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Wednesday
Jul162014

Notification: Breach of Information

The Guidance Center of Westchester, Inc. is notifying clients of a breach of their personal information after discovering that the following has occurred:

On February 22, 2013, the Center discovered that a central processing unit (CPU) had been removed from a staff member’s office at its 70 Grand Street, New Rochelle, New York location. The Center immediately conducted a preliminary investigation into the incident and determined that the CPU was taken on February 21, 2013. The Center notified local law enforcement and filed a police report. The New Rochelle Police Department is currently investigating the incident.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, New York State Attorney General’s Office, New York State Office of Cyber Security, and New York State Department of State Division of Consumer Protection have all been notified in accordance with the law.

The breach involves the records of 1,416 past and present clients of the Center. It has been determined that the following categories of personal information were contained on the missing CPU: (i) names, (ii) date of birth, (iii) date of admittance to the Center, (iv) name of insurance carriers, (v) home address, (vi) diagnosis, (vii) outpatient treatment authorization request, (viii) social security number, (ix) doctors’ names, (x) a notation of whether medication was prescribed (but not a description of the medication), and (xi) case number.

The Center has taken numerous steps to locate the missing CPU and further investigate the circumstances surrounding its removal. A forensic security analysis of the accessibility of the personal information contained on the CPU has been performed. As a result of that expert analysis, the Center believes that the risk of access to the personal information at issue is low. However, enhanced security measures are being implemented facility-wide, including encrypting all laptop and desktop computers and retraining its staff, to improve security and minimize any future risk.

In an effort to mitigate against the risk of identity theft and fraud, the Center is offering to pay for identity theft protection services for one year for each affected client who requests this service. In addition, each affected client has been provided with printed materials designed to aid in further protection against identify theft and fraud, including contact information for the Federal Trade Commission and credit reporting agencies where they can place a fraud alert on their consumer reports. [A copy of this aid is available upon request.]

“The safety and well-being of our clients is and has always been our primary concern,” said Amy Gelles, the Center’s Executive Director. “We regret that this incident has occurred, but we are moving swiftly to reassure our clients that everything possible is being done to protect them now and in the future.”

Those affected have been directed to contact specially trained personnel assigned to assist them. Concerned clients may also contact Bart Worden, Deputy Director, toll-free, at 800-319-9659, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by email 24 hours a day at: bworden@theguidancecenter.org, or may send their concerns by mail to: The Guidance Center of Westchester, Inc., 256 Washington Street, Mt. Vernon, NY 10553.

The Guidance Center of Westchester is an innovative multi-service, community-based nonprofit organization which serves more than 5,000 people in Westchester County each year. For more information, visit: www.theguidancecenter.org.

Notice of Privacy Practices.