Coos County Family Health Services shut down by ransomware attack | State

BERLIN — A ransomware attack has shut down Coos County Family Health Services, a main provider of health services in the Androscoggin Valley.

Coos County Family Health CEO Ken Gordon said the attack affected essentially all of its systems — phone, computer and email.

He said the non-profit organization noticed early Monday morning, before its various clinics opened, that there were abnormalities in the way its systems were running. An examination revealed the entire system had been compromised. He said CCFHS shut down services and worked to prevent further activity on the system.

Gordon confirmed the system had been hit by a ransomware attack but said he could not talk about the attack itself. He emphasized that there is no evidence that patient information has been compromised. He said the organization hopes to have phone service restored by Thursday and to have the entire system back up and running as soon as possible.

“We’re slowly in the process of rebuilding and standing things up,” Gordon said.

On Wednesday, Coos County Family Health Services had its Page Hill Clinic at Androscoggin Valley Hospital open for walk-in care and Dr. Brian Beals and pediatric nurse practitioner Chelsey Andrea were seeing sick children at the Gorham office.

The organization is hoping all four clinics will be open to see patients on a limited basis Thursday.

Coos County Family Health Services operates primary care clinics at 133 Pleasant Street and Page Hill at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin and at 2 Broadway Avenue in Gorham, offering a wide range of health and social services including primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, podiatry and behavioral health. It operates a dental clinic at 73 Main Street in Berlin. CCFHS also runs RESPONSE sites in Berlin, Lancaster, and Colebrook, addressing the needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Gordon said the non-profit serves about 15,000 people annually and offers services on a sliding fee scale for those without insurance or with large deductibles.

The ransomware attack comes in the middle of a pandemic that has taxed health-care providers. Gordon said he feels patients and…