$20.4 Million in Federal Grants Aids 55 Poison Control Centers

An agency within HHS is giving $20.4 million in grants to 55 poison control centers nationwide to help them improve treatment and prevention services and become certified if they aren't already. The Health Resources and Services Administration included nine incentive grants in the total; these help recipient centers expand their outreach to underserved populations and are widespread, going to centers in Arizona, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Maine, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah.

The largest single award, $2,350,539, is going to the Regents of the University of California, San Francisco. The next-highest grants are $861,843 to the MCHC-Chicago Hospital Council; $673,635 to the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, Colo.; $583,918 to the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark; and $561,975 to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The grants are being awarded through HRSA's Poison Control Stabilization and Enhancement Program. HRSA provides technical assistance to centers and supports a national toll-free number (800-222-1222) to ensure universal access to centers' services. More than 2.4 million poison exposures are reported to centers each year, with 52 percent of them involving children younger than 5. About 90 percent of poisonings occur in homes, according to HRSA.

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