As public relations professionals that specialize in health care, we get to work with amazing doctors and their innovative breakthroughs. Even better? Our brand journalism team also works with the compelling patients and their stories. 

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we continue to reminiscence on our 2014 Neurobridge campaign with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Although this innovation happened years ago, the story continues to spread and the inspiring young man in the story continues to strive. 

 public relations campaign about neurology reaches millions, national exposure


In a medical and scientific first, neurosurgeons from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, working with researchers from Battelle, implanted a device into a paralyzed young man’s brain that allowed him to miraculously move his hand for the first time since a life-changing diving accident.


The overarching goal for this initiative was to position The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center as a leading innovator in major medical breakthroughs.

We identified that the most effective creative tactic to tell this story and position it for reaching the hospital’s goal was a video that captured the iconic visual moment of the young man moving his hand for the first time. 

Working as partners with the hospital, MediaSource began operating as the embedded brand journalists to document 23-year-old Ian Burkhart’s journey and show this highly anticipated medical first through a video that would be pushed out for the world to see. The objective of the video was to produce a story that created so much buzz that it goes viral and becomes the major force behind the campaign, driving media buzz and YouTube views via the hospital’s landing page for the story. 


Major media outlets such as CBS, The Washington Post, FOX and Yahoo! News began sharing the video. Our producers worked to promote it to a viral news feed, which picked up the story and promoted it as a top viral video. The viral video tactic helped this campaign reach an audience of more than 822 million. The hospital’s YouTube views of this story are at almost 300,000. Top website Buzzfeed named the video one of 2014’s “31 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity". The ad value of the coverage is more than $2.4 million.

MediaSource is a content-focused public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism tactics. From news media coverage to consumer video tactics, MediaSource partners with the nation’s top hospitals and corporations to get their message to targeted audiences. MediaSource is best known for delivering brand buzz by amplifying messages across both earned media and company-owned media channels.


AuthorColleen O'Morrow