Who We Are
The Institute for Altitude Medicine (IFAM) was founded in June, 2007 in conjunction with the Telluride Medical Center and the University of Colorado to provide clinical care and consultation, conduct research and develop educational programs to optimize health as well treat medical issues affecting people who either live at, or travel to, high altitude. IFAM's goal is to make life at altitude, be it for work or play, a better place for all.
Altitude related illnesses have been an issue in Colorado mountain communities for many years affecting tourists and residents alike. Medical research on people living at moderate altitude (8,000 - 12,000 ft.) has been scant. Very little is known about high altitude and its affect on common problems such as heart disease, hypertension, and pregnancy. In addition, little is known about why certain individuals live longer at altitude. Living at altitude can exacerbate some medical conditions while also improving others. Lastly, effective clinical consultations and treatment for altitude related illnesses is not widely available.
IFAM is currently providing clinical and educational services and conducting research in the Telluride region. IFAM's plan is to expand its services and research to other mountain communities. A few other altitude research centers exist, including one at the University of Colorado at Denver and a few in China. But, their focus is on basic research and not on patient care. Telluride is the only mountain community in the U.S. and internationally to offer the specialized medical services and research provided by IFAM. In Telluride, we have people visiting, working and residing full or part-time between the altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 ft. which gives IFAM the opportunity to make a real impact in the field of high altitude medicine, and therefore impact the quality of life of our citizens.
IFAM has also brought about the expansion of medical services and medical expertise offered to the Telluride community. New procedures and tests are available due to the work of IFAM ® such as ultrasound and cardiac stress testing. In addition, Telluride Medical Center staff will gain more expertise in high altitude medicine as IFAM partners with TMC staff to treat patients.
IFAM is a not-for-profit, organized under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.