The Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center recently completed the process to be certified by the association that oversees the poison centers nationwide. The managing director of the Iowa center, Linda Kalin, says the certification is an important goal they’ve been working on. She says certification for a poison control center is a “major accomplishment” meaning they’ve met a series of national standards of excellence for poison centers. Kalin says there were several quality guidelines the Sioux City-based center had to meet for certification. She says a couple of years ago they were able to hire a medical toxicologist to become the medical director and that was a big missing piece they had. Kalin says the center became the one-stop place to call for poison information five years ago. She says the center has grown 65-percent since it was establish in the fall of 2000. She says they now have 100-percent of their staff certified as poison control specialists, something that’s pretty rare. She says the center handled over 38-thousand calls in 2004 from Iowa’s 99 counties. The toll-free poison control hotline number is: 800-222-1222. You can get non-emergency information at the center’s website at