Letter to the editor: Mammoth Hospital CEO speaks to Bourne death

MAMMOTH HOSPITAL ENTRANCEThis last month we were shocked and saddened to learn of the arrest of Andrew Bourne, M.D., who was Mammoth Hospital’s preeminent General and Vascular Surgeon. As we started to come to grips with this event we were aghast to learn of his death.  It’s hard to describe the wide range of emotions that our staff, physicians, and volunteers experienced.  Many people worked closely with him throughout the hospital, especially those in Surgery, Recovery,  the Nursing Units, the Emergency Department, the Surgical Clinic, or just having lunch and chatting with him the Cares Café.  Somehow they were able to reach down inside of themselves and continue to provide excellent care to our residents and visitors.  I am proud of each and every member of our staff and am fortunate to work with such caring, talented, and strong individuals.

There are many people I want to thank who helped us get through this trauma.  Audrey Pauley M.D. was on her fourth day as the Chief of Staff when this story broke.  She has tirelessly met with staff and physicians, rounded on the departments night and day, and made sure everyone was getting the support they needed.  She even knocked on my door one late evening to make sure my wife and I were OK.  Lynda Salcido, our Chair of the Board, came to the hospital immediately on hearing about Dr. Bourne and helped organize and participate in our sessions with staff.  She kept an eye on our administrative team to make sure we were coping and taking care of ourselves.  Speaking of our Administrative Team, I could never have gotten through the last month without them.

Mammoth Hospital was well supported by our Community and I thank everyone who came to our assistance.  Northern Inyo Hospital provided surgical care to our community for the 10 days it took us to get surgical coverage organized.  Fred Weatherly, a Chaplin and grief counselor has been by our side and helped us through the past few weeks as events unfolded.  Sheriff Rick Scholl and Police Chief Dan Watson both called the morning after Dr. Bourne died to tell me about a crisis team they had both worked with in the past.  After a few phone calls, Julie and Sarah from Counseling Team International were on their way from Southern California and onsite that evening.  Julie, Sarah, and Fred provided us with an invaluable service and helped staff cope with their grief and understand their feelings.  From Mammoth Mountain Rusty Gregory CEO and Jack Copeland, VP were quick to offer their support and any resources we might need.  School Superintendent Rich Boccia and I were in constant communication. And, my Rotary Club has supported me and other staff throughout this ordeal.  I can’t forget our families, without their support it would have been difficult to go to work every day.  There are others I’m sure I haven’t mentioned, but I would like to thank our community for supporting us in our time of need.

Our physicians have stepped up to provide support and care to our patients.  Dr.’s Fandrich, Sedwitz, Johnson, and Ifune are covering the lion’s share of General Surgery coverage.  Dr. Bortolazzo from Urology has assisted in following up with active patients that Dr. Bourne was caring for.  Dr. Harrell from Medical Imaging has taken on some of the vascular procedures for our patients.  Dr.’s Anderson and Smith, anesthesiologists, are providing coverage so that Jonathan Bourne, M.D. can be with his family.  And Dr. Deck, one of our surgeons who lives down south and is recovering from an injury himself, has offered to do anything and everything he can physically do.  I know I’m not recognizing everyone, but I thank all of our physicians for all they are doing, it is an honor to work with them.

We are moving forward and will continue to provide high quality care to our communities and visitors with compassion and respect.  The process has begun to find permanent surgeons to replace and continue the great program established by Dr. Bourne, a physician who cannot be replaced.  I think the blur of information in January is starting to fade and many of us are beginning to focus on the positives that Dr. Bourne brought to us in his five year career at Mammoth Hospital.  I can think of patients whose lives he saved and whose lives he improved, such as the young lady who crashed into a tree while skiing and the snowboarder who sliced his arm nearly in half.  He was there for them and many others.  Andrew Bourne M.D. you will be missed.  May you rest in peace my friend.

Gary Boyd, CEO
Mammoth Hospital

, , , , ,

23 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nancy Tucker Baker
Nancy Tucker Baker
10 years ago

My biggest fear is that Dr.Bourne’s suicide might somehow damage or weaken the case against Joe Walker. I wish they could have both had a fair trail with all facts in the open. I’ve always felt that suicide is the ultimate selfish act.

JaneE
JaneE
10 years ago

“The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones”

– William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar

Whatsinaname
Whatsinaname
10 years ago

Again, some people need to be reminded that “you who are without sin cast the first stone”. Obviously alot of these posters are sinless! I won’t even say saints, because many saints fought the normal human condition of sin. I agree with Tourbillon, leave the Bournes in Peace, they have… Read more »

Shocked
Shocked
10 years ago

I wonder if Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht, MMSA majority owner, has been informed that minority partner Rusty Gregory and MMSA are hosting a memorial for a man accused of sex crimes who took his own life rather than face the charges against him?

Big Rick O'Brien
Big Rick O'Brien
10 years ago

There is one thing everyone here seems to have forgotten… Dr. Bourne’s co-defendant, Mr. Walker. While we will never know for sure about the guilt or innocence of Dr. Bourne, Mr. Walker still has yet to be tried by a jury of HIS peers. And what will the world think… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 years ago

Since Dr borne denied us the ability to try him in the court of law to be judged by 12 of his peers, I see no problem with trying him in the court of public opinion. And it is of my opinion that someone who had so much to live… Read more »

Whatsinaname
Whatsinaname
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

The Court of Public Opinion has no access to any evidence, its all speculation.

survivor
survivor
10 years ago

It is nice to hear all the compliments about doctor Bourne I am sure he was a fine doctor. However, we will now never know if he did what he was accused of. We cannot forget what he was accused of and all the children who have been subject to… Read more »

Bishop Grl
Bishop Grl
10 years ago

http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/travel/escapes/01away.html?pagewanted=all

The above article is about Andy and Jonathan Bourne. I enjoyed reading the article and I hope you do too…

P&B
P&B
10 years ago
Reply to  Bishop Grl

That cabin was an unpermitted structure built illegally by the Bournes pretty blatant to advertise it on the internet. The location was also the originating point for the wildfire that burnt almost all the way to Benton – also caused by the Bournes. A definite pattern of behavior that is… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
10 years ago
Reply to  P&B

Golly, can’t have an “unpermitted” cabin anywhere in brave New America now can we, even if built without government funds in the middle of nowhere on private land. The absence of government supervision anywhere on the planet is simply terrifying, isn’t it? As to the fire you say was caused… Read more »

P&B
P&B
10 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Your sarcastic commentary does not minimize the political favoritism shown to those considered to be connected in Mono County.

Regarding your inaccurate assumptions about the wildfire, CalFire conducts investigations and fines parties responsible – bottom line the Bournes were fined by the state….

Peace is a state of mind!

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  P&B

I do believe the million dollar fine was levied by the U.S. Forest Service.
BK

P&B
P&B
10 years ago
Reply to  P&B

The fact remains that the “politically elite” (those with big check books or connected to the politicians) are treated differently than the average citizens. It’s doubtful that Mono County has resolved the illegal Bourne structure to this day. The case went before their Planning commission over a year ago with… Read more »

Eamon
Eamon
10 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Actually, it’s well documented that the Bourne’s started that fire since they wrote a check to the USFS in the neighborhood of $1 million, the flashpoint was next to their cabin, and they admitted that they started it when conducting vegetation removal, .

2rude
2rude
10 years ago
Reply to  Eamon

And only the Inyo Register had the journalistic integrity to tell the public about it; for some reason neither KSRW, The Sheet, nor the Mammoth Times felt it newsworthy. Of course, if someone from other than the elite/in-crowd class had set the fire, his/her/their name would have been shouted out… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  2rude

If you are referring to the story about the Forest Service fining Jonathan Bourne, Sierra Wave did report that story when it came out, with names.
Benett Kessler

2rude
2rude
10 years ago
Reply to  Eamon

Perhaps; and if so, I stand corrected. But U.S Attorney Benjamin Wagner issued his press release on the matter on February 17, 2011, and the Sacramento Bee and the Modesto Bee ran stories thereon on February 19th. I have checked your archives for February, March, April, and May of 2011… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  2rude

2rude,

I wrote the story for KSRW. We aired it on radio and TV.
It should’ve been posted on the website.
Benett Kessler

2rude
2rude
10 years ago
Reply to  Eamon

Then why didn’t you? The fire was negligently set by Mammoth locals; at their then-unpermitted residence; it grew to 7,435 acres, 7,108 of which are publicly-owned (USFS and BLM); it cost the taxpayers over $1 million to suppress; and two reputable newspapers on the westside felt it newsworthy. If nothing… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  2rude

2rude, We did report the story, and this will be the final time I tell you that. If you have a personal axe to grind with me or Sierra Wave, why not get up front about it and email me personally – [email protected] In fact, I believe we were the… Read more »

so sad
so sad
10 years ago

I am the mother of the young lady who was saved by Dr. Bourne last January by the miraculous, difficult surgery he performed after she crashed into a tree going 50 mph. We are forever in his debt, as well as the entire staff of Mammoth Hospital. Our hearts go… Read more »

Steve
Steve
10 years ago

Thanks for saving my wife’s life on January 3rd, 2012 … RIP