Thursday, June 19, 2008

Doctor affiliated with Yale-New Haven Hospital had heart attack

By Mark Zaretsky
Register Staff
— A prominent area doctor who was struck by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle on South Montowese Street Tuesday evening died of heart failure before the accident, police and the chief state medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.
Friends and former colleagues of Dr. Scott Borrus, 52, who was affiliated with Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, mourned his passing and said it was a huge loss to his family, friends, colleagues and his patients.
"It’s devastated the staff and his patients," said Dr. Lee Jung, one of five partners with Borrus in the Southern Connecticut Internal Medicine group. Borrus founded the practice after the CHCP health maintenance organization collapsed. The group is located in the former CHCP building at 150 Sargent Drive in New Haven.
"He was well respected and loved by his patients," Jung said. "Our group is really trying to deal with his loss."
Borrus lived at 8 Jacqueline Way, off Pine Orchard Road, not far from where he was hit at South Montowese and Field Place. He is survived by his wife, Joanne, and sons Daniel, 13, and Marshall, 10, said Jung.
"I think he was an excellent physician, took great care of his patients, was very devoted to them," said Jung.
For his partners, who like him were part of CHCP in the 1980s, "He was a great resource and we used him," Jung said.
Borrus was an avid cyclist, Jung said.
"Lance Armstrong was sort of his hero or mentor. He patterned his life after him. He was very safety-conscious. He always wore his cycling helmet and was an excellent cyclist" as well as "an avid skier."
Deputy Police Chief Thomas Fowler said Borrus was riding his bicycle north on South Montowese in the northbound lane shortly after 7:30 p.m. when he swerved into the path of the vehicle.
"We now believe, because of information we received from the medical examiner’s office, that he suffered a heart attack prior to the accident, which is most likely the reason why he swerved," he said.
The driver of the white 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck that struck Borrus, John Blomberg, 52, of 155 Totoket Road, North Branford, has not been charged in connection with the accident itself.
However, he was arrested and charged with breach of peace and interfering with a police officer for his conduct afterward, Fowler said.
"People came out to help this guy and (Blomberg) was yelling about the damage" to his truck "and really causing a scene, to the point where they just had to arrest him," Fowler said.
Blomberg was held overnight and released on bail Wednesday morning, Fowler said. He is listed on the state Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry in connection with a third-degree sexual assault conviction Nov. 21, 1997.
A man who answered the phone at Blomberg’s home said Blomberg was not home and would not be home for a while. The accident "is still officially under investigation," said Fowler. "We don’t believe there’s any indication of alcohol involved."
Officer Jay Kaufman, the Police Department’s accident reconstructionist, is heading up the investigation, he said.
Dr. Patrick O’Connor, chief of general internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and at Yale-New Haven Hospital, said that Borrus was not an employee of either the medical school or the hospital, but was affiliated with both.
"He was a community physician," said O’Connor, as well as a member of the attending staff at Yale-New Haven, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and "a member of the voluntary faculty at Yale School of Medicine."
O’Connor called Borrus "one of a very rare breed of primary-care physicians, because there are just not enough of them ... and he did it the right way."
O’Connor said he knew Borrus since they trained together at the University of Rochester in upstate New York for four years, beginning in 1982.
Both doctors came to New Haven at about the same time in 1986, O’Connor said, "He to be a practicing internist. I came to join the faculty at Yale School of Medicine."
Over the years, Borrus "had both medical students and residents work with him in his office so they could learn how to be primary care physicians."
Mark Zaretsky can be reached at or 789-5722.

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