ACMT Announces Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Sites in Western United States

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The American College of Medical Toxicology announces selection of five Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) sites in the western United States. These sites, located in federal regions 6-10, serve as referral and information resources for healthcare providers and the public with environmental health concerns.

American College of Medical Toxicology

The PEHSU Mission is to improve the health of children through enhancing educational and consultative services to clinicians, health professionals, and the community regarding environmental health concerns.

The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) has selected Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) sites for the five Federal regions in the western United States. The sites were chosen through a competitive bidding process, as has been done with prior awards. ACMT manages the PEHSU National Office – Western Operations (PEHSU West) through a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Awards were distributed to the following sites in Regions 6 through 10:
Region 6: Texas Tech University in El Paso, Texas
Region 7: Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri
Region 8: Denver Health and Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver, Colorado
Region 9: University of California San Francisco, with a satellite at the University of California Irvine
Region 10: University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

The PEHSU Mission is to improve the health of children through enhancing educational and consultative services to clinicians, health professionals, and the community regarding environmental health concerns. PEHSUs are based at academic medical centers affiliated with medical schools. They offer health care professionals and community members expert services related to the prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of environmentally related health effects. In concert with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is managing the PEHSUs in Regions 1 through 5, ACMT is committed to expanding the reach of the regional units through technology platforms and national partnerships. According to Carl Baum, M.D., “ACMT has assembled an expert team to roll out new services, including enhanced website, database, and instructional design capacity. These enhancements will help all 10 Regions extend their reach and achieve deliverables.”

The long-term goal of the PEHSU program is to reduce children’s exposure to environmental health threats beginning at the earliest stages of fetal development and prevent the development of adverse effects. Charles McKay, MD, ACMT Vice-President, reports “It is at the earlier stages of development where the concern for possible long-term impacts of environmental exposure is the greatest. ACMT will oversee the development of tools by PEHSUs and other experts to assist healthcare providers in assessing exposure and helping their pregnant patients to take reasonable steps to reduce risk.”

As part of the educational services provided through the PEHSU network, ACMT hosts monthly educational webinars for healthcare practitioners on a variety of pediatric environmental health topics. More information on the PEHSU Webinar Series can be found here: http://www.acmt.net/PEHSU_Grand_Rounds.html

About The American College of Medical Toxicology

ACMT is a professional, non-profit association of physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. The ACMT mission is to advance quality care of poisoned patients and public health through physicians who specialize in consultative, emergency, environmental, forensic, and occupational toxicology. For more information, visit http://www.acmt.net, or follow on Twitter @acmt.

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