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Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital serves Fremont and Sandusky counties in Ohio.

Regional News/Midwest: Milwaukee sues over wellness-program data theft, and other news

Posted: January 4, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

The city of Milwaukee has filed a complaint with HHS' Office for Civil Rights over the loss of personal information of as many as 9,000 city employees, their spouses and domestic partners by the city's wellness program vendor.

According to the complaint, the city provided Froedtert Workforce Health with a password-protected encrypted flash drive containing patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and gender. However, that information was allegedly transferred to an unencrypted, non-password protected flash drive that was reported stolen on Oct. 21 from the car of an employee of United/Dynacare, a lab with which Froedtert subcontracted to perform blood tests on Milwaukee city employees.

“It was not until the afternoon of Nov. 15 that city of Milwaukee representatives were informed of the loss by Froedtert representatives,” according to the complaint. The complaint also notes that the Milwaukee Police Department, which had investigated the car theft, was not informed of the missing flash drive or its contents. “Obviously, this information would have affected the nature of the investigation had they been informed,” according to the complaint. “Upon learning this, the police reopened their investigation and spoke further with the Dynacare employee involved.”

The city is asking for the maximum allowable penalties against Dynacare.

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ProMedica adds Memorial Hospital to roster

Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica, a not-for-profit healthcare organization with eight hospitals and 310 facilities, is adding 71-bed Memorial Hospital of Fremont, Ohio, to its roster.

“While the process of joining ProMedica and Memorial Hospital has been methodical and detailed, in many ways, the work starts now as our internal teams begin to meet in earnest, seeking ways to enhance access to superior healthcare, increase efficiencies and determine ways to coordinate care more effectively,” said Pamela Jensen, president of Memorial since January 2013.

“We are prepared for a challenging year and the need for top-quality healthcare has never been greater,” Jensen said. “As a member of ProMedica, we will have access to more resources and expertise to enhance the quality of patient care and meet the critical needs of our communities.”

Memorial Hospital serves Fremont and Sandusky counties in Ohio. Founded in 1918, Memorial offers emergency care, surgery, inpatient pediatrics and a birthing center. ProMedica was formed in 1986 and serves northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The system has more than 15,000 employees and performs more than 57,000 surgeries each year.

John N. Frank

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