The Jefferson County medical examiner on Monday identified the Elkhorn doctor, formerly the chief of staff at Aurora Health Center, who died during what police called a “medical event” at the Lake Mills Triathlon.

The man who died was Scott Beatse, 59, Medical Examiner Nichol Tesch said.

Aurora Health Care lists Beatse as working at Aurora Health Center in Elkhorn with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology.

An Aurora spokeswoman told The Gazette on Monday that Beatse had held the chief of staff job in past years but not when he died.

Tesch said the autopsy was scheduled for Monday, and she did not immediately know what the “medical event” was.

The incident happened when Beatse went under water for the swimming portion of the triathlon at about 7:45 a.m., according to a news release Sunday from the Town of Lake Mills Police Department. Police said they were not treating it as a drowning.

Rescuers tried to resuscitate Beatse after pulling him from the water and before taking him to Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital, the release states.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The spokeswoman said in an email that counseling services are being offered for staff members.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden, unexpected passing of Dr. Scott Beatse, a respected and valued Aurora physician and team member,” the statement reads. “During this difficult time, our sympathy goes out to his family, friends and those closest to him.”

Beatse got his medical degree from Tulane University before working as an intern and resident with the U.S. Air Force in Texas, according to his biography on the website.

Beatse became interested in medicine after doing missionary work on an island off the Panamanian coast.

“Now that he is in private practice, his goal is to make an annual mission trip and assist with the health care needs of the people who don’t have access to quality health care,” the biography states.

In a video Aurora posted in 2010, Beatse spoke about his job.

“It would be very sad, I think, for me, for anybody, to have to get up every day and not enjoy their job,” he said. “I really am very thankful. I don’t mind. I love my job. And I love being there. I love taking care of women. I just feel very lucky to be able to really do what I wanted to do.”{span class=”print_trim”}

Update: This article was updated at 4:38 p.m. Monday to add details about Scott Beatse being a former chief of staff.

Correction: This article previously misspelled the first name of Jefferson County’s medical examiner.


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