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Sharp HealthCare message, reality-TV style

San Diego Union Tribune, July 20, 2011

Last Wednesday started like many mornings for the "Stories of the Sharp Experience" film crew. At 7 a.m., the crew members were told that the 8:30 cataract surgery they planned to film had to be rescheduled. So they headed to the emergency room at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. "We don't know what we may see here," director Arnie Lerner said as his eyes scanned the room. Soon, paramedics rolled in with a young man suffering abdominal pain. He agreed to be filmed, and camera operator Kelly Parker unobtrusively began documenting his care. Each year since 2001, Sharp HealthCare has produced a 30-minute program that tells five stories, in the style of a medical reality show that aims to portray the five-hospital system as a place that cares for its patients both medically and personally. Sharp buys time on local network affiliates to air the film and also uses footage for 30- and 90-second commercials.