DC official: Confidential patient records disclosure at social services agency under review

- A Southeast D.C. social services agency is embroiled in a serious security breach after one of their case workers emailed a college student confidential files in hopes of lightening her workload.

FOX 5 attempted to speak to Tanisha Sanders, the director of Inner City Family Services, on Thursday about the massive security lapse at her agency and why some victims were not told immediately about the incident.

However, she declined to speak to us on camera to explain why LaTonya Vaughter, one of agency’s support workers, sent a dozen case files that included names, social security numbers and medical records to college student Briana Jenkins after she responded to a job posting that was listed on Facebook. She instead told us, “Call the lawyer and have a conversation with him. Please do not come into the clinic again.”

Jenkins said she reported Vaughter to Inner City Family Service after the employee sent the confidential files to her by email. Jenkins also contacted about FOX 5 about this breach.

The clinic said they fired Vaughter after our story first aired on Tuesday.

“She was just absolutely careless about it and the fact that I was the fourth person that [she] exposed these people’s information to – it's not right,” said Jenkins.

“I'm very concerned because that's crazy,” said Adrian Jordan, one of the Inner City’s patients whose information was given out. “I don't know. They can take my social security number and I got so much medical problems with this, this is crazy.”

Jordan is just one of a dozen patients whose information was compromised. She said she had no idea about this until we told her on Wednesday. It was only after our story aired that she received a letter offering her an identity protection service.

“Maybe everybody there needs to be fired,” said Jordan. “Plain and simple as that.”

Inner City Family Services is a community service provider for the D.C.’s Department of Behavioral Health.

We asked a city spokesperson if the District will continue to contract with the clinic. Instead of answering the question, we received a response that said, “We continue to review this incident to make sure the provider complies with all legal requirements. Inner City Family Services said it is taking aggressive action to prevent further disclosure of these records and to ensure client privacy and confidentiality going forward.”

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