Medical documents found in recycling container at NISD school

Recycler warns district, Defenders of potential for identity theft

SAN ANTONIO - The Northside Independent School District is trying to find out what should be done with several boxes of medical documents found in a recycling container outside Stevenson Middle School.

Michelle Malinovsky alerted the district and the KSAT 12 Defenders about the documents after she saw them in the container.

The documents contain much personal information on patients and private details about their medical condition.

"I thought this was completely sickening," Malinovsky said. “When we opened up the containers we saw boxes and boxes of files that contained private information.”

She was worried that such sensitive information in the wrong hands could fuel identity theft.

“This is something that is uncalled for,” Malinovsky said. "If anybody else is coming to recycle or just look through the dumpster, they've got plenty of information that they can use besides birthdays and socials and things like that. I saw Social Security numbers."

Northside ISD said it provides recycling containers on its campuses as a community service, but spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said the materials placed in them should not be of a sensitive nature.

"This was certainly not the right stuff to put in these bins," Gonzalez said. “We were as shocked as anybody else to see people's names, addresses, perhaps Social Security numbers. We immediately called the state and they referred us to the local medical society.”

He said this should be a warning to the public.

“We believe in green, we want to recycle materials, but not like this,” Gonzalez said. “Obviously this concerned us.”

The documents did contain the name of a health care provider: Alliance Health Management.

The address was a building on Callaghan.

The Defenders checked and there was no business by that name in Suite 104, which was a Department of Agriculture office.

Northside said it will hold on to those documents until the proper agency can explain how to dispose of them.


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