tion. They include: (1) Arizona’s “Tell a Friend,” featuring special outreach to Native American tribes and Hispanic communities; (2) South Texas’s education program focusing on increasing usage of the poison control center by the Hispanic community by overcoming language and cultural barriers to center use; (3) Ohio’s “Be Poison Smart,” providing a common message in Ohio though networking and training stakeholders to carry the message forward in a standardized form; and (4) California’s “Don’t Guess, Be Sure,” which was developed using rigorous market research methods leading to different message strategies for various audience segments. Unfortunately, all four programs are in the early stages of implementation and, as a result, little data are available for purposes of evaluation.
The Arizona Poison Center developed “Tell a Friend,” an education program that focused on prevention and poison control center access and use for all residents of Arizona, with a particular emphasis on increasing center use by the Hispanic/Latino and Native American populations (Krueger, 2003). Other goals were to increase the use of the national toll-free number; the number of pediatricians providing poison prevention anticipatory guidance; the use of the Internet; and knowledge of partners and community collaborators regarding poison control centers’ services.
The development of this program was guided by the Program Evaluation Logic Model. Focus groups in the Hispanic and Native American communities were used to determine levels of knowledge and barriers to poison control center use. Partners in the education effort included Native American communities, the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, county health departments, Head Start, the State Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the statewide Medicaid programs. As a result, educational materials have been developed in English and Spanish, and Native American outreach programs have been conducted with 22 Arizona tribes. Early results showed that outreach programs led to an increase in penetrance of 200 calls per 1,000 population compared with a decrease of 160 calls per 100,000 population in the control group.
The South Texas Poison Center program on language barriers to poison control center use was designed to increase awareness and use of center services by the Hispanic community (Griffin et al., 2001). The initial study involved the collection of data from five Texas counties along the Mexican border to determine (1) the level of knowledge about poison control services and (2) the perceived barriers to using them. The survey was conducted though cooperation with health care facilities and community service organizations. The results showed that Hispanics who spoke only Spanish were less likely than whites to know how to contact the poison control center and more likely than whites to believe that the services would cost money. Bilingual-speaking individuals were most