Skilled volunteers helped assess Care Ring nonprofit cybersecurity to ensure the safety of their patient data and ability to sustain effectiveness at helping those with limited resources establish and maintain good health.
Care Ring is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health services for the uninsured, underinsured or those lacking access to affordable, high-quality preventive health care. The organization annually serves more than 7,600 people in Mecklenburg County and is a leader in collaborative efforts to improve community health.
Care Ring leadership came to Apparo seeking support to improve their organization’s security. They were matched to volunteers Noah Davis of Ingersoll Rand, Sherri Leach of Trane Technologies and Katie Cipkala of LPL Financial to assess their current nonprofit cybersecurity and identify prioritized recommendations for improvement.
Upon completion of this work, we check in with Jessica Gonzalez, Quality Improvement and Evaluations Manager, and Tchernavia Montgomery, CEO, of Care Ring to learn about the significance.
Tchernavia shares, “We do amazing, quality driven work to ensure that our services are accessible and affordable to our patients. But, because we are a nonprofit, without abundant resources, we have to apply creative solutions to get some of our work done and to ensure that it is high quality, accessible and affordable. We recognize that there are more sophisticated technology solutions that we could be applying to help ensure the quality of our service over time, but we need them to be affordable.
“Apparo was the obvious choice to help us ensure our organization’s cybersecurity, which is critical with the level of patient data that we store. We didn’t consider doing this work with another organization because Apparo’s mission is literally aligned with us as a nonprofit. What I really appreciate is that the quality of service, the care and the compassion that I’m getting with the Apparo is unique to them. As we began working together, I had so much confidence that the process would be aligned to our needs as an organization, which it was.
“When it comes to our cybersecurity, we want to feel empowered. We are limited in resources, but want to have a good technological health and make sure that we are able to do our work with our patients with confidence. It’s also critical that we are responsible with our system partners and their platforms they have allowed us to access.
“The process of working with Apparo and our volunteers brought about a lot of education and awareness for us. We quickly started to develop a strong relationship and trust, which was really important for us. Our volunteers and the Apparo staff that we’ve worked with have been incredibly approachable and accessible, explaining things in a way that we can easily understand, while guiding our path forward. We valued them not only providing their technological expertise and their subject matter expertise but also taking the time to educate us and to improve our ability to understand and assess our current state. We would not have been able to prepare for a better future state for our organization without them.”
Jessica adds, “Working with our volunteers in assessing our needs was very fluid and tailored to our organization’s needs of protecting patient data. They perfectly guided our conversations with multiple entities, helping us get to the end goal of identifying our gaps and making a plan for addressing them in a timely fashion. The questions they asked were so helpful. Throughout the process, they laid out the steps and tasks in a very organized fashion and helped us prioritize, given our limited resources and bandwidth. As a nonprofit, we have so much going on and need to be efficient with what we have. It’s been a stellar experience.”
We look forward to continuing our work together, focusing next on helping Care Ring select the right Managed Service Provider to support their needs and then in moving to Microsoft 365.