UVM Health Network CEO unsure when network will be fully restored

University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington
University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington(WCAX)
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 11:50 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The CEO of the UVM Health Network says he doesn’t know when the network’s hospitals will be back to normal after a recent cyberattack.

In the meantime, he’s asking for continued patience and understanding.

Dr. John Brumsted says because of the federal investigation, they cannot discuss the details of the attack on the health network’s IT systems.

But he says the attack was very broad, so restoration has to be carefully planned.

Brumsted praised employees for their help and says the hospitals continue to use all their resources to reduce the impact on patients.

In a statement, Brumsted said:

"First and foremost, to our patients, families and communities, we are very sorry for the worry and frustration this has caused. And we regret disruptions in your care. As a physician, there are fewer things more alarming than when patients in need of care cannot access it. This cyberattack happened in the midst of a global pandemic that shows no signs of slowing, making this situation even more troubling. That is why we are working so hard to prioritize the services that are most critical, and it is why we are investing significant time and human resources in manual processes that, while slower than in normal times, allow us to deliver care to those who need it most.

"Federal authorities have directed us not to discuss the details of the attack on our IT systems in order to preserve the integrity of their investigation. What I can tell you is that this attack was very broad in its reach. That means our response and restoration must be very carefully planned to be sure we can safely and securely restore our systems.

"The UVM Health Network team is literally working day and night to address this situation and the Governor has called the Vermont National Guard into service to bolster our own resources. I am incredibly thankful to the Governor and the Guard for supporting us during this challenging time. We are making steady gains each day, and I am very proud of our teams for their response to this emergency.

"Even with our daily gains, we do not yet have a timeframe for full recovery and restoration.

"That means continued creativity and ingenuity will be required to continue to serve our patients. There will be continued teamwork with our hospital, provider and state partners who are assisting in our time of need, because we are all connected and working together. We also ask for continued patience and understanding as we work without the tools and information we rely on to serve you efficiently.

"Each and every employee in the UVM Health Network is impacted by this in some way, and these dedicated people are your family members, neighbors and friends. I am in awe of their response and their ability to adapt to new systems so we can continue to serve you.

“Please know that we will continue to use every available resource and strategy to reduce patient and staff impacts. Thank you for your support and understanding in this very difficult time. We will get through this, and we will emerge strong.”

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