Media Statement – June 4, 2011 – Document Discovery
This weekend, more than one dozen Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center employees continued sorting through more boxes of materials found yesterday at properties and storage units of a former employee charged with felony larceny of medical center paperwork and records. The former employee, Linda Turner, who was fired June 1, has been fully cooperative in assisting medical center staff in retrieving the materials. All of the materials are being carefully examined, assessed and inventoried.
On Friday, June 3, 2011, Wake Forest Baptist staff, with assistance from police authorities, and with Turner’s permission, removed more boxes from three additional locations. As of today, Saturday, June 4, we have analyzed dozens of boxes from Turner’s homes and storage units. Of those boxes, only 3-4% of the material contained in them requires additional scrutiny and analysis by our Privacy Office. Based upon our ongoing review, we believe that nearly all of the news media accounts that reference Social Security numbers, are not Social Security numbers, but rather medical record numbers tied to internal medical center record-keeping. So far, none of the material represents a complete medical record.
The vast majority of contents in the boxes analyzed to date include a variety of items such as magazines, recipes, junk mail, trash and newspapers.
The medical center continues to interview Turner to develop a clearer understanding of why the documents were removed. A media interview on June 2 with David Freedman, Turner’s attorney, appears to shed light on the reason why Turner removed documents without authorization, and appears to be consistent with the medical center’s investigation. According to an article in today’s Winston-Salem Journal, Freedman said Turner "…is a hoarder who never intended to use the documents for her own benefit…" "There has been no indication that anything she's done has harmed a patient at Baptist…" "In addition, she intended no harm to anyone." He said she took copies of documents "and saved them and piled them onto everything else."
"Our own conversations with Turner and observations of the materials she was hoarding, lead us to believe that the medical center documents were not stolen for the purpose of being misused or harming anyone, "said J.T Moser, Wake Forest Baptist’s privacy officer. "It appears they were housed for years in her properties and in locked storage units and the contents left undisturbed until this discovery. Turner has been completely cooperative throughout the investigation and has helped Winston-Salem police and Wake Forest Baptist in every way possible to access, retrieve and secure medical center-related materials. We are grateful for her cooperation," Moser added.
Once we have completed a thorough investigation and assessment of the pertinent documents, Wake Forest Baptist will fully comply with all statutory and regulatory obligations for reporting privacy and security breaches to the appropriate state and federal authorities. Wake Forest Baptist contacted the state Attorney General’s office on June 2 and June 3 to let them know we are conducting an investigation and will file a security report as soon as possible, if we determine the results of our investigation require that we do so.
In an effort to address some continuing discrepancies in the news media regarding our response to the document discovery, Wake Forest Baptist conducted a review of tens of thousands of its incoming and outgoing phone records from May 1, 2011 through June 1, 2011. Contrary to Nathaniel Cravanzola’s claim that he contacted the medical center two weeks prior, our first contact with Mr. Cravanzola, the tenant who reported the discovery of medical center-related documents, was in fact on Tuesday, May 31 at 2:46 p.m. Furthermore, we visited his residence within one hour of receiving his phone call to address his concerns. Despite his claims that he called the medical center weeks earlier, there are absolutely no records of any phone contact from him in the month prior to his May 31st call. We are happy to provide the computer generated call scan log to any member of the media upon written request.
In addition, we would like to clarify the circumstances surrounding a second visit on June 2 to Ms. Turner’s residence, where Mr. Cravanzola currently resides. The visit was conducted with the owner’s permission (Turner) and was lead by Winston-Salem police who accompanied medical center officials. Police gained access and entrance to the home legally, with our staff standing by to retrieve the medical center-related documents.
Wake Forest Baptist has set up a 24/7 hotline for people with privacy questions or concerns. The toll-free number is 877-793-8262. We will release further information as it is available.
Paula Faria: firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-716-1279