About Us

The Finger Lakes Regional Poison & Drug Information Center was closed in 2010. See topic information on this subject here.


What is the Finger Lakes Regional
Poison & Drug Information Center?

What does the Poison Center do?

What additional services does the
Center provide?

What is the Poison Center’s
Mission?

Who calls the Poison Center?



What areas does the Center serve?


What is the
Finger Lakes Regional Poison & Drug Information Center?

Established in 1954, the Center is the second oldest poison center in the United States.  It is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers as a certified regional poison control center and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
The Center, located at the University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital, is staffed by physicians, medical toxicologists and Specialists in Poison Information who are registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians or pharmacists.

What does the Poison Center do?

The staff has advanced levels of clinical experience and extensive training in the management of poisonings. They provide information regarding emergency poisoning exposures, information on prescription and non-prescription medications, questions on drug interactions as well as information for health care professionals about breastfeeding.

For each call the Poison Center receives, the staff determines the treatment needed after careful evaluation of the patient and the severity of the exposure.  Follow-up calls
and evaluations are made until the patient is out of danger, whether the patient is treated at home or at a health care facility.  The staff utilize a variety of
databases with product and patient management information.   Supplementing this information are texts, journals, and community consultants.

Public education and outreach are important services of the Center that strive to reduce the number and severity of poison exposures.  Calls to the Center involving children
conclude by providing poison prevention information.  Educational presentations using a train-the-trainer approach are made to school staff, parents, grandparents, other child
care providers, health professionals, community leaders and those caring for older adults.
The education program also distributes brochures, telephone stickers, videos and teacher guides.  The theme, “Every Day is Poison Prevention Day,” is used
throughout the region.  A quarterly newsletter is published.

What additional services does the Poison Center provide?

Professional, up-to-date, continuing education on toxicology for the region’s medical community is provided by the medical director, associate medical director and the managing director.  The Center also serves as an educational site for medical students and pediatric and emergency medicine residents from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.  A quarterly newsletter is sent to regional health professionals.

What is the Poison Center’s Mission?
The proficiency, expertise and leadership of the Center’s staff make it a vital part of the health care of the region.  The staff is dedicated to achieve their mission to prevent poisoning, deaths and disorders due to poisoning and reduce costs associated with poisonings.

The Center also saves health care dollars for the health care community and the public.
In 2001, of the 16,038 calls made to the poison center, 12,66 3 were managed on site without referral to a health care facility.  Based on the New York State
Department of Health projections, the Center saved over $3.6 million in emergency charged through safe and effective telephone management of these poisonings.

Who calls the Poison Center?
Anyone can call the Finger Lakes Poison Center — mothers and fathers, babysitters, teachers, school nurses, health care providers, industry, friends.  The Poison Center is happy to answer any questions or provide assistance at any time.

What areas does the Center serve?
The Center serves the twelve county Finger Lakes region:

Cayuga Chemung Livingston Monroe
Ontario Schuyler Seneca Steuben
Tioga Tompkins Wayne Yates

Map of area