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“Andrew Coniff has such a talent for conveying emotion through video. To be recognized with an international award is such a testament to Andrew’s work," said Marie Katz, executive director for the USA Health Office of Marketing and Communications.

Published Jul 4th, 2024

By Casandra Andrews

Members of the USA Health Office of Marketing and Communications were recognized with a Silver Telly during the 45th Telly Awards held in May. The group won for a video in the biography, non-broadcast category that chronicled patient Cam Marston’s journey through treatment at USA Health University Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Marston, who hosts the show “Keepin’ It Real” on Alabama Public Radio, was jogging on a treadmill one morning last March at a local gym when he had an ischemic stroke that caused a blood clot in his brain. Because those around him quickly recognized what was happening, he received life-saving treatment and was able to walk out of University Hospital just two days later.

“There is a unique and powerful service available to us in Mobile that I was entirely unaware of until I needed it,” Marston said. “My stroke nearly cost me my life but didn’t due to the team and systems at USA Health. I told the story — and continue to tell it — so that those who face similar horrible circumstances will know what to do. Maybe my story will be something someone will remember in a time of crisis.”

The six-minute video, shot by USA Health staff videographer Andrew Conniff, was posted on USA Health’s YouTube channel and on USA Health social media accounts. A subsequent story about Marston’s path to recovery also aired on WKRG-TV.

Andrew Conniff

Conniff conducted interviews with Marston and his wife, while also filming the piece and completing postproduction work. Marie Katz, executive director for the Office of Marketing and Communications, and Shelbey Ernest, project manager, also contributed to the award-winning entry.

“When I saw the USA Health video, I was so very impressed at the way Andrew shaped the story and kept it going,” Marston said. “I can get deep into the weeds when telling my stroke story. Andrew kept it moving. And I tear up every time I watch it.”

The Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens, are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council — an industry body of more than 200 leading experts from advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks reflective of the multi-screen industry The Telly Awards celebrate. All judges have previously won a Silver Telly Award.

“We love telling life-saving stories that demonstrate the compassionate care that our patients receive at USA Health,” Katz said. “Andrew has such a talent for conveying emotion through video. To be recognized with an international award is such a testament to Andrew’s work.”

While the video and follow-up news stories about Marston’s path to recovery aired last summer, friends still reach out to him about what happened.

“My wife and I bumped into friends a few weeks ago,” Marston said. “The husband came from across the restaurant to say I saved his mother-in-law’s life. He heard my story, watched the video, and when his mother-in-law started showing signs of stroke, they drove her straight to USA Health (University Hospital). They feel she is alive today because of it.”

“I’m proud and humble and so grateful to have been able to help.”

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