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October 19, 2009 12:42 AM

Merced's Mercy Medical opens its door to Hmong shamans

Staff at most hospitals would be baffled by an instruction like this on a bedside chart: to prepare patient for surgery, provide 15 minutes of soft chanting and tie a red string around the neck. It's different at Mercy Medical Center in Merced. There, nurses know they must call a shaman. Mercy is the nation's first hospital with a formal policy for Hmong shamans.

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