“We’re excited to welcome walk-ups to our mobile clinics to get vaccinated,” encouraged Amy Popovich, Nurse Manager at RHHD. “In the coming months, you can find us at places like community centers, local businesses, family resource centers, churches, or your neighborhood school.”  

Find information about vaccination clinics on the RHHD website (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/richmond-city/walk-up-covid-19-vaccination-events/) or call 804-205-3501. 

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.  

rhhd.gov | henrico.us/health | RCHD Facebook | HCHD Facebook | IG: @richmondcity_hd | Twitter: @richmondcity_hd 

Posted in pr