Through his travels in southeast Asia, Dr. David Mathews observed a high volume of air pollution and its effects on local populations. An orthopedic surgeon by profession, Dr. Mathews knew that the levels of air pollution to which Vietnamese and Cambodian citizens were exposed could lead to cardiovascular, pulmonary and other diseases. How could he help?
Dr. Mathews is a longtime friend of Tom Brown, Inc. CEO Kenny Brown and president Brendan Brown. Together, they devised a plan to create a new respirator mask that would help curb the hazards of air pollution while remaining comfortable and unobtrusive to the wearer.
Through multiple prototypes, Dr. Mathews and company were able to fabricate a form-fitting mask with appropriate sizes for adults and children. The Makana Mask was born.
Makana, a Hawaiian word meaning “something given freely,” reflected Dr. Mathews’ mission to promote better respiratory and cardiovascular health in southeast Asia. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic made its way across the globe, Dr. Mathews recognized an opportunity to employ the Makana Mask for a larger fight. He knew his masks could help frontline healthcare workers and others desperately in need of equipment to defend themselves and others against the virus.
A major component of the Makana Masks are the ancillary die cut parts supplied by Tom Brown, Inc. and other companies. You can read more about the mask itself and Tom Brown’s contribution on Makana’s site: Ancillary Die Cut Parts of the Makana Mask.