A Mill Valley, California doctor’s office became Ground Zero for all-things Prince on Wednesday, a day after a newspaper reported that the late pop artist had been trying to get drug recovery help from him the day before he died.
But Dr. Howard Kornfeld, who runs “Recovery Without Walls,” did not answer the door or phone at his practice, which became a media stakeout in the affluent Marin County city. News outlets from NBC News to Extra! were there, all trying to get an interview with the man who reportedly was trying to help Prince overcome his problems.
While Kornfeld didn't want to speak, his attorney in Minneapolis did speak with reporters.
"Dr. Kornfeld felt his mission was a life-saving mission," William Mauzy said. "He felt it to be urgent."
At Kornfeld's home nearby, a “Do Not Disturb” sign hung on the door. When a reporter went to the door of the doctor’s home, a man came out to say “no comment.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune first reported that Mauzy said Prince had been trying to seek Kornfeld’s help on April 20. But Kornfeld was busy, the newspaper reported. So the doctor sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, from San Francisco International Airport to Paisley Park in Minneapolis to help.
"Andrew's purpose for being there was to describe the Recovery Without Walls Program to familiarize Prince with that," Mauzy later told a bank of reporters on Thursday. "Prince could go there for pain management and any addiction issue."
It was Andrew Kornfeld, a consultant at the practice, who made the 911 call when he found the 57-year-old unresponsive. Prince died on April 21.
"He arrives to see him dead in the elevator," Mauzy said, deeming it "certainly a difficult time."
Complicating matters, however, is that Andrew Kornfeld, who is not a doctor, brought pills with him to help Prince and carried them over state lines. Mauzy said that Andrew Kornfeld intended to deliver the pills to a Minnesota doctor, who would administer them to Prince. Andrew Kornfeld never gave Prince any drugs, Mauzy said.
The Kornfelds hoped that Prince would agree to go to California for long-term care, Mauzy said.
The artist had performed in San Francisco and Oakland, less than a month before he died.
On his website, Kornfeld described his practice as a “personalized outpatient clinic, specializing in innovative, evidence-based medical treatment for chronic pain and drug and alcohol addiction.”
Kornfeld described himself as a “nationally recognized leader in the utilization of the opioid pain medication,” specifically buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone or Subutex. In 2013, he was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article called "Controlling Chronic Pain Without Dangerous Drugs."
Kornfeld is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Medicine and teaches at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine’s Pain Medical Fellowship Program. According to his biography, Kornfeld is the founding medical director at the Alameda County Medical Center, Pain Management and Functional Restoration Clinic.
His son, Andrew Kornfeld, is a University of California at Santa Cruz graduate, where he studied neuroscience and psychology. He has worked on several papers with his father, his biography states, and occasionally, he's acted as a peer mentor to younger patients.