Mr. Yuk and the Washington Poison Center: Saving Lives for 62 Years

Jennifer Monteleone, APR | Director, Development & Marketing
Washington Poison Center

The Washington Poison Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving the citizens of Washington state since 1956. More than 4 million calls have been answered over 62 years, making the Washington Poison Center one of the busiest poison centers in the United States.

The Washington Poison Center serves the general public, along with hospital clinical staff and first responders. In 2017, 63,000 total calls were received into their call center, with 26% of those from hospital clinical staff and first responders regarding patients presenting with poisonings, drug overdoses, and toxic exposures.

The Washington Poison Center’s call center team is comprised of sixteen specialists in poison information – pharmacists and nurses with expert-level training in toxicology. Seven board-certified physician medical toxicologists provide toxicology consultations to clinical staff needing assistance with evaluating and managing an increasing number of polysubstance overdoses, toxic exposures to chemicals, and serious unintentional poisonings in young children. Dr. Erica Liebelt, a pediatrician, emergency physician, and board-certified medical physician toxicologist, serves as the organization’s Executive/Medical Director.

In addition to its emergency helpline telephone life-saving services, Mr. Yuk and the Washington Poison Center team also provide public health education, clinical education, community relations outreach, and real-time data surveillance.

With the rise in adolescents exposed to vaping, e-cigarette and marijuana products, the Washington Poison Center is expanding its community relations outreach to families with young children with the goal of preventing and reducing harm through collaboration and education.

One way they hope to achieve this goal is by increasing access to Mr. Yuk stickers, specifically in pediatric clinical settings. If your office would like to offer Mr. Yuk stickers as a poison prevention resource, please contact: Jennifer Monteleone, Director, Development & Marketing,

The Washington Poison Center is always here to help, 24/7/365, by calling: 1 (800) 222-1222.