Dr. Karen Frye, DO
Tabeguache Family and Sports Medicine

A Colorado Springs native and avid athlete, the opportunity to play collegiate soccer initially drew Karen Frye to attend Seattle Pacific for her undergraduate degree, but it was her friend who drew her to pursue a degree in pre-medicine. Karen ultimately graduated with a degree in osteopathic medicine from Midwestern in Phoenix and completed her family medicine residency at the University of Kentucky.

Karen was drawn to osteopathy because of its holistic approach based upon the philosophy that the body can heal itself if aided into a state of homeostasis. She uses this approach daily in her practice at Tabeguache Family and Sport Medicine. In addition to being a primary care doctor, Karen focuses on muscular and skeletal health by treating and preventing injuries to help her patients stay healthy and keep the active lifestyle they want to live.

Her easy-going demeanor brings a comfortable presence to the bedside, which she knows is beneficial because it immediately allows her patients to feel safe. “It’s an honor when they trust me and allow me to step into that place to help them heal. When I’m treating my patients, I never want them to feel rushed or unheard, rather, I want to give them the time I would expect if I were to be on the other side, in their shoes.”

“It’s an honor when they trust me and allow me to step into that place to help them heal. When I’m treating my patients, I never want them to feel rushed or unheard, rather, I want to give them the time I would expect if I were to be on the other side, in their shoes.”

Sports medicine is a natural fit for Karen, but the timing of her acceptance to the Sports Medicine Fellowship offered through St. Mary’s in Grand Junction is a tale of right place, right time. The Fellowship was only offered for four years. Her partner at Tabaguache Family and Sport Medicine, Dr. Fletch Colwell joined the program in its first year. Karen joined it during its third and unknowingly, its second to last year. Because of this program, Karen fell in love with Grand Junction, Colorado, and coupled her training in family medicine with her passion for sports and an active lifestyle. Several years later, she joined Dr. Colwell in their current practice.

When Karen is not seeing patients, you can find her enjoying the outdoors on long runs, on her mountain bike, or with her husband and two young girls—”Piper is almost 4-years old and just learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Maggie is 16-months,” Karen proudly reflects.

Being active serves the perfect stress reliever for Karen: “When I’m mountain biking, I have to be focused. The more challenging the trail, the more in the moment you have to be. You can’t be thinking about anything else. If you sidetrack, you’ll crash.”

Karen sees plenty of patients who need her expertise from mountain bike crashes and other injuries resulting from an active lifestyle. “We deal with everything from shoulder dislocations to dislocated fingers, tendon issues or tears, and fractures.” While her primary goal is to keep people out of surgery, there are times when surgery is necessary.

Many patients she sees are there because of pain. “Pain is a funny thing, and there is a psychological aspect to it,” she reflects. “We partner with physical therapists and also embed behavioral therapists into our visits to help our patients successfully navigate every aspect of healing. Our goal is to help people stay active.”

“We partner with physical therapists and also embed behavioral therapists into our visits to help our patients successfully navigate every aspect of healing. Our goal is to help people stay active.”

Dr. Karen Frye knows that the biggest risk factor to our health is a sedentary lifestyle, and while reflecting on this fact, she cited a YouTube video titled 23 ½ Hours: What’s the Single Best Thing We Can Do For Our Health?  She goes on to explain: “This video speaks to the idea that just 30 minutes of activity each day is the most effective health intervention and has the biggest return on investment to improve our health.”

Dr. Frye, like her partner Dr. Colwell, firmly believes that her job is to keep her patients moving to negate the health impacts of a sedentary lifestyle. She does this through a holistic approach to treating and preventing injuries to help her patients stay healthy and keep the active lifestyle they want to live.

Tabeguache Family and Sports Medicine is accepting new patients. Call Monument Health’s wellness warriors at 970.683.5630 to learn more.