WNY Poison Control Center Forced to Close

November 8, 2010 Updated Nov 8, 2010 at 9:46 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

November 8, 2010 Updated Nov 8, 2010 at 9:46 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW-TV) The state's financial crisis is forcing the Western New York Poison Control Center to close its doors for good. For more than two decades the center has served the region from Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, but says it's victim to the state's budget cuts. Now only two centers within the entire state will be will be funded under the budget, one in Syracuse and the other in New York City.

"It's a valuable resource here locally, and has been since 1986 when it was first designated by New York State," said Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Spokesperson John Moscato. "If people had a concern or issue regarding poisoning that they could call a local expert, but now a level of local expertise is being lost."

Since the center is a toxicology teaching site for UB's School of Medicine and Pharmacy and the D'Youville Pharmacy Program, there will be a cut in training and the center will no longer be a local resource for professionals. The call center will still be available to the public 24 hours a day by dialing 1-800-222-1222, but now calls will be routed to Syracuse. Women and Children's Hospitals of Buffalo says about 10 employees are impacted, but it's working hard with the local union to offer other employment within the Kaleida Health Care System.