Who we are
Half a Century of Health Education Expertise
Family created and owned, WRS Group, Ltd includes the world-renowned divisions of Health Edco, Childbirth Graphics, and Health Impressions. With 30 years of experience in the United Kingdom and more than half a century in the United States, we are dedicated to the provision of innovative 3-D displays, hands-on models, informative print products, and promotional materials aimed at improving lives through health education and awareness. With thousands of products going to more than 100 countries, WRS Group is a leader in health and childbirth education. Through our offices in Waco, Texas in the US and Fleetwood, Lancashire in the UK, along with our worldwide distributor relationships, we provide life-changing health education across the globe.
WRS Group’s roots go back to 1964, when founder Wayman R Spence (WRS), MD, then a young resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation, developed medicine’s first silicone padding, which was ideal for the prevention of pressure sores. In 1967, Dr Spence used his fierce passion for preventive medicine to found Spenco Medical Corporation.
In the late 1960s, Dr Spence was at a party when a woman lit a cigarette. A strong anti-smoking advocate, Dr Spence told the woman that he should give her an ashtray shaped like a pair of lungs so that she could see what she was doing to her body. Inspired by this incident, Dr Spence created the Lung Ashtray in 1968. This unique product featured a set of transparent lungs—one hollow—mounted on an ordinary ashtray. As smoke billowed up the hollow lung, a dark, syrupy deposit of tar remained behind, graphically revealing how smoking damages the lungs. An immediate sensation, the Lung Ashtray made newspaper headlines, caught the attention of the tobacco industry, and persuaded thousands of smokers to kick their deadly habit.
From these first successes, an obsession was fuelled to create better health through education and awareness. After Spenco Medical Corporation was sold in 1984, Dr Spence retained Health Edco, the division dedicated to health education, which has gone on to create hundreds of dynamic teaching tools. In 1989, the company’s name was changed to WRS Group to reflect its growing diversity, including the acquisition of Childbirth Graphics, a division devoted to childbirth education. The business passed to Dr Spence’s family in the early 1990’s with a new promise to engage the world with the innovative health education resources that Dr Spence and his team had created.
Health Edco and Childbirth Graphics in the UK
In the 1990s, a UK/International office was launched with the support of Scott Salmans, CEO and son-in-law of Dr Spence, and the cooperation of family friends Mr and Mrs Edward Church in West Sussex. From this small acorn the UK-based office continued to grow, gaining expertise from health education entrepreneur, teacher, and public health specialist Paul Wright, who joined in WRS Group 2004. The UK business grew to supply not only health education resources but also valuable health services, such as health exhibition vehicles, health theatre, and health training schemes.
In 2014, the UK office relocated to Fleetwood, Lancashire with larger offices and warehouse capability. Vice-President and company public health specialist Paul Wright continues to direct UK and international sales with key members of staff Lucy Ryall-Thurlow (customer service supervisor) and Steve Tittle (warehouse manager). The office is open to the public for health education advice, analysis, demonstration, and purchase of the latest health education resources we have to offer.
From strength to strength, WRS Group’s Health Edco and Childbirth Graphics divisions have ensured that their evidence-based resources—concepted and designed in the US and UK —are of the very highest quality. We pride ourselves on assembling products—still by hand in many cases—within the US and UK, rather than outsourcing to distant countries.
If you would like any further information or to book a visit to our UK base, please contact us by phone or by email at email@example.com.