Chief of pediatric nephrology retires after 42 years

Dr. Eunice John

Dr. Eunice John (Photo: UI Health)

Dr. Eunice John, professor of pediatrics at the UIC College of Medicine, retired in December after serving UIC residents and patients for 42 years.

John, who was chief of pediatric nephrology and medical director of pediatric transplant at UI Health, was the first Chicago physician to start long-term peritoneal dialysis and to use the double lumen catheter for hemodialysis in children in the early 1980s.

“Dr. John is not only a pioneering figure in pediatric transplants, she is also a remarkably generous and kind person,” said Dr. Benjamin Van Voorhees, professor and head of pediatrics. “For decades, she not only led the profession in kidney transplant innovations and outcomes, but she also created a lasting impact through her tireless work serving patients and educating young physicians.

“It’s been an incredible privilege to work with Dr. John,” he said.

During her tenure at UIC, John served as a dedicated researcher and educator of medical students, residents and fellows. As chief of pediatric nephrology, she was responsible for all care services in the department and provided oversight of its care providers.

“Working with Dr. John has been one of the highlights of my professional career,” said Dr. Enrico Benedetti, the Warren H. Cole Chair of Surgery. “Her devotion and commitment to the patients she cared for was unparalleled. I even asked her to be the pediatrician for my only daughter, Eleonora.”

In 2002, Benedetti and John worked together to perform the first pediatric living-donor bowl transplant. The patient, who is now in his 20s, is the longest living recipient of this type of surgery.

John is a graduate of Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. She completed a residency at Tulane University and a fellowship in pediatric nephrology at the Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She served as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for 16 years.

John has received 15 teaching and mentoring awards, more than 15 service awards — including two from the National Kidney Foundation — and five patient care awards from UI Health.