The Mississippi State Department of Health practices an open records policy, offering full and responsible access to records not exempt from disclosure.
Under the Mississippi Public Records Act (Miss. Code Ann. §25-61-1, et seq.), a public record is “all books, records, papers, accounts, letters, maps, photographs, films, cards, tapes, recordings or reproductions thereof, and any other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been used, being in use, or prepared, possessed or retained for use in the conduct, transaction or performance of any business, transaction, work, duty or function of any public body, or required to be maintained by any public body.”
The Department of Health's administrative process provides:
- streamlined access to records which are clearly always open;
- legal scrutiny for records that might be open;
- written denial and explanation for records that are not open to the public.
A public records request is not required for material on the MSDH public website, such as copies of statistical reports and data, policies and regulations, or copies of informational publications and materials.
Birth and death certificates and other vital records are not available through data requests. These can be obtained through our Vital Records Office. Find out more
Personal medical records from visits to MSDH county clinics must be obtained through our Epic service: call 601‑576‑7267.
The Mississippi State Department of Health may charge reasonable fees to cover costs of retrieval and review. The Public Records Liaison or other authorized employee will promptly notify the requestor of the actual or estimated fee(s) associated with the request. Agency staff will produce and deliver the requested records only after payment of the processing fee. Payment should be by certified check or money order, payable to the Mississippi State Department of Health.
You may request to be informed of any fee before we charge you.
Requesting Public Records
Request records online
Members of the public, including the news media, can request public records through our online form.
Request by mail
You may also submit a written public records request by mail. The request should include, at a minimum, the following information:
- An indication that the request is being made for access to a public record under the Mississippi Public Records Act;
- Your name, address, and contact information such as e-mail address, phone number, fax, etc.;
- The date of the request;
- A description of the records requested that is specific enough to enable MSDH to identify the records; and
- Whether you wish to inspect records in person on MSDH premises, or receive paper or electronic copies, and the preferred delivery method.
Requests sent by mail should be sent to the following:
Mississippi State Department of Health
ATTN: Office of Data Governance, Public Records Liaison
P. O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
If Your Request Cannot Be Fulfilled
If MSDH determines that a records request is partially or completely exempt or privileged under law, explanation will be sent to the requestor by mail or e-mail stating the law, regulation or ruling preventing release. Such denials will be kept on file for inspection for at least three (3) years. Common reasons for partial or complete denials include medical records protected under HIPAA, records containing personal information, and agency personnel records.
A requestor has the right to appeal denials to the agency for internal review, the state Ethics Commission, and/or in court.