Cook County

9 Discover They Weren’t Vaccinated After Pediatrician’s Suicide Note Raised Questions

Police urged former patients to talk with their current physicians on testing for prior vaccinations

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At least nine former patients of a suburban Chicago pediatrician have learned they did not receive vaccinations they thought they had and police are urging other former patients to get tested.

The two adults and seven children were tested after Dr. Van Koinis wrote a suicide not that "suggested he complied with parental requests not to vaccinate their children and that his records after 2010 were unreliable," the Cook County Sheriff's office said Monday.

Koinis was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sept. 10 in a Cook County Forest Preserve in Palos Township.

In some cases, parents reported one child who was treated by Koinis was vaccinated, but a sibling was "under-vaccinated or shows no evidence of vaccination."

"Based on this information, the sheriff's office strongly encourages former patients of Dr. Koinis to contact their current healthcare provider about testing for vaccinations," the department wrote.

Koinis’ practice was located at 3830 W. 95th St. in Evergreen Park, where he primarily served residents on Chicago’s Southwest Side and near southwest suburbs. State records show he had been licensed to practice in Illinois beginning in 1991.

An obituary for Koinis indicated he previously worked with Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn and Little Company of Mary hospital in Evergreen Park. OSF HealthCare said Koinis was "credentialed at more than one hospital."

"We were shocked and saddened to hear of Dr. Koinis’s death, and our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted," OSF Healthcare said in a statement. "Dr. Koinis was an independent physician at a private practice. If contacted by law enforcement, we will cooperate fully. Any questions about the ongoing investigation should be directed to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office."

"The physician was in private practice and not in our pediatric medical group," Advocate Health said in a statement. "As pediatric health care providers, we do encourage parents impacted to contact their child’s pediatrician about vaccination concerns. If they need to find a pediatrician, parents can call 1-855-312-KIDS."

Police said an investigation remains ongoing and the Illinois Department of Public Health was notified.

Anyone with information about Koinis is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at (708) 397-6366. Those looking for information about personal or family medical records can call a medical line at (630) 670-1673.

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