Institute for Altitude Medicine to Open Mountain Village Office
by Gus Jarvis
Mar 13, 2008 | 1946 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – With 600,000 people living above 7,000 feet in Colorado and 25 million tourists traveling into Colorado’s high country communities each year, health problems related to or exaggerated by high altitude are common. The Institute for High Altitude Medicine, with the help of its new office in Mountain Village, will treat these problems and produce research on the effect of high altitude on common health issues such as heart disease and pregnancy.

IFAM, thanks in part to a grant from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, will be opening a second office in the Blue Mesa building at 113 Lost Creek lane on March 27.The office will provide phone and email consultations related to high altitude health problems.

“We will be seeing patients that are either second home owners, tourists or locals,” said Peter Hackett, executive director of IFAM, in an interview on Wednesday. “It is the only medical presence in Mountain Village. Eventually, it might turn into something more than what it is right now. The community up there should have a medical presence. We will be using the facility to spread the word and presenting solutions to high altitude health related problems, and educational projects will be based out of that office.”

The IFAM, which began operations at the Telluride Medical Center last summer, is closely affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and has obtained medical equipment with the support of the Telluride Medical Capital Fund, which is a part of the Telluride Foundation.

TMVOA awarded a grant to IFAM based on a proposal submitted last September. According to a TMVOA press release, the grant supports the organization’s overall mission of ensuring Mountain Village is a desirable, vital and sustainable area to live.

“The presence of IFAM will attract academic and highly skilled physicians who will be available for consultations to our residents and visitors,” stated TMVOA Board President Mike Wisniewski in the press release. “This expansion of medical services offered to our community is outstanding, and it is exciting to support IFAM’s research.”

Besides seeing and consulting patients on altitude health related problems in Mountain Village, Hackett said the new facility will also be used to research altitude related sleep disorders.

“It will be an expansion of our office in Telluride,” Hackett said. “We will be able to conduct sleep studies there, which will be done to figure out why people have sleep apnea or other types of sleep disorders. It will be the highest medical facility to do sleep studies and the only facility in Colorado devoted to high altitude medical problems. It’s truly unique. There is nothing else like it in Colorado and we are excited to be working with TMVOA to provide this facility.”
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