UVM Medical Center President Speaks at U.S. House of Representatives Joint Subcommittee Hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Hearing Focused on Preparedness for Cyberattacks, Ransomware

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Stephen Leffler, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Vermont Medical Center, appeared last week on Capitol Hill at a joint subcommittee hearing before The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation; and The Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs. The members discussed the impact of increasingly frequent cyberattacks occurring nationwide on public and private organizations, as well as potential solutions.

The appearance was the latest in the UVM Health Network’s work as a national leader supporting other organizations in their efforts to prepare for a threat that has become ubiquitous. According to the American Hospital Association, in the first 6 months of 2023, more than 220 cyberattacks targeted hospitals and health systems nationwide, with more than 36 million people affected. In the years since the UVM Medical Center experienced a cyberattack in 2020, hospital and Network leaders have worked with counterparts at other hospitals and health systems, industry experts, and now in the nation’s capital, to help others improve preparedness and better respond to threats.

“I was glad to provide testimony at this hearing, because it’s so important that we take our expertise and share it as broadly as possible with other hospitals and health systems,” Dr. Leffler said. “I was able to share the incredible work that our people did to keep patients safe under very difficult circumstances. The lessons we learned right at home in Burlington have now been shared with a group of U.S. leaders that are discussing cybersecurity preparedness and solutions on a nationwide and even global scale.”

“I was proud to see the experience and resilience of Vermont represented in the House Oversight Committee last week,” said U.S. Representative Becca Balint. “Congress should be able to take lessons learned in Vermont to strengthen efforts to build secure health systems across the country. I’m looking forward to working with UVM Health Network and my Congressional colleagues to further cybersecurity preparedness within healthcare and beyond.”

“The American Hospital Association applauds Dr. Leffler and the UVM Health Network’s continued leadership and courage to speak out on the impact of their cyber-attack and share lessons learned,” said John Riggi, National Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk. “Cyber threat information exchange across the healthcare sector and with the government is critical to protect healthcare, our patients and the Nation against our common cyber adversaries.”