Yanamono Medical Clinic

Amazon Medical Project

AMP supports the Yanamono Medical Clinic in the Amazon River basin of northeastern Peru.  The clinic was founded in 1990 by Dr. Linnea J. Smith, M.D.  It is staffed by locally trained people, and provides primary medical care and preventive medicine. 

Project History

In 1990, Dr. Linnea Smith left her Wisconsin medical practice to begin providing services to the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon region.  Initially, she worked out of a small thatched-roof room without electricity, running water, laboratory services, staff or funding.  In 1993, after hearing a radio interview with Dr. Smith, volunteers from Duluth, Minnesota, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Iquitos, Peru, built a riverside clinic complete with solar panels to provide electricity and a well for water.  Later, a hammock house for patients’ families and expanded staff quarters were added; however, the land on which the clinic stood was gradually eroded by the Amazon River, and the clinic was rebuilt in 2009 on a nearby stream. 

In 1996, the Amazon Medical Project was established as a 501-c-3 not-for-profit corporation.  Current board members are Rick Koeck, JD (President), Linnea Smith, MD (Medical Director of the Clinica Yanamono), Jerry Goth, Shelby Kemper, PharmD, MPH, Kathryn Perry, MPH, Kim Stokes, Joe Tisinger, and Melissa Traynham (Executive Director)

BP NunbirdPhoto credit: Bob Pelham

Health Care Services

Prior to Dr. Smith’s arrival, people living along the Amazon River had no local access to health care.  In recent years, the clinic has been treating roughly 2,000 patients annually, all arriving on foot or by boat.  Services include family planning, well child care, dental services, prenatal care, vaccinations, and treatment of poisonous snakebite, malaria, intestinal parasites, trauma, and a multitude of infectious diseases. 

Eda Gian Kendra

Clinic Staff

Dr. Smith serves as the clinic’s medical director.  She is a 1984 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Medical School and is Board-certified in Internal Medicine.  She practiced in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, from 1987 – 1990, when she left her practice to move to Peru.

In 1997, Dr. Smith was named a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) in recognition of her exceptional dedication and service; in 1990 she received the Rosenthal Award from the ACP for the delivery of innovative medical services; in 2005 she was named Citizen Physician of the Year by the Wisconsin State Medical Society; and in 2008 was named a Distinguished Alumna by the University of Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association.  

Clinic staff consists of two local residents, both trained initially by Dr. Smith, and both later earning Nursing Technician degrees from the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana.  In addition, there are two other Peruvian nurses, a laboratory technician, a Peruvian doctor, and three local men who tend to maintenance and caretaking of the clinic and its grounds.  Temporary staff has included occasional international physician and dentist volunteers.  

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