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

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

  1. Nancy Tucker Baker February 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    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.

  2. JaneE February 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

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

    – William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar

  3. Whatsinaname February 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    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 enough on their plate.
    I don’t know what happened, either do you rock flingers, just because Dr. Bourne was accused of a crime doesn’t make him guilty, and even if he was guilty, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to be remembered. Its pretty obvious that he did a lot of good things.
    His family certainly doesn’t deserve the bashing.
    Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  4. Shocked January 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    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?

  5. Big Rick O'Brien January 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    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 if he is found FACTUALLY innocent, especially since his charges are more serious than Dr. Bourne’s? It’s something to think about.

  6. Rob January 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    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 for MUST HAVE BEEN GUILITY of the charges to take their own life.

    • Whatsinaname February 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

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

  7. survivor January 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    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 sexual abuse. There are far too many and this fact continues to be pushed under the rug.

  8. Bishop Grl January 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm #


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

    • P&B January 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      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 not mitigated by a voluntary death.

      The County also chose to look the other way due to the political influence of the persons involved – curious that the County doesn’t treat everyone the same…..

      • Tourbillon January 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

        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 “by the Bournes”, either you did not come forward with the evidence as you should have done, or you did and it was not credible, or you did, and it was credible, but then a sudden grand conspiracy was hatched to cover it up. No doubt with the participation of the Illuminati.

        As for Dr. Bourne and family, it’s time to leave them in peace. They have suffered more than enough penance for the iniquity of an unpermitted cabin.

        • P&B February 1, 2012 at 8:32 am #

          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 February 1, 2012 at 11:42 am #

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

          • P&B February 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

            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 Andrew Bourne stating that he refused to meet the California Building Code requirements because he felt (obviously as a doctor he was an expert on construction) it wasn’t reasonable. The Mono County Community Development Director and Planning Commission were crippled by his position and true to their “don’t upset anyone – especially the well conected – nature” deferred to do nothing, likely their current position.

            Just remember if you, the average citizen, complain loud and often enough you will get what you want because complaints are just not acceptable even when/if someone is doing something that is illegal…..

        • Eamon February 1, 2012 at 9:05 am #

          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 February 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

            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 loudly and often; “afflict the comfortable” my a** !

          • Benett Kessler February 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

            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 February 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

            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 and don’t see the story. Nor does a google search reveal a story by KSRW on the subject, although it did reveal the Sacramento and Modesto Bee stories. Thanks.

          • Benett Kessler February 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm #


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

          • 2rude February 2, 2012 at 11:17 am #

            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 else, you should have printed the story as a public service to publicize the hazards and consequences of starting a fire in the woods. But, in the exercise of your jounalistic discretion, and for some unknown reason, you chose not to print the story describing the Bourne’s involvement. Now, if DWP had started the fire…oh boy, you’d have been all over it! Thanks.

          • Benett Kessler February 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

            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 first local media to report the story.
            Benett Kessler

  9. so sad January 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    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 out to all of you who were his colleagues and to Dr. Bourne’s family as they endure this unimaginable pain. We could see how much he was respected and admired by all who came in contact with him during our 15 days under his care. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. Steve January 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

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


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