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'Unsettling': Children's Mercy reviewing records of former neurologist facing child pornography charges

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-01 16:25:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children’s Mercy Hospital is reviewing the records of its patients treated by a local pediatric neurologist who faces federal charges related to child pornography, according to a letter obtained by the KSHB 41 I-Team.

Federal authorities in November charged Dr. Brian Aalbers with attempting to produce child pornography. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury added a second charge of possession of child pornography against Aalbers.

Children’s Mercy notified patients about the pending charges filed against Aalbers in a letter dated Nov. 28, 2023. The hospital said Aalbers was on staff from May 2014 to May 2017 and a “thorough review” of his three-year tenure is now underway.

The hospital called the charges against Aalbers "unsettling" and said it has staff available to talk to parents who have questions or concerns about the care their children received from Aalbers "relative to this situation."

Aalbers most recently was on staff at Overland Park Regional. A spokeswoman, however, said he is no longer affiliated with the hospital or any of its clinics or facilities. She also said there is no indication at this time that allegations against Aalbers involved any of its patients.

Federal Investigation Against Aalbers 

The charges against Aalbers came after Kansas City, Missouri, police received a tip in late October about hidden video cameras from an unidentified reporting party.

According to a heavily redacted federal court document, the reporting party later told police that Aalbers was sending text messages that said: “I am going to jail/lose my license I do not want to die,” and “I do not want my kids to see me dead.”

Aalbers was found at a Lenexa hotel and taken to Advent Health Medical Center for voluntary mental health treatment. Security officers at Advent took two laptop computers, two iPad tablets, a cell phone, and a black backpack from Aalbers, per hospital policy. The reporting party said Aalbers later asked them to retrieve his backpack and electronic devices and destroy them because there was “bad stuff” on them, according to the court document.

In November, a forensic examiner found more than 20,000 videos on Aalbers’ MacBook Pro computer. The videos were from December 2020 to October 2023. Forensic examiners “noted that approximately 1-12 additional minor victims were captured in the video records.”

Families Demand Accountability 

The families of Dr. Aalbers’ patients are now demanding answers and accountability.

They're families like Amanda Chilcote, who said Aalbers treated her two-year-old son, Elias.

“My initial reaction (to the charges) was concern that my son was or could have been a victim,” she told the I-Team on Wednesday. "Reading 20,000 videos, that's a lot.”

But Chilcote said Overland Park Regional didn’t notify patients about the charges against Aalbers. She received a letter from the hospital system – dated November 2023 – that said Aalbers was “unexpectedly out of the office” and “unavailable to provide clinical care at this time.”

“There was no acknowledgment of a case," Chilcote said. "There was no accountability; there was nothing.”

Overland Park Regional Medical Center issued a new statement to the I-Team on Wednesday that said:

The health and safety of our patients is our top priority, and there is no indication at this time that the allegations against Dr. Aalbers involve patients. We assisted law enforcement with their initial investigation and will continue to help in any way we can if that is requested. Additionally, we can confirm that the appropriate regulatory agencies have been made aware of the charges against Dr. Aalbers. Dr. Aalbers is no longer affiliated with Overland Park Regional Medical Center or any of our facilities or clinics, and we are working with his former patients to meet their care needs. 

Moving Forward

"What are we going to do moving forward?" Chilcote asked the I-Team. "As things continue to come out, where do we go?"

Her son still needs a neurologist, but finding someone she can trust will be a monumental task.

"The only way my trust will be regained is for medical professionals to be held accountable,” Chilcote said.

The FBI continues to investigate Aalbers and search for other possible victims.

Chilcote said she filled out the FBI's form, which seeks information about possible victims as a precautionary measure. It's something patients can fill out if they are concerned Albers may have victimized their children.

The I-Team contacted Aalbers’ attorney after federal authorities filed the second charge against him. His attorney, Gregory Watt, said in a statement, "We are looking at all the evidence and remaining steadfast in our defense of Dr. Aalbers. Fortunately, it is still early in the process and we are optimistic regardless of what challenges may come our way.”

Aalbers remains in federal custody without bond until his trial, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Records with the Missouri and Kansas Boards of Healing Arts reveal Aalbers has active licenses in both states and has not faced any public disciplinary action.