A “network security incident” at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has caused delays for the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (MCHRC), according to an email from MCHRC executive director Mark Luckner this morning.
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The disturbance came hours before applications were due for a $13 million grant from MCHRC that aims to reduce health disparities in the state. Luckner’s statement said the application timeline will be extended.
“Due to this network security incident, the Commission will be granting an extension to the proposal deadline and will provide additional guidance as more information becomes available.”
Throughout October and November, MCHRC hosted a number of informational meetings around the state to spread awareness of the Pathways to Health Equity Grant and answer questions from potential applicants. These include non-profit community based organizations and hospitals, higher education institutes (especially historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU)), federally qualified health centers, or local health departments.
Project proposals must fit certain criteria set by MCHRC, such as serving a geographical area with measurable health disparities. In an effort to help applicants determine the reach of their proposals, MCHRC partnered with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), Maryland’s health information exchange, and provided a searchable database of health disparities broken down by zip code in the state.
The database, meeting recordings, and documents needed to submit a proposal application were located on the Commission’s webpage. As of this afternoon, attempts to access the MCHRC page on the MDH website are redirected to the department’s home page, which operates as normal.
Maryland is the latest state hit by health care cybersecurity issues this year. In May, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services experienced a cyberattack that interrupted some of its services. Then in the summer, an email phishing scam at a Virginia hospital caused some patients’ medical information to be leaked and prompted an investigation.