An 11th generation Mayflower descendant and graduate of Union College, Dr. Burnham met his wife Minou in Paris during his post graduate master’s program in French literature at Middlebury College-l’Universite Paris-Sorbonne. After a stint in the Army Medical Corps and CIA in Paris, he moved the family to New York where he ultimately worked for the Upjohn Company as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Following his life-long dream to be a doctor he entered medical school at the University of Maryland, graduating in 1965.
Dr. Burnham and his family moved back to New York where he completed his residency in family practice at the Glen Cove Community Hospital, now part of the North Shore Health System. He was in private practice in Glen Cove for a number of years and then embarked upon a career in the pharmaceuticals industry serving as Senior Executive Vice President of International and Domestic Medical Affairs for such companies as Glenbrook Laboratories and Sterling Drug—now part of Sanofi—as well as Choay Labs where he launched the first mini-dose sub-cutaneous calcium heparin therapy in the US.
He was drawn back once again into clinical medicine as a clinician in medicine with the Nassau County Public Health Dept., medical director at the United Presbyterian Residence in Woodbury, Doctors Without Borders at the Shoshone Indian Nation in Elko, NV and Oneida Indian Nation in New York, Campus Medical Doctor at the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove, the VA Hospital at Stony brook, and served in a variety of clinical teaching positions with Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and the Residency Program and School of Practical Nursing at Glen Cove Community Hospital.
An avid promoter of Scottish culture and master of the Highland bagpipes, Dr. Burnham was honored as Clan McDuff Honorary Chieftain in 2004 and was a trustee of the Clan Gordon Highlanders PipeBand, Locust Valley. He served on the vestry of St. John’s of Lattingtown
Episcopal Church, Locust Valley, and was a trustee of the Hawley Home Foundation for indigent and orphan children in Saratoga Springs.
Medical Society memberships included the AMA, Pan American Medical Society, N.Y. State Medical Society, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Fertility Society and Nu Sigma Nu.
Dr. Burnham is survived by his wife Minou of 62 years, two children: Philippe, his spouse Susan; Mimi, her spouse Cheryl, and two grandchildren, Ben and Josh. His passion for public health, clinical medicine, sailing, the arts, French and Scottish culture touched many lives. He was dearly beloved and respected by his many friends and family and will be sorely missed.