Down the Road: Iowa Great Lakes- BrownMed Business Booms

It may not be glamorous work but the roughly 50 employees here at the BrownMed company in Spirit Lake can go home each day knowing they're helping someone through a medical condition or health problem. Just like in the mid 60's, when founder Doctor Ivan Brown went the basement of his Hartley, Iowa home to create a better way to treat patients' finger injuries. "So, he developed a splint that was really more comfortable," said the CEO Dr. Ivan Brown Jr. "Really designed to correctly treat finger injuries, and made athletes as well as other people who wore the device really more functional because they had full use of their fingers and hands." From the Plastalume Finger Splint, to now eight different product lines for various injuries. The one that gave the company its biggest boost came in 1989 with the introduction of the Seal-Tight cast and bandage Protector "So after you get a cast on or bandage you're either able to take a bath or shower without getting that dressing wet," said VP of sales and marketing Paul Katzfey.

You can find BrownMed products at places like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacies, and other retailers. They can also be found on the internet, or with another company's name on the box. And 15 to 20 percent of the company's sales are international.

"115 distributors in I'd say about 100 different countries. So, and that's just outside of the United States," said Katzfey. The company has added about 50 thousand square feet of space this year. And offices in the large medical communities of Kansas City and Boston will hopefully provide new ideas and more outlets for BrownMed products in the future.