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BCA News: Summer 2017

Who was Warren Sturgis?

The Warren Sturgis Award, now given for the best motion media entry to BioImages, was named for Warren Sturgis, a pioneer in medical film production who also worked diligently to establish the gold standard in motion media for the BPA/BCA salon competition.

Warren Sturgis, RBP, FBCA, was a Film Producer, President of BPA (1954-1955), Schmidt Laureate (1961), Fellow, and best known for several award-winning medical-education documentaries. He chaired BPA committees and was a former lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine. Warren was considered a pioneer in commercial production of medical films and opened his own company, Sturgis Grant Production around 1948. After retiring as president of Sturgis-Grant Productions Inc., he worked as an audiovisual consultant.

In search of more information about Warren, an interview by Allen Shaffer, RBP, AIMBI, was found in the JBP V57, 1989. View the full interview from the journal.

Two questions that are of particular interest to BCA are:

AS: How would you define this profession of yours – medical communication?

WS: I think it was well defined by Dr. Eric W. Martin (formerly Director of Communication of Lederle Laboratories) as “The art and science of transferring medical images and concepts from the mind of one person who has the information to the minds of those who need it. How to achieve this transfer most efficiently is the job of the medical communicator, who acts as a bridge between the transmitter and the receiver of medical knowledge; he functions as a mental midwife in the birth of modern approaches to health care.” (JBP V57, p87)

AS: How did you become interested in BPA?

WS: The advantages of belonging to an organization of one’s peers, where experience was shared with others through meetings and journal papers, were so obvious that I joined as member in 1939. (JBP V57, p88)

Following the war a number of photographers were now turning toward independent production plans on their own, having gained experience to medical audiovisual instruction while in the service. BPA, along with two sister organizations, HESCA and AMI were growing, more films were being made and submitted to the Salon at BPA Annual meetings. A Motion Picture Committee was established and Warren was among the members responsible for outlining the requirements for submission and judging of the films.

To that end, BCA created a special merit award for the most outstanding entry in motion media in honor of Warren Sturgis.

2017 Warren Sturgis Motion Media Award
Bordetella pertussis and Whooping Cough
© Maja Divjak, PhD, Adam Hunt, Ryan Granger,
Jacinta Duncan & Chris Szwed

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