Even though there is only one number to call
to reach a poison center, there are 61 Poison Centers across the country
handling these calls. On this page, we highlight a local poison center’s
efforts to increase access to poison center services, develop innovative
partnerships, or just get the word out about preventing poisoning in their
community. This page will be updated periodically to spotlight other poison
centers, so be sure to check back occasionally to see if a new program
is being showcased.
West Texas Regional Poison Center at
Thomason Hospital (WTRPC) is America's first 24-hour bilingual, bicultural
regional poison center certified by the American Association of Poison
Control Centers (AAPCC). Located in El Paso, TX, it is the only U.S. poison
center located directly on the U.S.-Mexico border. WTRPC’s bilingual
staff is uniquely qualified to provide expert poison information in English
and Spanish to the community including families, educators, and health
care providers. The designated service region of West Texas is made up
of largely rural communities where immediate access to healthcare facilities
and health providers is limited. WTRPC’s border service region covers
36 counties with 1.4 million inhabitants. This is almost 24 percent of
the entire landmass of Texas, yet only 7 percent of the State's population,
with 60 percent Spanish-speaking.
The center continues to be a pacesetter through facilitating efforts with
Mexican healthcare professionals, participating directly in the development
of a bi-national emergency response plans, and via its toxicology conference
"Toxicology Has No Borders" where experts from both the U.S.
and Mexico convene to address the latest diagnostic and management information
for toxic exposures. The center also supports bi-national border health
through development of activities such as the “TOX BOX”; a
touch screen kiosk with learning modules and interactive games aimed at
teaching children about poison prevention. The “TOX BOX” has
been at the El Paso Insights Science Museum, an interactive children’s
museum, for over 3 years and reaches thousands of children every year.
In March 2008, WTPRC hosted its 14th Annual Poison Jungle Safari as part
of the National Poison Prevention Week 2008. This family-friendly bilingual
educational event is held annually at the El Paso Zoo with almost 4,000
participants. Poison prevention stations are set up throughout the zoo
with each station focusing on a specific category of poisons (Medications,
Plants, Bites and Stings, Illegal Drugs, Household Products, Environmental
Hazards, and Lead).
View Photos From
California Poison Control System (CPCS)
won the 2007 International Award of Excellence (IN-AWE) from the Medical
Marketing Association and the Coalition for Healthcare Communicators for
its outstanding consumer marketing campaign, “Don’t Guess.
Be Sure” The In-Awe Award is the most prestigious award for marketing
and communications in the area of health care. The “Don’t
Guess. Be Sure” poison prevention campaign was funded through a
grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.