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Ransomware attack leads to permanent closure of Illinois hospital

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 14, 2023
Cyber Security Health IT
St. Margaret's Health in Spring Valley (Photo courtesy of St. Margaret's Health)
St. Margaret’s Health, a 44-bed hospital that has been a staple of Spring Valley, Illinois, for 120 years, will become the first provider to shut its doors permanently due to the effects of a cyberattack.

In February 2021, a ransomware attack forced the facility offline, leaving it unable to submit claims to insurers, Medicaid and Medicare for months, and inflicting a financial toll. This, along with COVID-19 and staff shortages led its parent organization SMP Health to make the decision to close it on June 16, according to NBC News.

“This will be a challenging transition for many residents who rely on our hospital for quality healthcare,” said Melanie Malooley-Thompson, mayor of Spring Valley, in a Facebook post.

SMP is also closing a hospital in the town of Peru, Illinois, which will be purchased by the OSF Catholic health system. The Peru facility will become a second campus for OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa, Canada.

“The proceeds of the sale will help to pay off a portion of St. Margaret’s debts, and more importantly, will ensure that Catholic faith-based healthcare will continue in the Illinois valley and surrounding areas,” said Sister Suzanne Stahl, the chair of SMP Health in a Facebook video.

St. Margaret’s was founded in 1903 by the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation, who later founded SMP Health in 1984, which is now headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota.

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