Historical Timeline

1955: Boston Poison Control Center established, which was the first of its kind in the state and the third center in the nation.

1955 – 1978: Additional poison control centers established in Worcester, Fall River, New Bedford and Springfield.

1973: Congress passed the National Emergency Medical Services System Act.

1976: Massachusetts Department of Public Health appointed a poison committee to create a statewide poison system.

1978: Massachusetts Poison Control System replaced the local poison centers.

1981: Rhode Island Poison Center began operations as a community service funded by Rhode Island Hospital.

January 1999: Lifespan, through its affiliate Rhode Island Hospital, announced the closing of the Rhode Island Poison Center.

March 1999: Rhode Island General Assembly allocated state funding for poison center services.

August 1999: Massachusetts and Rhode Island Departments of Health issued joint request for proposals for poison center services.

January 2000: Regional Center For Poison Control and Prevention Serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island Established at Children’s Hospital Boston.

February 2000: President Clinton signed into law the Poison Control Center Enhancement and Awareness Act, which allocated federal funding to poison centers.

March 2000: Massachusetts and Rhode Island Departments of Health convened the first meeting of The Regional Poison Center Advisory Committee.

September 2001: The Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention was awarded a three-year stabilization grant and a two-year competitive grant for the first time through the Poison Control Center Enhancement and Awareness Act.

January 2002: The new toll-free phone number- 1-800-222-1222 -was launched nationwide.

September 2002: The first New England Regional Toxicology Conference was held in Sturbridge, MA.

March 2005: The Center celebrates its 50th Anniversary!

October 2008: The President signed into law the “Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008.” The new legislation reauthorizes the Poison Center national toll-free number and the national media campaign to educate the public and health care providers about the toll-free number, poison prevention, and Poison Center resources. The legislation also reauthorizes the grant program for Poison Centers for the purposes of preventing and providing treatment recommendations for poisoning.

September 2009: Dedication of the Dr. Michael Shannon Conference Room within the IC Smith Buidling at Childrens Hospital Boston.