Post-Grant Reports


Evaluation of Medicinal Plant Supply Chain at Es-Salud - Center for Complementary Medicine, Trujillo, Peru

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Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Collaborative research in northern Peru in summer 2013 strengthened connections that have been formed over the years with the important actors in the Peru Ethnomedical Project. Working closely with me (via Skype and email) and my colleague Dr. Douglas Sharon, University of California, Berkeley (retired), the first thing Sam Gauksheim did was conduct interviews over the span of a few weeks with Dr. Luis Fernández, the director of the EsSalud Complementary Medicine clinic in Trujillo, which supplies insured patients with medicinal plant prescriptions. (Two Linfield students and I had worked closely with Dr. Fernández in a summer 2012 clinic patient survey.) We gathered information about the health care system in Peru and the referral process for patients that are sent to the EsSalud Complementary Medicine program. Based on these interviews we were able to write up a summary of the health care system and the medicinal plant program in both English and Spanish. We later included this information in a comprehensive report about the status of the project and complementary medicine in northern Peru.

Accompanied by fellow students from several U.S. research universities, we also traveled to the mountain town of Huamachuco, about a five hour bus ride east of Trujillo. With the intention of finding support for a medicinal plant supply chain to the coast, there we scheduled meetings with the director of the EsSalud clinic, visited the hospital and learned directly about the greenhouse project a Peace Corps volunteer was doing with a local women’s group. We also went up to the farm that Gabe Chait worked on during his Fulbright research, where we found the locals learning sustainable farming practices from a Peruvian NGO. Back in Trujillo, Dr. Sharon and I visited the site museum at Chan Chan, where we spoke with the director about expanding on the medicinal plant demonstration garden that Linfield students had constructed in 2010 there as part of their future renovation.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2013, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The student collaborator was Sam Gauksheim.

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