Our Staff


All Poison Specialists at the Tennessee Poison Center are registered nurses, pharmacists, or physicians with extensive poison management experience and specialty training. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) credentials a nurse or pharmacist as a Certified Specialist in Poison Information (CSPI) once standard requirements have been met. Certification requires passing a standardized national exam, handling a minimum of 2,000 human exposure cases a year, and working a minimum of 16 hours per week in the poison center. The Tennessee Poison Center has 12 SPIs on staff.


The Tennessee Poison Center has two board-certified physician toxicologists on staff, Dr. Donna Seger and Dr. Rebecca Bruccoleri. Dr. Seger is the Executive Director, and Dr. Bruccoleri is the Medical Director of the TPC. A medical toxicologist is on call 24/7 providing medical back-up to poison specialists for life threatening poison emergencies and is also available to consult with health care staff as necessary. 


The Managing Director of the Tennessee Poison Center, Dr. Nena Bowman, is a board-certified Clinical Toxicologist (DABAT) and Pharmacist (PharmD). Her role includes ensuring the poison center provides the highest quality of poison advice to residents and healthcare providers in Tennessee by maintaining the center's AAPCC accreditation and giving direct supervision to the poison center staff, strategic planning, and oversight of administrative functions of programs. Dr. Bowman also provides clinical back-up to the poison specialists.


The Coordinator of Community Outreach, Sophie Raffo, has a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Biochemistry. She is the liaison between the community and the TPC and is responsible for all outreach and education activity at the Poison Center and statewide. Her role includes grant writing, educating the public on poison safety, promoting use of the toll-free Poison Help hotline, collaborating with injury prevention educators statewide, and more.