St. Mary’s Health parent company Covenant Health is transitioning to a third-party contractor for IT and cybersecurity support for the entire system, Covenant chief communications officer Karen Sullivan said Tuesday.

“And what we decided, after much thought, is that we needed a partner who could really help us navigate IT as it stands today and then also into the future,” Sullivan said. “Cybersecurity is a huge issue for everyone . . . as we look forward we see the possibilities for cyberattacks increasing and we really felt that we needed to have a truly dedicated and expert partner with that.”

Covenant made an internal announcement in September, according to Sullivan.

Massachusetts-based Covenant has entered into an agreement with New Jersey-based Long 80, which provides IT and cybersecurity support to health care systems across the U.S., according to its website.

Sullivan said this decision was not financially driven, though there may be some “financial efficiencies that come of it.”

She said most of the 104 Covenant employees who worked in the IT department have been offered positions with Long 80 or in other departments at Covenant. Those who ultimately choose to not continue with Long 80 or Covenant or who “don’t find a good match” at either will be offered severance and transition support.

She said Covenant will not have a final count of the number of employees who went to Long 80, a different Covenant department or who left entirely for a few more weeks as the process is ongoing.

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