The West Texas Regional Poison Center (WTRPC) at University Medical Center of El Paso is America's first 24-hour bilingual regional poison control center certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers and is an integral partner in the Texas Poison Center Network.
We are designated to serve:
- 36 counties of West Texas in Public Health Regions 9 and 10.
- This region has a population of 1.35 million people and encompasses about 24% of the state's land mass, 61,434 square miles.
- The West Texas region is unique because the majority of the population is concentrated in El Paso, Midland/Odessa and San Angelo. A call to the Poison Center can safely save long and unnecessary drives to area emergency rooms.
Our entire staff is bilingual in English and Spanish to provide the highest quality medical information to all of our patients, their caregivers, families, and healthcare providers. We assist area educators, health care providers, emergency personnel, public health professionals, and law enforcement agencies with any items imported from Mexico.
WTRPC is a recognized pacesetter for effective poison center services for the 21st century, including:
- Providing professional educational and training opportunities for healthcare professionals, residents, and students of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences of El Paso; Paul L. Foster School of Medicine; The University of Texas at El Paso's School of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, along with other learning institutions.
- Presenting at over 250 public educational and outreach functions such as health fairs and wellness days each year, including the annual Poison Jungle Safari and National Poison Prevention Week Poster Contest.
- Partnering with local and regional coalitions such as the Rise-Up Taskforce, El Paso Advocates for Prevention Coalition, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition, and the Paso de Norte Binational Health Council to host an annual Binational Substance Abuse Council Summit.
- Hosting "Pills and Thrills that Kill - Toxicology in Review", a toxicology review course for physicians mid-level providers, nurses and pharmacists presented in El Paso annually by nationally known toxicologists.
- Serving as the initial pilot site for the "Flu on Call", a collaborative project led by the CDC that aims to utilize America's poison centers and 211 centers to assist in meeting the public's medical needs during a severe influenza pandemic.
- Partnering with the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health (http://www.swcpeh.org/) to answer their 24-hour hotline: 1-888-901-5665 for questions on environmental health concerns as they relate to children throughout the Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana EPA Region 6.
- Serving as a resource for emergency healthcare providers, public health officials, substance abuse prevention and treatment for professionals, and law enforcement agencies on new and emerging trends of potentially toxic substances such as household products, medications, drugs of abuse, and occupational hazards.
- Facilitation of binational collaboration and educational efforts between U.S. and Mexican healthcare professionals.
- A member of wePOISONCONTROL.org, the leading online poison center application and support tool available to the public, free and confidential.
Salvador Baeza, PharmD, DABAT
Salvador Baeza, PharmD, DABAT, is director of the West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center of El Paso. A native of the Big Bend region, he has made El Paso his home since graduating from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. He completed a pediatric pharmacy residency before joining the poison center in 2002. In 2007, Dr. Baeza was named a Diplomat of the American Board of Applied Toxicology and served on ABAT’s Board of Directors from 2014 to 2020. He was also elected to the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ Board of Directors in 2020. Dr. Baeza and the staff at UMC's West Texas Regional Poison Center maintain an active community outreach and professional education program in collaboration with various graduate education programs including Texas Tech's Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics and UTEP's School of Pharmacy.
Sarah Watkins, M.D.
Dr. Sarah Watkins is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Director of Clinical Services for the Division of Medical Toxicology for the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Emergency Medicine. She also serves as the Medical Director for UMC's West Texas Regional Poison Center. Dr. Watkins completed her medical degree at the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine and her residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is board certified in EM and Medical Toxicology and has a true passion for teaching and for managing envenomations. Dr. Watkins enjoys spending time with her husband, Ryan, and her cats, Tigger and Trixie.
Prashant Joshi, M.D.
Assistant Medical Director
Dr. Prashant Joshi is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, the Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, and the Vice Chair of Pediatrics for TTUHSC El Paso. He also serves as the Assistant Medical Director for UMC's West Texas Regional Poison Center. Dr. Joshi completed his medical degree at the University of Ottawa. He is board certified in Pediatrics, Medical Toxicology, and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Joshi shares his enjoyment of toxicology in history and popular culture by producing and hosting the Quiz Bowl at the annual North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology.
Stephen Borron, M.D.
Dr. Stephen Borron is a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at TTUHSC El Paso Department of Emergency Medicine. He previously served as Medical Director for UMC's West Texas Regional Poison Center and continues to serve as Senior Consultant to the center. Dr. Borron is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Medical Toxicology. He is a distinguished researcher and prolific author with vast contributions to the medical and toxicology literature with over 120 publications. He has served as editor-in-chief of ToxED and was editor of Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th edition. Fun fact, Dr. Borron speaks French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
University Medical Center
4815 Alameda Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79905
Open 24 hours