When a pediatrician in the suburbs of Chicago committed suicide last year, he left behind an odd suicide note—and now authorities are asking the public for help. Dr. Van Koinis, whose practice was in Evergreen Park, Illinois, indicated in his note that he had been "averse" to vaccinations, and that he "regretted his conduct with immunizations" over the past decade or so, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tells the Chicago Sun-Times. Authorities tried to figure out which of Koinis' patients had been vaccinated and which had not, but determining that "was unclear due to record keeping issues," according to a sheriff's office statement cited by NBC Chicago. Koinis' note also indicated regret having to do with the records, which WHNT reports were "in disarray." So now authorities are asking any former patients to get in touch, and to alert their current physicians to the issue.
In some cases, authorities think Koinis may have helped parents falsify vaccination records, the Chicago Tribune reports: "He was well known for being someone who was into homeopathic medicine, and from what we have determined, it was well known that people opposed to vaccination could go to him," Dart says. But authorities also fear Koinis may not have administered vaccines to some patients, even when parents asked for them, though so far there is no evidence of this. In many cases, though not all, a blood test can determine whether a vaccine has been received. Koinis had never been disciplined under either of his licenses, but a state agency may have been investigating a complaint against him; there is no indication he knew that when he killed himself. Authorities are also investigating whether anyone else was involved with Koinis' actions. (Read more vaccine stories.)