Dr. Stamatios I. Sinis, a retired psychiatrist who had been medical director at Key Point Health Services in Catonsville for nearly three decades, died of cancer May 28 at Brightwood Center in Lutherville. The longtime Owings Mills resident was 72.
"Dr. Sinis was a very caring and compassionate man who always went the extra mile for his patients," said Dr. Ted Fraker, a psychologist who is clinical program director at Key Point. "No matter who they were or from what economic background, he always had the highest regard for them, and believed they had the potential to get well and lead productive lives.
"He was one of the outstanding healers of his time and a remarkable person in our clinic. No matter who met him, they knew instantly that he was a human being who believed in people," Dr. Fraker said.
Dr. Sinis was born and raised in Keratea, Greece, a small village near Athens, and after graduating from high school, he enrolled at Athens University Medical School. In 1961, he earned degrees in psychiatry and neurology, and then completed his residency at the medical school.
An interest in the field of neurophysiology, brought Dr. Sinis to Rochester, N.Y., in 1969 for a two-year research assignment at the University of Rochester. In 1972, he accepted a fellowship at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.
Dr. Sinis completed a second residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1975 and was board-certified in psychiatry.
He began his career in 1975 as a staff psychiatrist with the Baltimore County Bureau of Mental Health at the old Southwestern Community Mental Health Center, now Key Point Health Services, which provided services to residents of Catonsville, Arbutus and Lansdowne.
"He was legendary among his patients. His caseload was always full, and still he took on more patients," said Amy Wilds, a social worker and longtime colleague.
"Dr. Sinis made house calls because when patients didn't come in, they thought they no longer had a problem, which was part of the problem. He'd go and visit them and, along with his presence, he brought medicine and therapy," said Paul Imre, a psychologist who retired in 1988 as the center's director.
"He was very modest, humble and simple, but brilliant. And there wasn't anything he wouldn't do to help a patient. His gentle smile and twinkling eyes -- always a comfort, always putting others first," said Lori L. Butkovich, a psychiatric nurse who worked alongside Dr. Sinis for many years. "He never buckled under stress and always stayed calm. And he was always very supportive of the staff."
In addition to his work at the center, Dr. Sinis was a staff psychiatrist with the Carroll County Mental Health Center and Aspire in Westminster. From 1995 until 2002, he practiced child psychiatry in Hagerstown, and as a volunteer with the Greek Orthodox Counseling and Social Services, provided psychiatric services.
In 2002, then -altimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger lauded Dr. Sinis for his years of devotion to patients at ceremonies renaming the mental health clinic for him.
For the last three years, Dr. Sinis battled cancer and was never "officially" retired from his post.
"We never wanted to officially retire him, and we didn't," Dr. Fraker said. "So, he is still with us, and his smiling portrait in the clinic lobby greets us each day."
Dr. Sinis -- and his wife of 44 years, the former Martha Kalothi who survives him -- became U.S. citizens in 1996.
He enjoyed listening to classical and Greek music, visiting art museums and galleries, and visiting family and friends in Greece. He also had a large telescope that he used to study the heavens, family members said.
"He was a very learned man who spoke ancient Greek fluently. And when he came to dinner at our house, he'd say grace in ancient Greek, and you knew that God heard it," Dr. Imre said.
Dr. Sinis was a longtime member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, where a memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. July 10.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Sinis is survived by a son, Phaedon Sinis of Iceland; two daughters, Spyrithoula Sinis-Terezis of Cincinnati and Katia-Elena Figueroa of Audubon, Pa.; two sisters, Kleio Drosou and Maria Liaveri, both of Greece; and six grandchildren.