Peter Mason of ExtriCARE USA: “Integrity and honesty”

The most inspirational behavior was seeing people rise to the challenge and do what they could to help. A lot of people pivoted and focused on efforts that helped frontline workers. Many businesses worked together to help each other and those most impacted. What was most disappointing was seeing the number of people who did […]

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The most inspirational behavior was seeing people rise to the challenge and do what they could to help. A lot of people pivoted and focused on efforts that helped frontline workers. Many businesses worked together to help each other and those most impacted. What was most disappointing was seeing the number of people who did not take the pandemic seriously. It was also very frustrating to see such a divide in views on the pandemic. If there was more unity and less division, I think it could have been a better outcome for everyone.

As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Mason.

Peter Mason is President of ExtriCARE USA, an innovative medical device company distributing the ExtriCARE product line nationally to the USA and Canada. With over 10 years of experience in strategic business development and sales, Peter utilizes his skills to expand the ExtriCARE product line to revolutionize and lead the direction of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) worldwide.

Peter grew up in the medical space with a father as an accredited medical doctor (D.O.) and mother as a registered nurse. His professional career started in 2008 upon graduation from Temple University. Peter was introduced to NPWT in 2012 during his time at a medical manufacturer with the role of sales manager and business development.

Peter strongly believes the NPWT market is still in its infancy stage and will have tremendous growth in the coming years. He hopes to continue innovating and producing a cost-effective product line that will shape and transform NPWT, helping wounds heal much more efficiently.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I grew up in Bath, a small town on the coast of Maine. Bath was a great place to live during my developmental years because it allowed me to tap into my creativity. Being an only child in a rural area, you had to use your imagination! In elementary school, I learned that I had dyslexia. I had a strong support system of family and teachers who helped me thrive and learn how to be resourceful. Because of them, I don’t look at my dyslexia as a negative part of who I am, but rather as something that has made me a more resilient and confident person.

Bath was a wonderful place to grow up, but I always had ambition for more. That’s why after graduating high school, I moved to a big city and attended Temple University. When I moved to Philadelphia, I flourished even more because there was so much diversity and growth opportunities. I am grateful for the communities I was a part of growing up that helped shaped me into who I am today.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh resonated with me in many impactful ways. This book positively changed my life and changed how I viewed my personal and professional relationships. For business, I noticed that it changed my mindset when it came to being present and knowing how to let go of failure. It allowed me to use failure as a positive tool for growth instead of something that sets me back.

It also allowed me to identify what was in and out of my control. The biggest lesson I remind myself often is that I need to focus on what is in my control and let go of what’s out of my control.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.“

Thich Nhat Hanh

This is my favorite quote because it reminds me not to get too focused on my past or future, especially when things get tough in business and life. By being mindful of the present moment, I can ensure my future is taken care of and not lose time in stagnation. We cannot change our past mistakes, but we can use our past as an opportunity to learn and grow towards a better future.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading a company that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

Back at the start of the pandemic, when there was a massive shortage of PPE for frontline workers, I knew it was my responsibility to step up and help. I reached out to and worked with my manufacturer Alleva Medical to develop a plan on how we could produce quality PPE for communities in need during that shortage.

Although my business distributes medical devices specializing in negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), my relationship with my manufacturer allowed me to go beyond my work scope to help out during an uncertain and pivotal time. I am grateful that Alleva Medical also rose to the occasion to help out — I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a hero?

A hero is someone who leads by example. They lead by doing and showing rather than telling. A hero also has a constant desire to help others without expecting recognition or anything in return. Heroes work hard, are humble and constantly challenge themselves to grow and be their best selves so they can be the best version of who they are for others.

In your opinion or experience, what are “5 characteristics of a hero”? Please share a story or example for each.

The five characteristics of a hero are:

1. Having a constant desire to learn, grow and better yourself.

2. Confidence and bravery.

3. Integrity and honesty.

4. Having the initiative to help or do something, even when they’re not asked.

5. Making people feel at ease.

These five characteristics make up what it means to be a hero. Heroes take action even when no one is looking. For example, my mentors in my life always lead by example and share their experiences with me with no expectation of anything in return. When you carry one, a few or all of these traits, I would consider you a hero.

If heroism is rooted in doing something difficult, scary, or even self-sacrificing, what do you think drives some people — ordinary people — to become heroes?

What drives ordinary people to do heroic actions is our innate instincts as humans to help others in need. Many times, ordinary people rise to the occasion and let go of their fear to help someone else. When you let go of fear, you have the ability to do things that are difficult, scary or even self-sacrificing.

What was the specific catalyst for you or your organization to take heroic action? At what point did you personally decide that heroic action needed to be taken?

I don’t consider what I did as a heroic act, especially compared to all of the courageous doctors, clinicians and frontline workers who put their lives on the line to keep as many people healthy as possible. They are the true heroes.

At the start of the pandemic, it was widely evident there was a need and desire for PPE. As part of the resilient medical community, my team and I believed it was our responsibility to help out by providing PPE. The biggest flaw during this time was that many companies were taking advantage of the pricing. Getting quality PPE products was a big problem. Because of this, it was my duty to take the initiative and provide as many clinicians and front-liners as possible with protection at a reasonable price.

Who are your heroes, or who do you see as heroes today?

My father is my hero because he genuinely encompasses what it means to be a selfless person. He always strives to help others and uses his resources to make the communities he serves a better place. I also think that teachers are heroes who don’t get enough credit. Lastly, Ryan Reynolds is someone I hold in high regard. I have followed his career and seen him use his celebrity platform to make a positive impact where he can. I also admire his humor because it’s important to laugh and not take yourself so seriously.

Let’s talk a bit about what is happening in the world today. What specifically frightened or frightens you most about the pandemic?

What frightened me most about the pandemic was thinking about the potential loss of my network of friends and family. I also worried about their health and well-being. I’ve realized that life would be really tough without them because they’re my support system, and I need them to be the best version of myself. Losing my core support system and community is one of my biggest fears.

Despite that, what gives you hope for the future? Can you explain?

This pandemic forced people to be more present and build more of a community locally. People also spent more time together. If we keep some of these core ideas of connection and community in our society even after the pandemic subsides, that would be very positive and impactful.

What has inspired you the most about the behavior of people during the pandemic, and what behaviors do you find most disappointing?

The most inspirational behavior was seeing people rise to the challenge and do what they could to help. A lot of people pivoted and focused on efforts that helped frontline workers. Many businesses worked together to help each other and those most impacted. What was most disappointing was seeing the number of people who did not take the pandemic seriously. It was also very frustrating to see such a divide in views on the pandemic. If there was more unity and less division, I think it could have been a better outcome for everyone.

Has this crisis caused you to reassess your view of the world or of society? We would love to hear what you mean.

Yes, absolutely. Anyone going through this and the whole world would agree that our perception of how fragile our reality is really came to light. We all need to focus on preserving and being grateful for our health and everyday life because we took simple pleasures like going to the store or a restaurant for granted. We are much more vulnerable than we think. As a global community, we need to build a better foundation and be more prepared individually and as a community for future uncertainties. I also think this crisis is one of the first where if you’re a human being, you were impacted. As a collective world, we had to endure this together. This pandemic is a global challenge and we need to rise together globally to fix it.

What permanent societal changes would you like to see come out of this crisis?

I want to see more global awareness and unity. Collectively, I want to see everyone having more empathy and respect for each other and foster communities that represent that. If we were more united in tackling this crisis together, combined our resources and made sure everyone was taken care of instead of doing it in a divisive way, solutions would have come quicker. It would have been more beneficial for the greater whole.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I would tell them that, as much as we think what we do doesn’t matter, it does. The work starts internally with us first and then locally in our community. And if we focus on improving ourselves first, we will make a significant impact externally.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could start a movement, it would inspire more people to treat our environment and planet with more respect. I would love to focus on cleaning up our oceans and locally cleaning up our community. This starts with changing individual attitudes. If we start small and all do our part in our local community — whether small or big — we are making a difference and positively moving the needle forward.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

It’s hard to narrow down one person, so I chose two: Ryan Reynolds and Richard Branson. I believe both of these successful men use their platforms to change their industry and communities positively. They’re disruptors who are inspirational and are doing great things with the power they’ve created for themselves.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can personally connect with me on LinkedIn or follow my company’s social media pages via Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also check out my website at Please reach out if I can be a resource for you!

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