Bradford Man returns to NECC for Logo and Merrimac Resident Designs the Winning Entry
To Northern Essex Community College alumnus Brian Mohika it’s a life altering medical device.
And to NECC graphic design major Caitlin Miracle it’s her first professional assignment.
Miracle’s logo design was selected by Mohika from nearly three dozen art boards submitted by NECC graphic design students to represent his new company CathWear, which will manufacture specially designed underwear for patients wearing leg bags that are attached to a drainage catheter.
The 20-year-old Merrimac resident received a $200 check for designing the winning logo. She will use the award, she said, to purchase Adobe Illustrator for her personal, laptop computer.
The logo is a clean, simple design, said Miracle, and features the universal medical cross inside CathWear’s “signature” pocket.
“It was important to me to get Northern Essex involved,” Mohika said. “It’s a creative way to give back to the school that catapulted my professional career.”
Mohika, a 2006 graduate of NECC’s Radiologic Technology program, who went on to earn a bachelor’s in nursing from UMass Lowell, is the inventor of CathWear, the custom, unisex underwear that resembles boxer briefs with pockets on each thigh to hold catheter bags as well as a catheter channel tract to hold the accompanying medical tubes that will prevent inadvertent pulling. The briefs are washable, reusable, and available in a variety of sizes.
“CathWear restores dignity and privacy during treatment and recovery while improving the quality of life of the patients, who because of various medical conditions and surgical procedures, have to wear leg bags daily to work or school,” said the Bradford resident, who currently works for Home Health VNA. “It removes the unsanitary, Velcro straps that slide down your leg when they become loose or cuts off circulation when they are too tight. It helps avoid embarrassing moments as well as skin irritations and reduces infection.”
The 38-year-old Lawrence native graduated from Lawrence High School in 1996. Following graduation he joined the Air Force and served for two years before enrolling at NECC. After his first “A” in a phlebotomy class he was hooked on pursuing a college education and a career in health care.
Mohika first thought of the CathWear design when he worked in interventional radiology and saw how cumbersome the drains and catheter bags were for the patients. “These patients constantly complained of how negatively the leg bag affected their quality of life,” Mohika said.
Later he and a friend, also a former NECC student and fellow nurse, Hector Arce, designed and patented the idea. Edwin Alvarez, who is a Lawrence native and childhood friend, helped create the business plan to launch CathWear.
They knew they were onto something when their design won first place and fan favorite awards in the 2015 EforAll project of the Deshpande Foundation, which encourages the use of entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for sustainable change in the United States, India, and Canada.
Today they are exploring making Lawrence CathWear’s home.
“We want to create opportunities locally for people to find work in a city that was originally a textile city,” he said. “It has always been our goal as a company to give back to the great and thriving city of Lawrence.”