Protecting the Public
With 27 certified specialists in poison information and 51 staff certified in national incident management systems, our Drug and Poison Information Center is one of the largest in the country. Our center serves 20 Ohio counties with a combined population of 3.7 million. Our center regularly collaborates with county, regional and statewide medical response and disaster preparedness programs, including planning for the World Choir Games held in Cincinnati in July 2012. Our Health Alert Network sent Alert faxes to 60 regional hospitals on subjects such as blue green algae in local rivers, “bath salts,”and prescription drug abuse. The Center’s Pharmacovigilance and Medical Communication Units continues to gather and evaluate poison control data on a variety of public health issues such as food poisoning, water quality, concentrated laundry single use detergents, alcohol sanitizers, substance abuse patterns and terrorism preparedness.
Community Outreach and Education
Our center continued to implement programming to promote healthy drug- free lifestyles to youth, parents and communities. Our staff includes prevention specialists, health educators, pharmacists, other health care professionals and law enforcement officers who serve as positive role models. Last year, more than 27,000 people in Hamilton County have benefited from services including delinquency prevention and violence prevention issues among African-American youth populations. Our center also was significantly involved with Police Chief James Craig’s Children in Trauma Intervention Camp. We also use a People of Color Wellness Alliance Coalition Grant and a Grassroots Urban Mobilization Benefiting Ohio initiative to respond to health disparities and wellness issues prevalent among African American and other minorities in Hamilton County. Our Center also was honored by a visit from the national “Drug Czar” Gil Kerlikowske, who held a press conference here to announce the nation’s new drug policy. The Center also was awarded a UC College of Pharmacy Training Fellowship to host a pharmacy student for the summer.
Prevention and education specialist Alton “Chris” Nelms, PhD, was honored with the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from Cincinnati Children’s. Julienne Closser and Michelle Bilinski earned specialist certification through the American Association of Poison Control Center and Sheila Goertemoeller received the highest grade nationwide on the association’s annual exam.