Obituary: Dr. William Edward ‘Ed’ Kois, died in a car accident on July 23, 2019

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Manchester VA Medical Center Director Alfred Montoya Jr., left, and Dr. William “Ed” Kois, right. Photo/Jon Hopwood

NEWBURYPORT, MASS. –  Dr. Ed Kois was born at Walter Reed Medical Center on June 1, 1957, to Adam and Nancy Kois. He graduated from Janesville, Wisconsin High School in 1975, got his undergraduate degree from Penn State University in 1979 and received his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1983. He completed a physiatry specialty at Tufts New England Medical Center in 1986.

Dr. Kois opened an office in Nashua, NH, where he practiced for over 25 years and helped many patients. In 2012 Ed began his work for the Manchester VA as a spinal cord specialist in 2012. From the beginning, Dr. Kois worked to improve veterans’ medical care. His signature effort for veterans included leading a group of VA physicians to demand better care for our nation’s veterans. His efforts received national recognition in 2017 when the Boston Globe Spotlight Team conducted an investigation and published a series of articles on his quest to improve VA patient outcomes. Dr. Kois’ efforts led to national media attention and to an invitation from Congress to testify on the quality of care in the VA system.

Ed was a highly-skilled woodworker, sailor, inventor, and connoisseur of art. With his wife, Pam, he renovated and restored their Greek Revival house, and then the Ceilidh, a 1956 wooden yawl. In 2000, he was profiled in Time Magazine for his invention the Back Balancer, a device which helped to distribute the weight of backpacks. While at Michigan Medical School, he conducted T-cell research which had implications for organ transplant success.

Throughout his career and life, he never stopped trying to help people in any way that he could, eschewing financial and social reward to do what he thought was right. Ed was devoted to his principles. He got his uncompromising attitude from his father, who was an amateur boxer. His patients described him as “a patient’s doctor.”

Dr. Ed Kois is survived by his wife of 29 years, Pamela Greenley, and their daughter, Sydney Greenley-Kois; his mother, Nancy Kois; his sister Margaret Kois; his sister Janet Connally and her husband Kevin Connally, and nephews Leo, William, and James Connally; his brother George Kois; and his brother Adam Kois and his wife Maria Wanger-Kois, and his nephews Graham and Ian Kois. He was predeceased by his father, Adam Kois.

Family and friends may call from 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturday July 27, 2019 at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Services will be private. THERE IS NO LONGER ANY PARKING AVAILABLE BEHIND THE FUNERAL HOME PER ORDER OF THE CITY OF NEWBURYPORT.

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