Family Medicine Healthcare | Primary Care Physician | Family Doctor | Hampton Roads, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk, VA.

Meet Ashley Welch, Nurse

Ashley Welch joined our Family Medicine Healthcare nursing team right out of Nursing School at MCI, almost 4 years ago. She loves working closely with our patients to help them feel better and live healthier lives. Ashley is known around the office for her kindness and empathy for patients, as well as her fellow co-workers.

Your Family: I was born and raised here in the Chesapeake area. My family is local, too. I love being close to my parents, as well as my grandmothers and my brother. My four year old Shih Tzu, named Maci, is my “baby” and best friend.  Even my dad and my boyfriend, Sean, spoil her rotten! (pictured below)

Ashley and her dog, Maci


My greatest accomplishment: Without a doubt, my greatest accomplishment is graduating Nursing School and becoming a licensed LPN. I remember sitting in my car after taking my boards and just crying, waiting the thirty minutes to see if I passed (you can check online to see your score). Passing was a huge moment in my life. I remember driving straight from the test to Lake Gaston to celebrate with my family on our annual family vacation. I love that my career allows me to help people on a daily basis and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Someone who I greatly respect and why: I greatly respect both of my parents for more reasons than I can even count. They have raised my brother and I to value hard work and to respect others. This strong work ethic has greatly benefited me in my nursing career.

Ashley and Family


In another life, I would be: To quote the wise and funny words of my Mom: “I would be a husband with a really good wife!”

If I ever played hooky, I would_____: I would be on our family boat at Lake Gaston! (Yes, Maci would be there, too!)

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Vote for us: Reader’s Choice Awards, Best of 2018!

It’s that time again to VOTE in The Virginian Pilot’s Reader’s Choice Awards- Best of 2018 contest!

Thanks to our amazing patients we have won gold 3 years in a row!

Please VOTE for us for “Best Doctor in Portsmouth”.Reader's Choice Awards - Best of 2018

Vote by:
1) Text CUXM to 21333
2) Vote online at


Voting is March 11th- March 28th!

Thank you so much for your vote and for your support.

~Dr. Abdelshaheed and the Family Medicine Healthcare Team

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Meet Beth Gardner, Nurse

Bethany “Beth” Gardner has been with Family Medicine Healthcare for 3 years. She is one of our nurses and works with all of our doctors and our Physician Assistant. Beth also administers our in-house allergy testing. Beth is known around the office for her attention to detail and meticulous work.

My Family: My fiance, Marcus, and I own a home in Norfolk and are a proud military family. Marcus has been on 4 deployments. I am originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania; but moved here 4 years ago when Marcus was re-stationed. We have two huskies: Lilly, who is 1 year old, and Max, who is 5 years old (pictured below).

Beth Gardner - Meet the Staff

My greatest accomplishment: I would have to say making it through nursing school.  It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done! I graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences before I moved to Hampton Roads. It is a passion of mine to ensure my patients receive high-quality care and feel that “personal touch” that is so often missed in today’s typical, busy healthcare system. No one wants to be “just a number”. We all want to be treated as individuals, which at a private medical practice (like Family Medicine Healthcare) is much easier to do.

Someone who I greatly respect and why: I greatly respect military families (especially, now that I am part of one and can understand the commitment it takes). I admire and appreciate the work of the non-profit, military organizations (like Wounded Warriors and Operation Homefront) that support our troops and families.

In another life, I would be: A flamingo – because I would be tall and skinny and able to hang out on a warm beach all day!

If I ever played hooky, I would_____: You could find  me with Marcus and the 2 huskies on a beach somewhere!

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Smoking: Steps to Help You Quit

Smoking causes changes in the bodies and behavior of those who smoke. These changes are caused by an addiction to nicotine and develop over time.

Quit smoking

There are a few reasons to stop smoking:

  • Bad breath and stained teeth/ gum disease
  • Bad smell on clothes, hair, furniture, automobile
  • Lower athletic ability
  • Cough / sore throat
  • Raised blood pressure and increased heart beat
  • Cost
  • Risk of lung cancer/heart disease
  • Breathing problems and COPD
  • Wrinkles
  • Stomach ulcers/acid reflux

To stop smoking, following these steps will result in a higher success rate:

  • Get ready (set a date for stopping)
  • Get support and encouragement(stop smoking with a friend or co-worker)
  • Learn to handle stress and the urge to smoke in other ways
  • Get medication and use it as prescribed
  • Be prepared for relapse
  • Keep trying

Set a stop date of two to four weeks out in order to prepare yourself. Write down your personal reasons for stopping, and keep the list with you for encouragement. Keep a diary of why and when you smoke to help manage the urges to smoke, and plan how you will deal with these stressors. Throw away all of your cigarettes, matches, and lighters.

Tell your family and friends that you’re going to stop smoking to help build encouragement, or seek help from your doctor, local hospital and health centers for stop-smoking programs. Find other ways to manage your stress, such as taking a hot bath, going for a walk or drinking tea.

How you feel when you stop depends on how much you smoke. You may crave a cigarette, feel hungry or edgy, have trouble concentrating, get headaches, or cough. These symptoms will go away in a few weeks.

Nicotine replacement products are ways to take in nicotine without smoking and reduce the withdrawal symptoms. They come in several forms such as gum, patches, nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges. There are also prescription products that help people stop smoking that do not contain nicotine. Talk to your doctor to decide which products are best for you.

Finally, most people gain a few pounds after they stop smoking. This, however, is a minor health risk compared to smoking itself. Dieting while trying to quit smoking will cause increased stress on your body, so it is preferred that you tackle one goal at a time. Don’t feel like a failure if you relapse. Set a new date and try again.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to start your journey to stop smoking, please call our office at 757-488-3333. 


Posted in: Health Advice, Men's Health, News, Uncategorized

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Meet Chelsea Hinson, Referral Coordinator

Chelsea Hinson has been with Family Medicine Healthcare for 5 years. She started at the front desk and is now our Referral Coordinator, which means she connects our patients to the medical specialists our physicians refer them to. She coordinates their care seamlessly, always keeping in mind the patient’s best interest . Chelsea is known for her smile and sweet personality around the office.

Your Family: I grew up here in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach area. I have been married for 6 years to my husband, Zack. We are in love with our “furbaby” Apollo, a 5 year-old toy Rat Terrier (pictured).

Chelsea Hinson

Your greatest accomplishment: I would say it is probably Zack and I purchasing our first home. We looked for three years, and we were recently able to buy new construction in the North Suffolk area. We are proud 1st time home buyers!

Someone who I greatly respect and why: I would definitely say my mom, Michele. She is one of the most hardworking people I know. She was a single parent for most of my (and my brother’s) childhood. Even being a single parent and all the challenges that come along with that, she always ensured that we had everything we needed.

In another life, I would be: A cat, so I can nap all day!

If I ever played hooky, I would_____: I wouldn’t play hooky because I have way to much work to do! (Laughing!) BUT, if I did, I’d stay home and cuddle with Apollo and watch Netflix all day.


Chelsea Hinson

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