“America’s First 24-Hour Bilingual Regional Poison Center Certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers”


The West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center of El Paso (WTRPC) is at the forefront of providing excellence in 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) poison center services and educational programs to the 1.4 million citizens located in its 36-county service region and the entire State of Texas as a member of the Texas Poison Center Network. The WTRPC in El Paso is the only center located directly on the entire 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border. Its fully bilingual team of Pharmacist-Nurse Certified Specialists in Poison Information (CSPI), Toxicology Board Certified Medical Director, Center Director, Community Relations Educator, and Information Systems Office Coordinator are uniquely qualified to provide critical poison information in both English and Spanish to actual or suspected poisoned individuals and their families, healthcare providers and the general public. This is accomplished through its 24-hour bilingual poison emergency hotline with case management and follow-up calls, and its bilingual public and professional educational outreach efforts specifically designed to address West Texas and the U.S.-Mexico border region’s unique demographics. It is important to recognize that “affordable healthcare begins with poison centers,” since poison centers are second only to immunizations in providing the most cost-effective healthcare return on investment.

The WTRPC Mission is to reduce the morbidity, mortality and costs associated with poisonings through provision of quality bilingual care to the citizens of Texas. Its strategy is to provide immediate bilingual response to telephone calls during poisoning emergencies 24-hours daily, and to provide educational programs to the general public and healthcare providers in the prevention and management of poisonings.

The WTRPC Vision is to continue to set the standard for quality as a community healthcare provider, providing leadership and integrating a health delivery network which is dedicated to achieving improved health status, exceptional clinical outcomes, customer satisfaction, and value. In partnership with our patients, medical staff, employees, volunteers, and other community providers, we will build upon our clinical strengths to provide a continuum of care which includes health promotion and education, prevention, accessible primary, acute, and after-care services. We are committed to our C.A.R.E. values: to serve our Community, to assure Accountability to our stakeholders, to enhance Respect and dignity for all, and to provide Excellence in service in all we do.

The WTRPC’s continuing role as a pacesetter for effective and innovative bilingual poison center services and expansion of its professional and public educational and training services include: facilitating binational efforts between U.S. and Mexican healthcare professionals; participating directly in the development of a bi-national emergency response plan; continuing its bi-national toxicology conference "Toxicology Has No Borders" during which experts from both the U.S. and Mexico convene to address the latest diagnostic and management information for toxic exposures; presenting toxicology review courses in both English and Spanish for healthcare providers; providing clinical experience rotations for resident physicians and pharmacy student interns; continuing its annual bilingual “Poison Jungle Safari” for children and parents; and sponsoring public educational activities and health fairs.

The WTRPC developed and maintains a rare collaborative partnership program with the El Paso Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to more accurately assess and manage incoming 911 EMS poison exposure calls. In 2002, the valuable partnership program provided significant cost savings of $754,350 through the reduction of 79% (321) unnecessary ambulance dispatches of 408 calls, reduction of unnecessary ambulance and emergency room expenses, and reduction of emergency room congestion.

Call 1-800-222-1222 in Any Poison Emergency or for Poison Information