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Photos, left to right:  Dr. Raed-Al Naser, respiratory therapist Vill Miranda, ICU registered nurse Melissa Stark, and Dr. Al-Janabi

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2021 (La Mesa) –Healthcare heroes from Sharp Grossmont Hospital shared their memories and lessons learned during the past year of the global COVID-19 pandemic which began in March 2020 and has killed over a half million Americans. In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, pulmonary critical care physicians Dr. Raed Al-Naser and Dr. Al-Janabi, as well as respiratory therapist Vill Miranda and registered ICU nurse Melissa Stark shared their knowledge and experiences.

These front-line medical professionals risked their lives to save others, fearing for the safety of their own families as they worked tirelessly to heal and comfort those in their care.

In the early days, much remained unknown. How was the new virus spread?  What treatments might keep people off ventilators, since a staggering 99% of  COVID-19 patients on ventilators were perishing?    

Sharp Grossmont’s COVID-19 experts share their experiences and knowledge gained from the onset of the pandemic, through the surges that threatened to overwhelm local hospitals, to now, when there is light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines roll out and save lives.

Click the image to view the full video interview, or listen to the audio version originally aired on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.

East County Magazine gratefully acknowledges the Facebook Journalism Project for its COVID-19 Relief Fund grant to support our local news reporting including impacts on vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: #FacebookJournalismProject and

You can donate to support our local journalism efforts during the pandemic at



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