Call Room Staff Credentials
The nurses, pharmacists, and other poison information providers who answer the emergency telephone lines undergo rigorous training to respond quickly and professionally to each call. All staff members receive formal training at the Washington Poison Center before they go on line and then receive ongoing training. They work together as a dedicated team to handle any poison crisis or question.
Besides being licensed as a nurse or pharmacist, each health-degreed staff member must pass an intensive national toxicology examination to qualify as a poison information specialist. At least two years of clinical experience and meticulous study are required to successfully complete the exam.
The Washington Poison Center is unique in that it also requires non-health-degreed staff members, Poison Information Provides, to pass a similar certification exam. The test was developed by the Washington Poison Center and modeled after the exam given to nurses and pharmacists. All Poison Information Provider (PIP) staff members have a science background and extensive experience working in a health care environment. PIPs are supervised by pharmacists and nurses; and all staff are supported by board-certified physician toxicologists at all times.
Call Center Staff
- Clinical Managing Director: Alexander Garrard, PharmD, DABAT
- Medical Directors: Matthew Valento, MD & Betty Chen, MD
- Associate Medical Director: Carl Skinner, MD
- Associate Medical Director: Suzan Mazor, MD
- Executive Director: Carrie Ulvestad, MBA
- HR & Finance Manager: Jan Binks
- Development Director: Terri Suzuki
- Operations Manager: Katie Von Derau
- Education and Communications Specialist: Whitney Pennington, MPH
- Education and Emergency Preparedness Specialist: Jared O’Connor, MPH
- Executive Assistant: Wendy Russell
Media Inquiries can be directed to Whitney Pennington, Education and Communications Specialist, at 206-517-2380
Let us know about how the Poison Specialist you spoke with helped you. We’d love to have your feedback!