The Northern New England Poison Center serves Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The center is nationally accredited by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

What does the NNEPC do?

The NNEPC provides a free, 24-hour poison emergency and information help line, available at 1-800-222-1222, by online chat or by texting POISON to 85511. The NNEPC serves the general public and health care professionals. TTY and language interpretation services are available.

The NNEPC also provides education to the general public and health care professionals on how to prevent and respond to poisonings.

Who works at the NNEPC?

The NNEPC help line is staffed by health care professionals, primarily nurses, who are highly trained in toxicology (poisons and poisonings).

Toxicology consultation is provided to health care providers by the NNEPC’s director, medical director and volunteer attending.

Dr. Karen Simone, Director

Dr. Karen Simone is the director of the NNEPC. She is a doctor of pharmacy, a Diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. Dr. Simone oversees the day-to-day operations of the poison center, including management of calls, emergency preparedness activities, staff education, educational outreach, research and funding.


Dr. Tammi Schaeffer, NNEPC Medical Director
Dr. Tammi Schaeffer, Medical Director

Dr. Tammi Schaeffer is the medical director of the NNEPC. She is a physician boarded in emergency medicine and medical toxicology. Dr. Schaeffer oversees the clinical management of calls and provides toxicology education for physicians in training.


What is the value of NNEPC?

The NNEPC manages more than 30,000 poisonings a year. Of those who call the poison center from their home, nine out of ten are treated with over-the-phone advice and do not need to go to the hospital.

Over-the-phone treatment advice keeps poisonings out of already-full hospital emergency departments, and also improves health outcomes and decreases length of stay for those who do have to go to the hospital. On the whole, poison center treatment advice saves more than $13 for every $1 spent.

Who funds the NNEPC?

  • Maine Medical Center, a member of the MaineHealth Family
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services
  • The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
  • The Vermont Department of Health
  • The University of Vermont Medical Center
  • The United Way

The Northern New England Poison Center is also supported by funds received through grant #H4BHS15557, awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The contents of this site are solely the responsibility of the Northern New England Poison Center and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Healthcare Preparedness, Healthcare Systems Bureau.