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60 Years of Service

Posted: January 8th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »



The year was 1953. Dwight Eisenhower was president, the average cost of a new house was $12,650 and gas was $.29 a gallon.  This was also the year Illinois Poison Center (IPC) was established. If you’re not sure what the IPC does, check out “A Day in the Life of a Poison Center” blog for some funny, interesting, and sometimes sad calls received by the poison center experts.

For 60 years, the IPC has been a resource for the public and health care professionals alike, and a trusted voice in potentially hazardous situations. In early years of the IPC, there were over a hundred poison centers in the state, many of them in emergency or pharmacy departments of community hospitals. The number of poison information centers dwindled through the years and in 1997, when the last poison center housed at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke was about to shut its doors, the IPC moved to the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. Staff members continue to take close to 90,000 calls annually and help save over $50 million dollars in health care costs each year in Illinois. We sincerely appreciate the thousands of Illinois residents who have helped educate their family, friends and community about poison prevention and the IPC hotline service.

I recently had the pleasure of gathering testimonials from parents, caregivers, teachers, doctors, school nurses, pharmacists and other Illinoisans about the differences our poison center makes in their lives.

I spoke with Dr. Joseph Brawaka, a local emergency room physician, who uses the IPC to help secure accurate information to treat his patients.

“It would take me an hour to look up the materials needed to treat patients who suffer from poisoning situations. This service saves lives and allows me to be with other patients. I have nothing but good things to say about the IPC.”

During my conversation with Mary, a mother of six from Lake Forest, she expressed how critical the IPC is in keeping her children safe.

“I have called the IPC numerous times. Each time I’ve called, I received wonderful help. The IPC staff is amazing. I find their job very worthwhile and am grateful for their presence in our community. In serious situations, they are polite, reassuring and knowledgeable.”

For Michelle, a former police and fire dispatcher, her conversation with our expert team brought ease and comfort.

”I typically handle pressure well, but I would have never slept if I hadn’t called to get the proper info and peace of mind. There’s nothing better than someone you know you can trust–even though they’re a stranger–telling you how to handle every possible situation and letting you know you’re not alone.”

No matter what your situation, let the IPC assist and guide you to a safe outcome and provide you with the necessary information for any exposures to harmful substances. I encourage you to take our Poison Prevention Education Course, consult our My Child Ate Resource Library or help your children learn about harmful substances through our interactive games so that you and your loved ones can stay informed of the latest in poison information.

Through your donations, letters and e-mails to your local officials and ongoing use of our resources, you can help the IPC continue to bring peace of mind to the community for the next 60 years.

Do you have a story to tell about your experience with the IPC? We’d love to hear it!

As always, if you or someone you know are exposed to a potentially harmful substance or situation, please do not hesitate to call the experts at 1-800-222-1222…it’s quick, free and confidential.

Happy Birthday IPC!


Click here to see Congressman Davis wish the IPC a Happy Birthday!

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