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Poison Center and Public Health Collaborations Community of Practice

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) identified National Poison Data System (NPDS) surveillance activities, which are coordinated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and the CDC Health Studies Branch, as an important national public health (PH) surveillance system. CSTE members are interested in building a community of practice to share experiences, identify best practices, and facilitate relationships among federal, state and local PH departments and regional Poison Centers (PCs). A kick-off roundtable discussion was held at the CSTE Conference in June, 2010 and was attended by participants from federal, state, and local public health agencies, CDC, AAPCC, and regional PCs. The Poison Center and Public Health Collaborations Community of Practice was created with the main focus of creating a platform for PCs and states to share ideas, interests and ways to work together to enhance public health hazardous exposure and illness surveillance. Members participate in quarterly webinars, in-person meetings at conferences, and an online forum.

Since June 2010, this effort has:

  • Organized several webinars for its members
    • The first webinar was held on August, 2010, and CDC presented “Use of the National Poison Data System for National Public Health Chemical Exposure and Illness Surveillance”. The webinar had approximately 125 participants.

    • The second webinar was held on October, 2010, and NYC DHMH presented “Camphor-Related Seizures – A Bronx Tale: One Case Study of NYC’s PCC Surveillance”. The webinar had approximately 85 participants.

    • The third webinar was held on January, 2011 and FPICN and FLDOH presented “Incorporation of Real Time Poison Center Data to Enhance Surveillance - The Florida Department of Health ESSENCE-PIC Project”. The presentation was followed by a demonstration of using the phConnect forum. The webinar had approximately 100 participants.

    • The fourth webinar was held on June, 2011 and Wisconsin PC and DHS presented “Sharing Poison Data: A Wisconsin Collaborative”. The webinar had approximately 75 participants.

  • Co-led a roundtable discussion at the 2011 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists in June 2010 conference where community members discussed possible changes to improve the current community of practice and how to further encourage involvement from PH departments and regional PCs.

The current and future objectives of this Community of Practice include the creation of a leadership team that will draft a charter and determine the best activities to further facilitate the collaboration between regional PCs and PH departments. As community membership continues to grow, the Community of Practice will increasingly become an invaluable resource in bolstering collaboration between PC and local, state and federal public health department/organizations to improve public health surveillance and practice. Interested members in the PC and PH community are encouraged to join this Community of Practice and participate in this important discussion.

More information:

For more information on the Poison Center and Public Health Collaborations Community of Practice or to become a member, please contact:

Royal K. Law, MPH
Community of Practice Administrator
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health Studies Branch
4770 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30341

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