Notification for current and former employees

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION OF A PRIVACY BREACH OF EMPLOYEES’ PERSONAL INFORMATION

Updated: December 14, 2021

Eastern Health is advising its current and former employees, physicians and locums of a recent breach of personal information. While the incident is currently under investigation, we are advising that some personal information was breached in relation to a cyber-attack that occurred in October 2021.

This breach includes information such as name, address, contact information, and social insurance number of employees of Eastern Health over approximately the last 28 years. At this time, there is no indication that this information is being misused or disclosed and no evidence that banking information was involved.

Eastern Health takes confidentiality and privacy very seriously and sincerely regrets this incident and any concern or inconvenience this may cause. We are taking steps to protect the confidentiality and privacy of our employees and clients. As part of that process, Eastern Health has entered into a contract with Equifax to offer all current employees and affected former employees credit monitoring and identity theft services. If you worked with Eastern Health any time in the last 14 years, you can avail yourself of this free service. Eastern Health is currently in the process of contacting former employees, physicians and locums to offer this recommended service. If you do not receive a letter from Eastern Health in the coming weeks, please call 1-833-718-3021.

Along with the recommended Equifax service, we would also encourage you to remain vigilant regarding your financial information. If you notice any unusual activity in any of your accounts or your account statements, please contact your service providers as soon as possible. Service Canada’s website also offers advice on how to protect yourself against identity theft, which can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenueagency/services/forms-publications/publications/rc284/protect-yourself-againstidentity-theft.html.

Mental Health supports for former and current employees are available and include the Bridge the Gapp website, which can be accessed through the following link www.bridgethegapp.ca. Other services include the CHANNAL Warm Line [1-855-753- 2560] and the Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line [1-888-737-4668]. In-person services may also be accessed through Doorways Mental Health Clinics. Current employees can learn more about the supports available to them by contacting the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) with Eastern Health.

Eastern Health has also engaged Homewood Health to provide Employee and Family Assistance services in relation to this incident for current and former employees. The contact number for this service is 1-800-663-1142, and it is available 24-hours a day. Employees and their families can also access this service through Homewood Health’s online intake form, which can be found here: https://homewoodhealth.com/corporate/contact-eap-efap.

Immediate actions were taken to reduce the risk of further incidents and these efforts will continue. Eastern Health notification protocols through the Newfoundland and Labrador Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) are underway. The RCMP and other external resources are currently involved, provincially, to fully investigate the incident. We appreciate your patience and understanding as the investigation continues.

If you are not satisfied with Eastern Health’s response to this privacy breach, you have the right to contact the OIPC NL. OIPC NL wishes to advise, however, that the Commissioner has already decided to launch a privacy investigation regarding this incident. Unless you believe there are very specific circumstances particular to your own case that would warrant an individual complaint, it is not necessary to file a complaint. If you have any questions or aren’t sure if you should file an individual complaint, feel free to contact the OIPC NL to discuss further. The OIPC may be contacted through the following address:

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
2 Canada Drive
P.O. Box 13004, Station “A”
St. John’s NL, A1B 3V8
Telephone: 709-729-6309
Email: commissioner@oipc.nl.ca

Once again, we deeply regret that this has happened and would like to apologize for this incident and provide assurance of our continued commitment to the protection of your privacy.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the provincial call centre that was recently established for this purpose at 1-833-718-3021.

David Diamond
President and Chief Executive Officer
Eastern Health

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Last updated: 2021-12-14