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Poison Center and Public Health Collaborations Community of Practice (CoP)

Data collected by the nation’s poison centers (PCs) is an important tool for all-hazards exposure and illness surveillance. Close collaboration and open communication among local, state, and federal public health partners and PCs is necessary to leverage PC data for public health surveillance.

In 2010, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, (CSTE), American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Studies Branch spearheaded the creation of the Poison Center & Public Health Collaboration CoP.

Mission: To bolster collaboration between federal, state, and local health agencies and departments and poison centers through sharing best practices and facilitating networking between members


  • Recruited more than 200 public health and PC professionals as active members of the CoP
  • Established a CoP steering committee to set goals and direction of CoP
  • Conducted 14 national webinars on state and national public health uses of PC data (see select examples in table of select previous webinars)
  • Led six roundtable discussions at national meetings to discuss the importance, current state, and obstacles between PC and health department (HD) collaboration
  • Conducted special projects focused on supporting partnerships between HDs and PCs (example below)

CoP Special Project:

In 2012, the steering committee developed questions to better characterize current collaboration and barriers to collaboration between PCs and state and local HDs. Questions were then tailored towards either PC managing directors or state and local epidemiologists and administered as an online survey. HD results were collected and analyzed by CSTE staff whereas PC results were analyzed by CDC staff. CDC also performed a separate analysis looking at results linked by jurisdiction (I.e., linking the PC(s) that serve a specific state).The results of this evaluation (presented in the two following reports) illustrate the wide spectrum of collaboration and partnerships that exist between PCs and DOHs across the country. Two major findings of this evaluation are:

  1. PC/DOH partnerships with low collaborative capacity might benefit from improving communication between PCs and DOHS
  2. PC/DOH partnerships with high collaborative capacity may benefit from addressing data transmission, management, and analysis issues.

Use of Poison Center Data Assessment Report (2012)[PDF – 339 KB]

Assessment Report on Collaboration between Health Departments and Poison Centers (2015) [PDF – 1.63 MB]




  • Upcoming webinar


Select Previous Webinars:





“Methanol Ingestions: Public Health and Poison Center Response – Tennessee”

Mary-Margaret A. Fill, M.D. | CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Tennessee Department of Health
Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness (CEDEP)

Donna Seger, MD. | Executive Director and Medical Director of Tennessee Poison Control, Medical Toxicology

“Opioid Surveillance Webinar Series #3 Part 1: Syndromic Surveillance Case Definition for Monitoring Opioid Related ED visits in the Colorado North Central Region (CO-NCR), State of Nebraska, and Marion County, Indiana”

Yushiuan Chen, MS, Syndromic Surveillance Epidemiologist, Tri-County Health Department (TCHD)

“Challenges and Implications of Postmarketing Surveillance of Prescription Opioids”

Richard Dart, MD, PhD, Director, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center Executive Director, ADARS System Professor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

“Rapid surveillance of overdose morbidity – Developing case definitions, building queries, and analyzing results”

R. Matthew Gladden, PhD, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, CDC

Alana Vivolo-Kantor, PhD, MPH, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, CDC


“Collaborative investigation of a clenbuterol-adulterated heroin outbreak in Virginia”

Kirk Cumpston, DO, FACEP, FACMT, FAACT, Medical Director of the Virginia Poison Center; Brigette Gleason, MD, MPH, CDC EIS Officer, Stationed at Virginia Department of Health; Christopher Holstege, MD, Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine & Pediatrics, University of Virginia, School of Medicine; Priyanka Vakkalanka, ScM, Epidemiologist, Blue Ridge Poison Center, Division of Medical Toxicology

“Adulterated medications sold on the street as prescriptions, The Fake Xanax Bars in San Francisco”

Annie Arens, MD & Kathy Vo, MD (Medical Toxicology Fellows, California Poison Control System, San Francisco Division)

“Development of the Arkansas PCC Mission Ready Package to Support Continuity of Operations and Surge Utilizing the Emergency Management Assistance Compact”

Dr. Howell Foster, Arkansas Poison Control Center; Aaron Adams, Arkansas Department of Health; Carol Walton, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management


“Massachusetts poisonings and department of public health collaborations”

Rebecca Bruccoleri, MD, Regional Center for Poison Control serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island; MyDzung Chu, MSPH, Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health


“The High Cost of Bath Salts:  A Study of the Health Care Burden of Illicit Synthetic Drug Use in Duluth, Minnesota”

Sarah Dugan, Public Health Associate of the Minnesota Dept. of Health


“Linking Poison Center Call Data to Hospital Discharge Data:  Understanding proxy variables to better document work related poisonings”

Karla Armenti, PhD, New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program

“Poison Centers: Public Health’s Information & Communication Partner”

Greg Bogdan, Administrative Director, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center

“Use of data from poison centers for hazardous exposure and illness surveillance (ISDS webinar)”

Jay Schauben, Prakash Mulay


“Michigan’s public health collaborations to prevent poisonings”

Martha Stanbury, Section Manager, Environmental Health Section, Michigan Dept. of Community Health, and Susan Smolinske, Director of the Michigan Poison Center

“Increasing the use of Poison Centers by the Federal and State Regional Response Team (RRT) in Region 6 to provide medical and public health support”

Patrick Young, ATSDR Region 6-Division of Community Health Investigation


“Incorporation of Real Time Poison Center Data to Enhance Surveillance – The Florida Department of Health ESSENCE-PIC Project”

Jay Schauben, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, Florida/USVI  Poison Information Center – Jacksonville and Prakash Mulay, MBBS, MPH, Florida Dept. of Health

“Wisconsin’s use of the NPDS web service for surveillance”

David Gummin, MD, FACEP, FAACT, FACMT, Wisconsin PC and Marni Y.V. Bekkedal, PhD, Wisconsin Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health

“Poison Center and Public Health Collaboration in Oregon”

Melissa Powell, MPH and June Bancroft, MPH,  Oregon Department of Health Services


“Use of the National Poison Data System for chemical surveillance”

Colleen Martin, MPH, Health Studies Branch CDC

“Camphor-Related Seizures – A Bronx Tale: One Case Study of NYC’s PCC Surveillance”

Katie Wheeler, MPH, NYC Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene



More information:

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

Emily Glidden
Community of Practice Contact
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health Studies Branch
4770 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30341

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