November 15, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Artesia, N.M.-The New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center (NMPDIC) will be holding a reception to thank the Artesia community for its contributions. The reception is open to the public and will be held at the Artesia Country Club on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.

Local pharmacist Lowell Irby of Lowell's Pharmacy will be at the event along with Representative Janice Arnold-Jones, NMPDIC Director Jess Benson, University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM COP) Dean John A. Pieper and other members of the NMPDIC financial advisory board.

The Artesia community is the biggest contributor to the NMPDIC out of the entire state of New Mexico thanks to the efforts of Irby who has rallied around the center and has worked with gas and oil companies in the state to collect donations.

As a pharmacist, Irby understands the importance of New Mexico having its own poison and drug information center. The center is a valuable resource to the state, taking phone calls to answer questions on all different types of hazards.

Making a call to the poison center can save lives and the state hundreds or thousands of dollars in trips to the emergency room. With Artesia's support, the NMPDIC has been able to continue its effort to provide a toll-free poison information and treatment referral service to the state.

The NMPDIC is a public service program of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and is affiliated with the College of Pharmacy. The staff members at the center answering calls are pharmacists who are also specialists in poison information. There is also a medical toxicologist on call 24 hours.

The center is available to the public and healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call the NMPDIC when you need poison help at 1-800-222-1222.