inthrop has announced a new, more inclusive name for one of its most important public health outreach and education programs - The Long Island Poison and Drug Information Center
“The Program’s new name more accurately describes our expanded mission and functions,” explained Howard Mofenson, MD, the Center’s Medical Director.
“We receive many requests for information about drugs and herbal dietary supplements. The Center’s role is to provide the public and professionals with information about drugs that may prevent poisoning episodes.
“We are especially trying
to encourage elderly people to call us with questions, in the event that they have made a mistake with their medications,” Dr. Mofenson added.
Thomas Caraccio, PharmD, the Program’s Coordinator, noted, “Last year, the Center received more than 250 calls from people with questions about herbals and the interactions between herbals and other pharmaceuticals. We urge people to inform their physicians of what herbals they are taking, along with prescribed drugs.”
Another new responsibility for Winthrop’s Poison and Drug Information Center came about through the ready accessibility
of dietary supplements through the Internet.
“Substances we warn about include oleander, a dangerous herbal additive, and absinthe,
a flavoring used in alcohol. Absinthe has been banned in Europe and the United States since l9l5,” cautioned Dr. Mofenson. “Its current availability over the Internet represents a real danger to the consumer.
“Another dangerous drug
is Ephedra, a drug potion used in China for thousands of years, known as MaHuang. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 400 adverse complaints about Ephedra,” Dr. Mofenson
Additionally, the Center
provides information to the
community and to health
professionals on all poisons, drugs and chemical substances, including wild plants, mushrooms, insect bites, snakebites, marine envenomations (such
as jelly fish bites), and product recalls.
The Center now has a new Website, which can be easily accessed by the public - www.lirpdic.org.
Drs. Mofenson and Caraccio,
and a staff of registered nurses with advanced poison control
certification, man the phones daily on 24-hour rotating shifts. For information, free literature, or to find answers to your
questions, call (516) 663-2650
or (516) 542-2323.
Winthrop Hosts Child Health Plus
Child Health Plus, a state and government subsidized private insurance program for children, from birth to age 18, provides parents an opportunity to purchase low-cost health insurance for their children. Recently, Frances Sweeney, (L) President of Winthrop’s Auxiliary, and Laura Grau, (R) Winthrop’s Gift Shop Manager, volunteered their services at the Open Enrollment event in the Hospital’s lobby. Open Enrollment was a Long Island-wide project of the Nassau - Suffolk Hospital Council. For further information on Child Health Plus, call the toll-free Healthy Families Hotline, 1-877-714-2273.