Nearly 2,000 Spokane vets affected by data theft


Spokane VA Medical CenterOfficials with the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane say they are in the process of notifying 1915 veterans whose protected health information was potentially compromised. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs say on July 18, 2017, two USB hard drives containing personally-identifiable veteran information were stolen from a Veterans Health Administration contract employee conducting a service call at a VA hospital in Oklahoma City. The theft was reported with police in Oklahoma City. One of the hard drives was the "master drive" used by the contract employee to copy and move the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center's Anesthesia Record Keeper database from a standalone, non-networked, physical VA server being decommissioned to the virtual archive server back in January.

"Although we cannot say for certain what information was stored on the stolen USB hard drive, we are alerting every Veteran whose personal information resides on the decommissioned ARK server. We have determined the information at possible risk may include full names, social security numbers, addresses, phone contacts, surgical and insurance information," the VA said in a release Wednesday.

Every affected veteran will be getting a letter in the mail and some may be offered free credit monitoring for a year at no charge. Veterans with questions are asked to write to:

Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center

ATTN: Privacy Officer

4815 North Assembly Street

Spokane, WA 99205-6197

This is the second data breach in two months for the Mann-Grandstaff hospital. Last month, the VA reported a stolen laptop may have compromised some veterans' information.

(story: Matt Pusatory, KHQ Local News Web Producer, KHQ.com; photo: KHQ.com)