DHW learns client data may have been accessed without authorization

The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has recently been informed that clients’ personal information contained in a contractor’s employee’s email account may have been accessed without authorization.

OS Inc. provides claims management services to the Department of Health and Welfare.  The access was obtained through an email phishing campaign. At this time, there is no evidence that personal information or financial account information was accessed because of this event. The 2,060 individuals potentially affected by this have been notified by OS with a notice sent by U.S. Postal Service.

“Protecting the personal health and financial information for the people we serve is critical for the Department of Health and Welfare,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “We are working closely with OS to make sure proper notifications have been sent and that those affected have access to monitoring and assistance to make sure their information is safe. We are also working with OS to make sure this doesn’t happen again. In addition, I’ve asked my staff to evaluate the lessons learned from this incident, so we can apply those to our overall cybersecurity efforts.” Continue reading

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Update – Meetings added in Regions 3 and 4: Idaho Child Care Licensing Program to highlight upcoming changes in public meetings starting May 7

The Idaho Child Care Licensing Program is inviting all child care providers and stakeholders to attend a meeting about future changes and updates to Idaho Daycare Licensing requirements.

Licensing staff from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will provide an update about program changes and welcome comments and feedback about proposed updates to the requirements. The meetings will be informative and conversational for anyone interested in Idaho’s child care licensing requirements.

All child care providers and stakeholders are encouraged to attend an open forum in their region to learn and provide feedback. The changes will impact some city-licensed providers as well. Continue reading

February food stamps benefits to be issued in January

Because of the federal government shutdown, the Department of Health and Welfare will be issuing February benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Sunday, Jan. 20.

All households approved and re-evaluated by Tuesday, Jan. 15, will receive their February food stamps on Jan. 20. Households that complete a re-evaluation and are approved after Jan. 15 for February will receive their benefits on their regular issuance date. The department is continuing to accept and process applications normally through January and February and doesn’t anticipate any delays in SNAP issuance.

Everyone who is eligible for SNAP benefits in February will receive their benefits. However, households that receive their February benefits in January will not receive an additional issuance in February. Recipients are encouraged to budget their food stamps to last until they receive their March benefits.

“This is a fluid time for federal government services,” said Julie Hammon, administrator of the Division of Welfare. “Until we know more, please consider a donation to your local food banks and pantries – February will be tough month for many because of the length of time between benefits.”

Letters to recipients were sent by first class mail on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Department staff also have been communicating with grocery stores and other community partners on the schedule change.

If recipients have questions about the early issuance or SNAP benefits in general, they can call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 in Idaho or the Self-Reliance call center at 1-877-456-1233.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is administered in the Division of Welfare in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Benefits are paid entirely with federal funds. Learn more about the program here.

Media Contact:  Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager
(208) 334-0668 or Niki.Forbing-Orr@dhw.idaho.gov

 

DHW Licensing & Certification Chair Hoops team helps raise money for individuals with disabilities

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Members of the DHW Licensing & Certification “Chair Hoops” team, pictured left to right: Sam Burbank (Fire, Life, Safety); Jada Yancey (BDDS); Ian Bingham (friend to L&C staff); Alan Elsey (friend to L&C staff); Susan Nicholson (L&C); Nate Elkins (Fire, Life, Safety); Sandi Frelly (L&C); Torrey Bollinger (L&C); and Kyle Nicholson (family member of L&C staff). Not pictured: Tom Moss –(L&C); Michael Case (BDDS).

Members of IDHW’s Division of Licensing and Certification along with teammates from the Bureau of Developmental Disability Services joined in Chair Hoops on March 22-24, a fundraiser for the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department’s Adaptive Recreation Program. Continue reading

News from DHW: BYU-Idaho professor Timothy Rarick of Rexburg named to Board of Health and Welfare

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New IDHW board member Timothy Rarick, Ph.D.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed Rexburg resident Timothy Rarick, Ph.D., to a four-year term on the Idaho Board of Health and Welfare. Rarick is a professor in the Department of Home and Family at Brigham Young University-Idaho and co-founder of the family life education blog FamilyGoodThings.com.

Writing, blogging, teaching, advocating and speaking extensively as “Dr. Tim” on parenting principles, child development, the family as the fundamental unit of society, fatherhood, and other topics, Rarick brings a research-based perspective on children, parents, and families to the board. He also serves on the advisory board for United Families International, the board of Educate Empower Kids, and has spoken several times during the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Continue reading

Idaho Society of Individual Psychology honors IDHW’s Brandon Clark of Lewiston

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IDHW Reg. 2 Clinician Brandon Clark of Lewiston was honored by the Idaho Society of Individual Psychology during its annual conference March 2-3, 2018 in Boise.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare employees were among those attending this year’s annual Idaho Society of Individual Psychology (ISIP) conference March 2-3 in Boise, with the Division of Public Health, Suicide Prevention Program, and Optum Idaho among the sponsors of the event.

IDHW Region 2 Clinician Brandon Clark, who is on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team in Lewiston, was awarded the “Significant Adlerian Contributor” award for 2018. Continue reading

Health equity in Idaho? 2018 County Health Rankings show disparities

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We may think of health as something that is influenced by genetics, diet or exercise, but the point behind the annual release of a trove of Idaho and national county-level data comparisons known as the “County Health Rankings and Roadmaps” (CHRR) is that health is more than what happens at a visit to the doctor’s office.

Increasingly, research shows that the economic, social and environmental conditions in the communities where we live, work, and play also factor into our ability to make healthy choices and live healthy lifestyles. In general, living in Idaho provides the environments and opportunities for those healthy choices and lifestyles, from easy access to recreation for exercise, safe communities, family and social support systems and access to clinical care. Continue reading