Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Poison Center to Close Lack of Money Plagues Springfield, Ill., Facility

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Poison Center to Close Lack of Money Plagues Springfield, Ill., Facility

Article excerpt

A poison-control center serving more than 2 million Illinoisans - including those in the Metro East area - will close because of financial woes.

The St. John's Poison Control Center in Springfield, one of three in the state, plans to turn off the telephones in two weeks. Aggie Hayner, a spokeswoman for St. John's Hospital, which houses the center, said Monday that she did not know yet whether people calling the center would hear a recording saying it was closed or whether emergency calls would be rerouted to another place.

"Basically, we handle every call from I-80 down," Hayner said. "I can't answer your question as to what we are going to tell people. It's up to the Illinois Department of Public Health to determine who is going to be designated to handle the calls, if anybody."

Health Department spokeswoman Karen Grueter said no decisions had been made on handling the calls.

"St. John's will keep the lines open until Sept. 1," she said. "It's not been decided what's going to happen (after that). …

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