Published on March 17, 2014

Genesis Pushes State To Fund Illinois Poison Control

Genesis Health System is urging Illinois legislators to find a solution to budget cuts, which could result in closing the Illinois Poison Control Center by June 30.

At a news conference this morning at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis, State Senator Mike Jacobs continued to voice his support of a solution to provide permanent funding to the Illinois Poison Control Center.

Dr. Wayne Gallops, medical director of emergency services at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis, said the poison center offers important services not only to healthcare facilities, but to thousands of parents each year.

“No one physician can know the possible side effects and risks of every drug out there,’’ Dr. Gallops said. “We often need the poison control center to advise us on how to treat a patient who has ingested something unintentionally or deliberately.

“The minutes spent with the experts at the Illinois Poison Control Center can not only save lives, but can reduce lengths of stay for treatment and lower hospital charges.

“Illinois state government needs to come up with a solution and a continuing funding source to avoid a shutdown and prevent a repeat of this funding crisis in the future.’’

Jacobs said the poison center handles about 82,000 cases each year.  Many of those contacts are from parents asking about exposure by children.

“The service is there as a safety net for parents and caregivers.  Knowing as a parent that you can call this service anytime and receive credible information from health professionals offers peace of mind,’’ Jacobs said. “This is not a service that should have to be concerned about its funding every year.’’

Without stable funding, Illinois could become the only state to not have a poison control center.

“The IPC is extremely important to the residents of our state.  We need to think about all the lives that have been saved by this vital service and the reduced burden on our health care facilities,’’ said State Representative Patrick Verschoore.  “I am in full support of working on ways to keep funding for the IPC.’’

Ken Croken, vice president of corporate communications, Genesis Health System, urged anyone interested in protecting the Illinois Poison Control center to contact their legislator.

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