Dr. E. Scott Conner

Dr. E. Scott Conner

Dr. E. Scott Conner, a prominent Santa Barbara neurosurgeon, died unexpectedly Saturday.

The cause of death could not be confirmed by Noozhawk but Cottage Health System sent an email to its medical staff Monday informing them of Conner’s passing.

Conner and his business partner, Dr. Thomas Jones, founded Neurosurgical Associates of Santa Barbara, which focuses on spine and brain surgery, in 1987. They were later joined by Dr. Richard Chung. The specialty firm treats most of its patients at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Conner earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and did his residency in neurosurgery at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was also a research fellow. He later worked as a senior assistant resident in neurosurgery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.

His work was recognized with the Donald Matson Award, bestowed by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, for his pediatric neurosurgery research.

Neurosurgical Associates was involved in an antitrust lawsuit last year when spinal surgeon Alan Moelleken sued both the firm and Cottage Health System for allegedly conspiring to keep him off an on-call list for patients, therefore stifling competition and causing him monetary damages. A Santa Barbara County Superior Court jury rejected the claim after a seven-week trial last year.

Conner is survived by his wife, Maryann, and their children, Edison, Andrew and Amy. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.