Cyberattack on Ascension Health hits Joliet, too

Investigating whether ‘sensitive information was affected’

Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet Emergency Department on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023.

Ascension Health on Thursday said it believes its technology network was hit by a cyberattack.

The full impact is not known, but some information technology services at Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet hospital were affected, Ascension spokeswoman Olga Solares said.

Patient care at the Joliet hospital has not been affected, Solares said.

Ascension in a statement said it is investigating whether any information in its health network was compromised.

“Should we determine that any sensitive information was affected, we will notify and support those individuals in accordance with all relevant regulatory and legal guidelines,” according to the statement.

Ascension said there has been “a disruption to clinical operations” but did not elaborate on what disruption occurred.

“Our care teams are trained for these kinds of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure patient care delivery continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible,” according to the statement.“There has been a disruption to clinical operations, and we continue to assess the impact and duration of the disruption.”

Ascension has health care operations in 19 states and the District of Columbia. It has 140 hospitals.

The health care provider on Wednesday “detected unusual activity on select technology network systems, which we now believe is due to a cyber security event,” according to the Ascension statement. “At this time we continue to investigate the situation. We responded immediately, initiated our investigation and activated our remediation efforts. Access to some systems have been interrupted as this process continues.”

Ascension said it has hired Mandiant, a third-party expert, to assist in the investigation and has notified authorities. It has contacted business partners to make them aware of the situation, according to the statement.