About Us

Healthy Suffolk’s vision is for a healthy community where all people will be inspired and enabled to make healthy lifestyle choices, to use preventative health care and to access resources to live in a safe and wholesome environment. We offer several programs to aid in this endeavor.

Our History


Our Beginning

In 1998 we held our first meeting at Holiday Inn to discuss forming the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.The overwhelming consensus of the group was that we should begin right away!

In May of 1999 the Mission and Vision for the Partnership was developed. We started that Fall with the goal of making Suffolk a healthier city. Mr. William Giermak, president of Obici Hospital was selected as the first chairman. The name SPHC was selected as well.

In 2001 a community assessment was done to identify the health issues of Suffolk’s population. In 2001, Virginia Savage was elected President of the Partnership, and eventually served 8 years in this role.

In 2016, we rebranded as Healthy Suffolk, and our dedication to the Suffolk community continues.


Early Years

The bylaws were written and approved and an action plan was implemented for community awareness of the health benefits of healthy eating fitness.

Our articles of incorporation were filed.

In 2005 discussions began around the feasibility of the SPHC creating a free clinic.

In 2006 our 501c3 status was granted with the IRS.

The Partnership formed a free clinic steering committee which joined with the Western Tidewater Community Services Board to create a larger steering committee for the purpose of planning a free clinic in Western Tidewater, serving the citizens of Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Southampton County, and Smithfield.

In June 2007, the Western Tidewater Free Clinic opened under the umbrella of the SPHC.
In 2008, with the assistance of Karen Brower, RD, a grant was received from OHF to hire an individual to conduct a community assessment on the rate of obesity in the city, and what programs may impact this.

A grant project coordinator was hired for the healthy eating and fitness taskforce to conduct focus groups throughout the city to address the issue of obesity,

Through 2008 and 2009 the board recruited many new members throughout the city representing the city and the private sector.

An 18 month study (MAPP: Mobilizing for Action Through Planning and Partnerships) was conducted throughout 2008 and 2009. A Community Resource Guide was completed by The Planning Council as part of its MAPP study, ans was made available on the website.

In 2009 the community gardening concept was brought before the board, and was implemented. A 41K grant was also received from OHF and the first Executive Director was hired part time.

In 2010 a strategic planning committee began work on the Strategic Plan and stayed busy with…

  • The first Friends of the Partnership appreciation luncheon
  • The healthy Eating and Fitness Committee held its first 5k event in conjunction with Suffolk Parks and Rec
  • OHF was awarded a $75K grant to support building the Partnerships infrastructure, expanding Suffolk On The Move and The Gardens Project, as well as to begin initial planning to launch PLCP.
  • Cross Realty graciously began offering free office space, and the Executive Director position went full time.

In 2011 wii bowling tournaments, bike fun rides, as well as smoking cessation classes were initiated.

  • The Get up and Go program began and focused on exercise and healthy eating.
  • A student from each high school in the city was invited to represent youth on our board of directors
  • The Guys With Tiest calendar fundraiser was launched through a premier event with the purpose of raising awareness of the Partnership and providing health promotion themes each month.
In 2012 PLCP officially launched with nearly 100 participants enrolled in the program.
In October 2014, we had our 3rd friends/volunteer recognition event during which 6 individuals received special recognition for their role as a volunteer and/or friend of the partnership.
In 2014 we accepted the Million Steps challenge from Suffolk, England. More than 500 people from our community joined in on the challenge to each try and walk 10,000 steps a day. 

Our Partners

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