About the Agency

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Mississippi's State Board of Health was established in 1877 to protect and advance health throughout Mississippi, and became the Mississippi State Department of Health in 1982.

What is public health about? This video from the American Public Health Association tells what public health is concerned with, the challenges it faces, and what public health agencies like ours hope to accomplish. View full size

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What We Do

Public health protection takes a wide variety of forms, from ensuring the safety of your food and water to setting standards for health and care facilities.

Below is an outline of the major operations of the agency. They involve health protection, health promotion and health planning, and affect you and your health every day, throughout your life.

Disease Surveillance

  • Disease tracking and outbreak management
  • Laboratory testing for West Nile virus, flu, syphilis, TB, HIV, and other diseases
  • Prevention programs for flu, mosquito-borne diseases, HIV, and other STDs, and communicable diseases
  • Statewide coordination of immunizations and vaccinations

Environmental Protection

  • Drinking water testing
  • Restaurant permits and inspections
  • On-site wastewater and sewage system regulation

Disease and Injury Prevention

  • Tobacco control and cessation programs
  • Nutritional training and information
  • Chronic disease prevention and management (arthritis, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases)
  • Safe biking and walking in communities
  • Car seat safety and installation
  • Fire safety

Standards of Care

  • Child care facility licensing and regulation
  • Licensing and regulation of nursing homes, assisted living, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities
  • Trauma care regulation
  • Licensure of audiologists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians, and other professions


  • Required and recommended childhood immunizations
  • Meningococcal and HPV vaccinations for adolescents
  • Seasonal flu vaccinations for all ages
  • Recommended vaccinations for international travel

Keeping You Safe in Emergencies

  • Preparing the public for disasters and public health emergencies
  • Nationally-recognized emergency preparedness programs
  • Severe weather/disaster response
  • Regular training sessions for preparedness and response plans

Providing You with Information

  • Bringing health information to the media and the public
  • Emergency notifications for doctors, hospitals, and the healthcare community
  • Real-time updates through the Web, Twitter, Facebook and other digital media
  • Community training, summits, and other outreach efforts

Comprehensive Reproductive Health

  • Educational information and counseling
  • Physical exams and contraceptive supplies
  • STD/HIV testing
  • Pregnancy care

Women, Infants and Children

  • New and improved monthly supplemental food packages
  • Nutrition education classes
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Health care referrals

Licenses and Records

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • On-site wastewater permits
  • Applications for food service facilities and childcare providers

Social Services

  • Education, advocacy and consultation
  • Supervision and monitoring of medical treatments
  • Coordination of patients with community resources
  • Special care for children with chronic or disabling conditions
Last reviewed on Jun 20, 2023 request edits

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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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