In this New York Times article, it discusses the country’s first medical center which has incorporated shamans into it’s healing staff, due to the large population of Hmong people that come to their hospital. The hospital is the first in the country that “formally recognizes the cultural role of traditional healers…” The article explains that Hmong people believe strongly in the healing powers of the soul, and shamans are responsible for protecting the soul. They have incorporated the policy as well as a training program to help shamans become more familiar with Western medicine. The california hospital is doing this as part of a “national movement to consider patients’ cultural beliefs and values when deciding their medical treatment,” and this program has spread across the country to many other areas with high immigrant, refugee, and ethnic-minority populations. According to the article, certified shamans wear embroidered jackets and have the same unrestricted access to patients that is given to clergy members. Also, shamans don’t take insurance or other payment. Merced has taken part in this program to strengthen the trust between doctors and the Hmong community, due to their past history of misunderstanding which stemmed from the destruction of the Hmong’s living area in the mountains of Laos. A problem arose when Western doctors and nurses found that it was very difficult to explain their reasoning and treatment options to very ill Hmong people due to their misunderstanding and therefore lack of trust of Western doctors. The shamans have various techniques that they use to protect the soul, which they believe “are capable of wandering off or being captured by malevolent spirits, causing illness.” One shaman, Mr. Lee, performed a spiritual inoculation, which is a 10-15 minute ritual that must be accepted by the patients’ roommates in the hospital. However, shamans perform these at people’s houses as well, where they go into trances for several hours to “negotiate” with spirits. Much of the ceremony must be cleared by the hospital, but they are still successfully performed.