Pioneer Physician, Dr. Morton of Outlaw Medical Arts, retires after decades of serving Garfield County patients
It’s a rarity nowadays to find an old-fashioned family doctor and internal medicine specialist who provides independent healthcare services with a personal touch.
And as Rifle’s Dr. Tom Morton has decided to finally hang up his spurs at Rifle’s Outlaw Medical Arts, the torch is being passed to a new local provider who will be able to provide the same level of care for both existing and new patients.
Dr. Morton is retiring after practicing medicine in the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope for more than 50 years, and will also be having spinal stenosis surgery in November. Once he recovers, he and his wife Debra plan on traveling more, seeing family and working on their properties.
“We’re thankful for all the support we’ve received from everyone in the valley, and I will miss my loyal patients,” he says.
Dr. Morton began practicing at Glenwood Springs’ Glenwood Medical in 1972, and he and the equally well-known Dr. Robert Yajko were instrumental in hiring many of the physicians who worked both there and at Valley View Hospital. In 1988, Dr. Morton and his wife established Outlaw Medical Arts, making it one of the first satellite clinics for specialists in the Rifle area. Then returning to an area he loved dearly, Dr. Morton practiced internal medicine in the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope for more than 50 years.
Debra Morton says her husband also loved taking care of the old ranchers and cowboys in the area, all of whom were strong, independent people with amazing stories. The couple say they were also blessed with the longevity of their hard-working patients, many of whom lived to be more than 100 years of age.
Dr. Morton says he’s seen a lot of changes in the area over a half century, and says he’s excited to know that a young, capable clinician will be following in his footsteps.
Trumon “Otto” Craft IV, MSN, NP-C, AAPCGNP, will be officially relaunching Morton’s practice in early October as TruCare Elevated Wellness, part of a small healthcare company also serving Steamboat Springs and the Eagle/Vail area. Otto is a nurse practitioner whose background is in adult primary care, though TruCare will also offer services including DOT and FAA medical exams, as well as referrals for medical cannabis.
“I have some very big shoes to fill, but I also want to help Dr. Morton have a nice exit from his longtime practice,” Otto says. “I really like what he does and when we first met, we really hit it off. I’m also excited as we’re one of the few examples of continuity in a small, local practice.”
“We will definitely stress quality over quantity when it comes to healthcare,” Otto adds. “Whatever the option, it’s a patient’s own healthcare decision. That’s why we also offer an option for medical cannabis evaluations, as a pain management option over opioids. We can evaluate and see if patients would be appropriate for that treatment.”
In time, Otto says he hopes to be able to find someone to help provide pediatrics services at the clinic; for now, TruCare specializes in patients aged 12 and over. TruCare’s services include annual physicals, sick visits and sports physicals, DOT exams, as well as direct primary care. Otto can do in-house lab draws for routine checks, and will also be able to provide FAA physicals in the near future.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.