EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s been “tortured” about the case of an Evergreen Park pediatrician who committed suicide last year and left a note suggesting he may have forged vaccinations documents for at least a decade.
The note, left by 58-year-old Dr. Van Koinis, suggests he “regretted his conduct with immunizations” and had been “averse” to them for at least the last decade of his work at his medical practice at 3830 W. 95th St., Dart told the Sun-Times.
“We took [the note] very seriously and tried to find the scope of it, but we couldn’t,” Dart said.
Now he’s asking the public to come forward with information that could shed light on the case.
Koinis “referenced the record keeping side of it,” Dart said. “It came off to us that he meant immunization records were fraudulently filled out. … There are concerns which immunizations were given or not given.”
The sheriff’s office began investigation Koinis after he was found dead Sept. 10, 2019 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Cook County forest preserve in Palos Township, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
He had been licensed to practice medicine in Illinois since 1991, and mostly served patients on the Southwest Side of Chicago and near southwest suburbs.
It was unclear how many of Koinis’ patient may have been affected.
Koinis’ former patients are encouraged to meet with their current physicians to determine if they should test for prior vaccinations, the sheriff’s office said.
“The biggest issue is parents who are under the impression their children are immunized when they are not,” Dart said.
He also said investigators are looking into instances of parents who may have used Koinis as a sympathetic figure to forge vaccination documents.
But Dart said his office hasn’t found any evidence of that.
“It’s clear this doctor was known to work with homeopathic remedies and had patients who came to him — and in some cases of immunizations, he was open to them,” Dart said.
Anyone with further information about Koinis is asked to call Cook County sheriff’s police at 708-397-6366. To inquire about personal or family medical records, a medical record line has been set up at 630-670-1673.