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Bay Pines VA Employees Earn Global Award Recognition… Again

Cole and DePass
U.S. Air Force Veterans Tom Cole (left) and Mark Depass, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Medical Media team, display three of their 9 Telly Awards, following confirmation of their recognition for videography in the global competition June 20. Cole and DePass earned silver and bronze recognition during the annual competition that included more than 13,000 entries from around the world. (Photo by Rob Frazier, Public Affairs Officer, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System).

Across the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, communication is critical to informing, educating, and inspiring employees and Veterans.

For Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s Medical Media Services team, their passion and precision for telling the stories of Veterans and employees has earned them recognition, once again, for their creative and impactful video products that exceed the standards for storytelling.

As part of the 44th Annual Telly Awards, U.S. Air Force Veterans Tom Cole and Mark DePass received three awards– placing them in the same conversation with global organizations that include Disney Parks, FEMA, National Geographic, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

This brings the Medical Media Service’s Telly Awards total to 9 since 2011.

According to the official press release from the Telly Awards, there were more than 13,000 entries for this year.

“It brings me great pride to have our work be internationally recognized for impact, quality, and professionalism and to be able to represent VA in a very positive light,” said Cole. “Being part of a creative team that produces meaningful and professional products to support our Veterans and staff is absolutely the best part of this job!”

DePass, who works alongside Cole, also takes pride in the knowledge that the level of recognition they’ve earned serves as confirmation from peers in the industry that their work exceeds standards.

“We have a variety of projects that we do, which allows us to be creative,” added DePass. “For me, the ability to think outside the box and the trust we have from leadership to really create is inspiring and motivating.”

Collectively, the duo received three Telly Awards for products they created last year. The pair shares a silver for a promotional video in support of Black History Month and a bronze for their promotional video that highlighted the National Vietnam War Veterans Day. DePass also earned a bronze Telly for his feature on National Creative Arts Festival Veteran Brian Small.

“Video production averages about 48 products each year,” added Cole, who served as a video intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force from 1986 - 1990, “But collectively, our team provides more than 1,000 products annually that include photos, graphics, and video.”

Cole and DePass are quick to acknowledge two other members of the team – U.S. Army Veteran Christiana Anstaett and U.S. Navy Veteran Tim Westmorland, who leads visual efforts for graphics, photography, layout, and design requests for every service across the healthcare system.

“We have a great team of professionals who are committed to one another and value the responsibility we share to get the job done right the first time,” added DePass, who served with the U.S. Air Force 1st Combat Camera Squadrons as an aerial videographer from 1992 - 2012.

Cole and DePass were recently selected among other healthcare systems’ teams by leaders at VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) to spearhead video efforts to support PACT Act awareness and Women Veterans Healthcare to be shared nationally.

Stay updated on the team’s latest efforts by following @VABayPines on Facebook and Twitter.

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