The Coroner of Montrose County is an elected official who serves the citizens of Montrose County. The Office of the Coroner is mandated by the Constitution with additional requirements required by the Colorado Revised Statutes and is a separate and independent organization which, through its Office of Medical Investigations, will conduct an investigation of all sudden, unexpected, suspicious and/or violent deaths as required by the Colorado Revised Statutes.
Dr. Thomas M. Canfield, MD, FAAFS, FIACME the Montrose County Coroner, attended the University of Minnesota receiving both his BS and MD degrees from that institution. He did his internship at Denver General Hospital and his residency at Denver General Hospital and the University of Colorado Health Science Center in anatomic and clinical pathology during which he worked in the Coroner’s Office at Denver General Hospital. He did a fellowship in forensic medicine at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. When he returned to Denver, after active duty in the military, he was the Medical Director of the Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science Laboratory for the City and County of Denver.
Dr. Canfield moved to Montrose in 1972 and became the first Pathologist and Director of Laboratories at Montrose Memorial Hospital; a position he held for over 37 years. During that time he served on multiple medical service committees and was Chief of Infection Control as well as Chief of Staff. He was selected for the Montrose Memorial Hospital Fall Clinics Award as Physician of the Year and received the Montrose Memorial Hospital Community Service Award. He established a forensic science laboratory in Montrose and was the Chief Medical Examiner for the Office of Medical Investigation. He served as the Montrose City Medical Officer and Police Surgeon; the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Medical Officer and was an agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Dr. Canfield served in the United States Army on active duty, in the reserves, and in the Colorado Army National Guard. While in the National Guard, he served both as a Battalion and Brigade Surgeon in the Field Artillery and became the commander of the 300-bed 147th Combat Support Hospital and served many years as the State Surgeon General for the Colorado Army National Guard. He retired after 37 years of military service as a full Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal upon his retirement from the military.
Dr. Canfield has been married to his wife, Linda, for over 51 years and has three daughters and seven grandchildren. He has been and remains active in multiple Montrose civic associations. He enjoys fishing, sailing, working on his International Scout, and travel. He has served as Montrose County Chief Deputy Coroner for 24 years as well as Coroner since 2007.
The mission of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations is to provide the citizens of Montrose with continuous, competent, and compassionate service, in addition to disaster preparation, in a fiscally responsible manner. Citizens who may have family members fall as victims of a sudden incident, unattended, violent or suspicious death are provided the best death investigations available in order to present a correct and appropriate cause and manner of death as well as personal family support following the loss of a loved one.
It is therefore the duty and responsibility of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations to conduct a comprehensive investigation making all proper inquiries of all deaths falling under the statutory authority of that office. The main function of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations is to determine the cause and manner for each death investigated and to treat each death investigation with respect, dignity, and kindness. While the sudden death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations will strive to assist family members with any concerns or questions and to aid them with the grieving process in a timely, professional and courteous manner. Our regular office hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 12 noon, excluding legal holidays. The coroner and/or a deputy coroner are on duty for death investigations and emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.