The Resource Center recently honored three employees in its Information Services Department for their efforts in protecting the agency’s computer records after an external vendor experienced a cyber attack.
The three employees (Steve Lindquist, Director; Can Tenamore, Assistant Director; and Desiree Wesley, Electronic Health Records Application Analyst) received The Resource Center’s agency-wide staff appreciation award for the first quarter of 2018. They were honored recently at a luncheon held inside TRC’s administrative offices in Celoron.
In January a company called Allscripts, which The Resource Center uses to manage its electronic health records, experienced a ransomware attack. Allscripts is one of the nation’s largest electronic health record system vendors, and about 1,500 Allscripts clients across country were affected by the cyber attack.
Upon learning of the attack, Steve, Can and Desiree took steps to protect the records of the thousands of people who receive health care services from The Resource Center. Working long hours, they identified and implemented a solution to ensure TRC’s records would not be affected by the attack on Allscripts. An external cyber security expert subsequently validated the approach, saying TRC’s solution was the best measure to protect TRC’s records.
“They’ve really done an excellent job being ahead of the game,” said Mark Morton, Assistant Executive Director for Employee Relations. “Your foresight and quick action makes us all feel safer in the use of information systems needed for the efficiency, integration and sharing of data necessary to keep pace with the changes in the areas of health and human services.”
Randall Lewis, TRC’s Attorney, nominated Steve, Can and Desiree for the award. He used a baseball analogy to praise their efforts: “You guys hit everything out of the park.”
Randy added that information technology employees often have thankless jobs, because they more often hear complaints about technology issues rather than being thanked for keeping things running smoothly.
“They did do a great job in this instance and so many other instances,” he said.
Executive Director Denise Jones echoed Randy’s comments. She said many organizations struggle with IT issues, and she noted that an organization similar to The Resource Center recently experienced a security breach that cost that agency millions of dollars. Denise praised TRC’s IT team for taking extra steps to keep TRC’s computer network safe and said the Information Systems Department is as much a part of The Resource Center as any other area of TRC.
“Just like the buildings we need and the homes we need, you’re part of the fabric of our organization,” she said.
Steve, Can and Desiree expressed gratitude that their efforts were appreciated. They noted that The Resource Center, with its 40-plus locations and diverse services, is a complex organization from an information security perspective.
“I’m truly thankful for the team that we have,” Can said. “With everybody’s support, we make TRC’s services stronger.”