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annual report


FROM OUR PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to our friends, supporters, and partners 2016 was a TRANSFORMATIVE YEAR for the Washington Poison Center (WAPC), made possible by growth, opportunities, innovation, and support. Our core 24/7 telephone services and outreach made a difference, resulting in improved health outcomes while saving healthcare costs. Our Growth was significant and influential: 

Addition of a full-time Medical Director

Addition of more CSPIs (Certified Specialists in Poison Center)

Addition of a full-time Health Education and Outreach specialist based in Spokane, increasing our reach in Cen-

tral and Eastern Washington Significantly increased healthcare education to various interdisciplinary trainees and hospitals

Expansion of the Yuk Box program around the state, educating more families

Our Opportunities have provided more collaborations and partnerships:  Increased number of partnerships with prevention coalitions 

Presented and testified at important legislative hearings

Increased number of e-Cigarette “Training of the Trainer” programs throughout the state

Invited to participate in Governor Inslee’s Executive Order to combat the opioid crisis

Acquired ownership of Take Back Your Meds (TBYM) website

Our Innovation to promote our mission of Harm Reduction Education: 

Not For KidsTM Logo mandated by the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board to be on all marijuana edi-

ble packaging Six scientific abstract presentations at the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology

Our Support to Sustain and Grow:  Successful Hospital Fair Share Program 

Additional/increased funding obtained from foundations and local city grants

As healthcare rapidly changes, the WAPC is striving to provide outstanding quality and value-based care through

our core public health services. We continue to seek opportunities for partnership, collaboration, and innovation to facilitate knowledge and data exchange, share best practices, and increase our reach to more vulnerable populations. The 2016 Annual Report highlights selected examples. Despite the 2016 Transformative Year at the WAPC, we still have more to do: Our vision of reducing the number of poisoning and drug exposures, which are the leading cause of unintentional death in Washington has not been realized. Thank you for supporting the Washington

Erica Liebelt, MD,

Mark Martzen, PhD,

Poison Center as we continue to expand on providing transformational healthcare to our state.

WAPC Executive/Medical Director

WAPC Board President

GET TO KNOW US the experts in poison treatment & safety

W h o we are:

Washington Poison Center (WAPC) a 501(c)3 nonprofit EIN: 94-3214597

H ow yo u can 1-800-222-1222 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year reach u s: W h at we do:

Provide immediate, free and expert treatment advice and assistance on the telephone in the case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous, or drug/toxic substances

W h o we se r ve :

Everyone in Washington State

W h o an swers o u r ph on e s:

Nurses, pharmacists & poison specialists with clinical expertise in managing poisonings and drug exposures

H ow mu ch we save :

Over 18 million dollars in avoided medical costs by reducing unnecessary hospital visits Saving Lives with Immediate Expert Clinical Guidance

Look for our new logo soon!

The Washington Poison Center launches its new logo in April 2017. Due to our expanding services and misconception of being a state agency, we are no longer using the state outline in the logo. While we still use Mr.Yuk branding on many items, it only represents a part of who we are at the core. Our new logo emphasizes the expansion of our services while incorporating an “alert-based� color and form. Our name and number are still the same.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS “As a parent, I have confidence that the Washington Poison Center is always available if I need their expert advice. As a legislator, I support the investment of healthcare dollars for the numerous public health services and education that they provide free of charge.”

“From their education and health initiatives to their immediate support for an emer-

- Senator David Frockt, 46th District

Kevin T. Caserta MD,

gency, the Washington Poison Center is an invaluable partner, protecting our community and making our providers better.” Chief Medical Officer, Providence/St. Peter Hospital

"The Washington Poison Center has been a key partner and advocate for youth substance use prevention efforts through their effective public education programs on e-cigarettes, opioids and

Tonight I called the Poison Control “hotline” in Washington State when my 85-year old mother took her medication twice. Noemi, the pharmacist, helped me.

marijuana as well as offering the public a toll-free medical hotline for poisonings and drug overdoses." - Governor Jay Inslee

She was friendly, professional and patient with me since I was panicked. I’ve never called the poison center before and I’m so thankful Noemi was there to help me. - Caller

“The Washington Poison Center is a critical partner in public health through their education, outreach, clinical expertise, and emergency response. With so many new drugs of abuse affecting our community, WAPC provides timely information to healthcare providers and the community with their public health and seasonal health alerts. “

“Spokane Regional Health District is thankful for the partnership with Washington Poison Center. From having a poison center health educator in Eastern Washington with emergency response capabilities, our community has greatly benefited from their expertise on emerging drug trends, e-cigarettes, poison prevention education, disaster response, and more.” - Lyndia C. Wilson Division Director, Disease Prevention and Response, Spokane Regional

- Carina Elsenboss MPH Preparedness Director Public Health Seattle King County

Health District



keeping people safely at home

62,502 calls answered by WAPC

92% of all household cases are treated

@ home

54,000+ people were reached through education


Twitter followers increased 32%; Facebook increased


at community programs & events Over 38% of poison center home callers would have visited the ER or called 911

49% of all calls concerned a child under 6 years old

Over 115 Medical Residents, Fellows, Students, Pharmacists, & Paramedics trained

by WAPC staff

Over 23% of calls to WAPC are from health care professionals Translation support is available in over 240 languages, and there are also resources to help with the deaf and hearing disabled.


Sources of Funding

Allocation of Expenses

for the WAPC

by the WAPC

Audited financials available upon request

The Washington State Health Care Authority is proud to provide funding for the Washington Poison Center to help ensure the safety and health of children in Washington — a critical health strategy for our state. —Dr. Dan Lessler, Chief Medical Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority

Every $1 invested in a Poison Center results in a savings of $13.39*.


Hospitals in our state make community benefit donations to help support the costs of providing immediate access to our free consultation services. The Hospital Fair Share program had a successful first year launch, and it is now one of our organization’s core programs. Please see the list of participating hospitals at the end of this report. Thank you to our partners for your ongoing support!

The Washington Poison Center is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit and relies upon a combination of state contracts; federal, corporate, and foundation grants, and donations from people like you to sustain our core services and expand our reach to provide public and clinical education promoting prevention, intervention, and harm reduction. In 2016, it is estimated that we saved over $18 million dollars—definitely a worthwhile investment for you and your company!

*The Lewin Group, Inc., comp. http://www, Report the Value of the Poison Center System

Several ways to donate at


SPOTLIGHT NOT FOR KIDS In January 2015, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) proposed rules that would have required all marijuana-infused products on Washington’s recreational market be labeled with Mr. Yuk and the National Poison Helpline. Feedback from community members, the cannabis industry, and safety educators all suggested that Mr. Yuk was not the right choice since its established use by many households was to label poisonous products that no one should eat, drink, or touch. After more than 40 stakeholder interviews, the Washington Poison Center created the new Not for KidsTM logo which visually warns children to stay away and gives the National Poison Helpline as a resource. In November the LCB voted to require use of the logo on all marijuana-infused products in Washington beginning in February 2017. The WAPC public education team is working to create a comprehensive Not for Kids campaign to educate people on effectively using the logo as a safety tool in their homes.

TAKE BACK YOUR MEDS In November of 2016 the Washington Poison Center assumed ownership of from King County. The WAPC updated the website, adding an interactive map. Currently the map includes 218 medication takeback locations throughout the state. This includes law enforcement and pharmacy locations where people can dispose of their unneeded medications. This will be an invaluable tool to help combat the growing opioid epidemic that is affecting this state and the country. is on the list of the Best of 2016:’s Top 10 Resources for Prescription Drug Abuse” –

OPIOID CRISIS Washington State is currently experiencing an opioid abuse and overdose crisis involving prescription opioid drugs and heroin. On September 30, 2016, Governor Jay Inslee signed Executive Order 16-09, Addressing the Opioid Use Public Health Crisis, formally directing activities and state agencies in accordance with the Washington State Interagency Opioid Working Plan. The Washington Poison Center was invited by the Governor as a key stakeholder at the announcement of his Executive Order on October 7, 2016. WAPC is already participating in 3 of the 4 Goals he delineated: Goal 1: Prevent inappropriate opioid prescriptions and use  

Goal 3: Save lives by intervening in overdoses 

24/7 emergency help line for public and healthcare providers  Clinical toxicology expertise in opioid toxicity and naloxone use Goal 4: Use data to focus and improve our work

Awareness and prevention education “Take Back Your Meds”- secure and safe opioid disposal, promoting Harm Reduction  Partner with Washington Prescription Drug Management Program (PDMP)  Goal 2: Treat people with opioid use disorder and connect them to support services, including housing 

Not currently in our scope of services

Real-time surveillance of opioid exposures, overdose, health effects, and use of naloxone


Mr. Hand Beats Mr. Yuk In Contest To Repel Kids From Marijuana Jacob Sullum, Contributor

Article in Forbes Magazine regarding the Not For KidsTM logo

Gov. Inslee tweet re: Not for KidsTM logo, July 13, 2016 Washington Poison Center unveils warning label for marijuana edibles

To see the Washington Poison Center’s ad that was seen in

Find us on social media

Whitney on New Day show

some movie theaters, go to this link: https:// J9VPsnZW2EA

Joan being interviewed on KING 5 TV regarding Not for KidsTM logo

E-CIGARETTE UPDATE In January, the public education team at the Washington Poison Center launched a “Training of the Trainers” program that helped adult educators, prevention specialists, healthcare providers, and other community members gain knowledge and confidence about the e-cigarette products, policy, and health research. In 2016, WAPC staff led 23 trainings in 13 counties totaling more than 300 trainees. Through the work of these trainees, more than 5,000 youth and adults have been reached with the content from the training. Another win in 2016 included the signing of a Washington state law Gov. Inslee signing E-cig bill into law that regulates vapor products, including more specific labeling on ingredients and nicotine content. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also took action to regulate products on a national scale. The Washington Poison Center submitted comments and testified in person about the FDA rules and Washington State’s new legislation. This education and policy change has led to a decrease in calls about liquid nicotine products; however data suggests that young children are still at greatest risk of exposure and there is more work to do to prevent poisonings.

Request an e-cigarette education tool kit (right) to assist with poison prevention education! To purchase send an email to:

PARTNERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION For the 2nd year we partnered with the UW Professional and Continuing Education GIS Certificate Program on a project that involved analyzing and visually representing our call data. See example (right). This “heat map” provides epidemiologic data that can be used immediately and gives UW students practical experience with real-time healthcare data.

5,863 out-of- state or unknown origin calls

2016 Call Volume by County All Substances

EDUCATION Healthcare Clinical Education The healthcare provider clinical education program grew immensely in 2016 as a result of new opportunities and fostering new relationships. Emerging drugs of abuse are constantly changing, and it’s imperative that providers know how to recognize them and manage their toxicity. To that end, the Washington Poison Center gave over 20 talks on emerging drugs of abuse to local health jurisdictions, hospitals, and clinical conferences. In the summer of 2016, we embarked on a “Drugs of Abuse” road show talk focusing on critical access hospitals in Central Washington, which are affected by large outdoor electronic dance music events. The discussions focused on allocating resources for critically ill patients and drug toxicity recognition. The WAPC was also able to secure an education grant from BTG® focusing on snake bite envenomation. Did you know that the WAPC usually receives around 20-30 calls a year about snake bites in Washington State? The snake bite envenomation program was launched in the summer of 2016, focusing on those high risk communities and hospitals which frequently treat snake bites in the state. Healthcare providers were trained in the recognition of venomous species, clinical symptoms of envenomation, and the judicious and appropriate use of antivenom. All in all, it was a great year for healthcare providers and we reached over 2,500 healthcare providers in the state!

Public Education—Eastern Washington Health Educator In April, 2016, we added our first Health Educator and Outreach Specialist on the eastern side of the state! Housed in the Spokane Regional Health District, Jared O’Connor, MS, MPH has expanded our education and outreach, ensuring that we serve all populations in the state equally. Since starting, Jared has developed and fostered many partnerships throughout the area and has attended 56 events throughout Eastern Washington. Events included participation in health fairs, and presentations on medication safety, e-cigarettes and vaping, and poison prevention at health departments, schools, and conferences. Locations spanned from Omak to Moses Lake to Wenatchee and Walla Walla. Because of Jared’s presence, WAPC has the ability to more effectively reach Eastern Washington county communities.

Yuk Boxes In 2016 we added eight new locations statewide for a total of 18 sites where teachers and others can pick up a Yuk Box. These materials visually show how similar packaging is for certain food products and poisonous products such as cleaning solutions, or candy and pills. The program continues to provide alternative opportunities for engagement with poison prevention materials specifically in areas of the state where no WAPC staff are present. In 2016 we saw an increase of check-out requests. To request a Yuk Box go to, click on Resources, order materials, and the link “ Interested in checking out a Yuk Box for your class or event?”.

WAPC Partners in Prevention collaborating for a healthier and safer Washington Hospital Partners

Capital Medical Center Cascade Valley Hosp./Clinics Columbia Basin Hospital Columbia County Health System Confluence Health Coulee Medical Center East Adams Rural Hospital Evergreen Health Forks Community Hospital Franciscan Health System •Harrison Medical Center •Highline Medical Center •St. Anthony Hospital •St. Clare Hospital •St. Elizabeth Hospital •St. Francis Hospital •St. Joseph Hospital Garfield County Public Hospital Grays Harbor Community Hospital Group Health Cooperative Island Hospital Jefferson Healthcare Kadlec Regional Med. Center Kittitas Valley Healthcare Lake Chelan Comm. Hospital Lincoln Hospital Mid-Valley Hospital Mason General Hospital Morton General Hospital Multicare Health System •Allenmore Hospital •Auburn Medical Center •Good Samaritan Hospital •Mary Bridge Children’s Hosp. •Tacoma General Hospital Newport Hospital & Health Svcs North Sound Emergency Med. North Valley Hospital

Ocean Beach Hospital Odessa Memorial Olympic Medical Center Othello Community Hospital Overlake Hospital PeaceHealth Columbia Network •Southwest Medical Center •St. John Medical Center PeaceHealth Northwest Network •Island Medical Center •St. Joseph Medical Center •United General Med. Center Prosser Memorial Hospital Providence Healthcare E. WA •Holy Family Hospital •Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hosp. •Mt. Carmel Hospital •St. Joseph Hospital Providence Regional Medical Center Everett Providence Healthcare SW •Centralia Hospital •St. Peter Hospital Pullman Regional Hospital Quincy Valley Medical Center Samaritan Hospital Seattle Children’s Hospital Skagit Valley Hospital Skyline Hospital Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Summit Pacific Medical Center Toppenish Community Hospital Tri-State Memorial Hospital Three Rivers Hospital Trios Health UW Medicine •Harborview Med. Center •UW Medical Center •Northwest Med. Center

•Valley Medical Center Virginia Mason Medical Center Walla Walla General Hospital Whidbey General Hospital Whitman Hospital Willapa Harbor Hospital Yakima Memorial Hospital Yakima Regional Medical & Cardiac Center Corporate Partners Umpqua Bank Coalition, Nonprofit, and Agency Partners 501 Commons ADAI Dept. of Health Health Care Authority Liquor & Cannabis Board Northwest Healthcare Response Network NW HIDTA Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Prevention WINS SafeKids SPE Consortium SRHD Stay Safe Seattle University Lions Club WA Assoc. of Prevention Coalitions Washington Nonprofits WA State PTA WHY Coalition WA State Hospital Association WA State Public Health Assoc.iation State and Local Funding King County Human Services Grants ◊ Cities of Bothell, Des Moines, Kirkland, Renton, and Sammamish Community Health Charities of WA

2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ties to the community President Mark Martzen, PhD, Bastyr University

Non-Voting Ex-Official Members &

Vice President/President Elect Jane M

WAPC Leadership

Hutcheson, MSN, RN, Retired, Nurse Executive

Erica Liebelt, MD, Executive Director/Medical Director

Treasurer April Henderson, CPA, Seattle Aquarium

Alexander Garrard, Pharm D, DABAT, Clinical

Secretary Melissa Vasiliades, MBA, UW Medical

Managing Director

Contact Center Immediate Past Pres., Jennifer Isgrig, Strong-Bridge Consulting

Non-Voting Members

Director Eli Almo, Era Living

Dolly Fernandes, State Director for EMS, Trauma, Washington State Department of Health

Director Steve Burgon, JD, Ogden Murphy Wallace,

Erika Henry, MSPCI, WA State - Department of Health Susan Stern, MD, Harborview Medical Center

PLLC Director Kevin Germino, MD, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane Director Capt. Kathryn Hobbs, USN (Ret), Washington State PTA

Kathy Williams, MS, WA State - DOH Office of Community Health Systems

Washington Poison Center 155 NE 100th Street Suite #100 Seattle, WA 98125

Director Ryan Keay, MD, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett Director Laura Schiefelbein, PharmD Walgreens, District 189

Director Shabir Somani, RPh, MS, MBA, UW Medicine Director Steven D. Wanaka, RPh, Seattle Children's Hospital

Terms ended: Petra Eichelsdoerfer, ND, MS, RPh, Pharmacist Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, UW Dept. of Env. & Occ. Health Sciences

Administrative Office: (206) 517-2350 Emergencies: (800) 222-1222 TTY users dial 711 for the Washington Relay service Sign up for the latest in poisoning trends and seasonal health alerts at

Visit to see annual statistics on the top 10 most common exposures.

501(c)3 nonprofit

(EIN 94-3214597)

2016 annual report  
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