By Mark Yanai

Being Present for the Future

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There are many moments in our lives that mark significant milestones of achievement. It is in these past few months that many of these milestones have presented themselves, leaving strong emotions and memories that will stay with me forever.

My blog posts have slowed in recent months. My life has become filled with travels and milestones like everyone else’s. It began in May when my entire family traveled to California to watch my nephew, Matthew, graduate from Chapman University. A fun week of graduation activities was sprinkled with visits to Disneyland and Universal Studios.

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The trip continued with a flight to Portland and drive to McMinnville where we celebrated my eldest son, Kaleo’s, graduation from Linfield College. After four years of multiple trips to Oregon, this last travel to McMinnville was the most enjoyable and memorable. Watching Kaleo walk up to the podium and receive his diploma was a definite proud father moment.

Being present at both graduations brought on a tremendous sense of pride. As my family sat in the stands and watched each moment, we all felt more connected and we all shared in the accomplishment. During the trip, my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary while my mom celebrated her 80th birthday. It seemed surreal that all of these milestones would occur within a two-week period.

[one_half] Fast forward to this week when one of our employees, Ryan, completed his employment with F&L. Ryan was accepted to Western University in Pomona, California and began graduate school in August to attain his doctoral degree in physical therapy. Ryan was originally a patient with F&L while he was in high school. His experience with us led to a four-year period of volunteering in the summers while at Pacific University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, Ryan accepted a job with us as a front office receptionist and PT technician, a role that he’s filled while building his resume for graduate school.

We celebrated Ryan’s last day at work with party and mini-golf tournament at Bay View Golf Course. With over 40 people in attendance, we all got to recognize his contributions to the organization and wish him well in his new adventure. As the F&L family gathered, I felt the same feelings of pride and connection to Ryan and the rest of the group. [/one_half]

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We often tell ourselves that there’s our work family and then there’s our real family. For F&L we strive to change that perception and our Higher Purpose is “to love and grow, as family.” By sharing common values, we want our employees and patients to feel safe and supported, that whatever accomplishment they work toward, it will be through collaboration and love. If we can create that in our small organization, we can share it with the rest of the world.

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By Mark Yanai

Strategic Planning for 2017

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On April 6-7th, a two-day course was hosted at the Ko’olau Conference Center by Donna Ching, Ph.D. for Strategic Planning and Facilitation. Donna is the founder of the Pacific Center for Collaboration and has held workshops for the past few years after “retiring” from the faculty of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

I attended the course accompanied by Art Lum, co-owner of F&L, in hopes that we could learn new skills and a process in guiding our organization. There were 28 other attendees from different backgrounds including state, research and educational organizations. What we all had in common was a passion to provide for others so that we could create a work environment of safety and collaboration.

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The workshop was outstanding in all aspects. Donna’s passion of teaching collaboration techniques, Appreciative Inquiry, and her unique process model for planning made for an energetic workshop that encouraged participation and learning through experiences. I was often moved by the experiences shared by the other attendees and saw how the skill of sharing our lives through storytelling is a key component of her model. The world is changing and the process model that she teaches is necessary for the leadership of any organization hoping to thrive in it.

At the heart of her process model is Appreciative Inquiry (AI).  According to the Center for Appreciative Inquiry, “AI is a way of being and seeing. It is both a worldview and a process for facilitating positive change in human systems, e.g., organizations, groups, and communities. Its assumption is simple: Every human system has something that works right–things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. AI begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways the heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change.”

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This process of “facilitating positive change” is in alignment with F&L’s values-based organization and is what our company has implemented in creating our policies and procedures. We plan to use what we know about AI and what we’ve gained from the strategic planning course to guide us into becoming a world-class organization.

Besides the actual course presentation, I was very impressed by Ko’olau’s Ballroom and Conference Center. The room was located in Honey’s restaurant and the food was outstanding. The room was perfect for the size of the group and there was lots of free parking. The location is close to our Windward offices and is the perfect setting with the Ko’olau mountain range as a backdrop.

I look forward to taking more workshops from Donna and hope to take her Facilitation Skills class in the later part of the year. If you are a leader of your organization, I would highly recommend taking one of her workshops.[/one_half_last]

 

 

By Mark Yanai

My PRI Path

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Postural Restoration Institute and F&L

This past June, F&L held a private Myokinematic Restoration course from the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI). The course was limited to F&L clinicians to introduce PRI’s philosophy to our organization and was instructed by James Anderson, MPT, PRC, who is one of the primary instructors for PRI as well as the Director of Affiliate Courses.

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I first met James back in April of this year when I traveled to San Francisco for the same course. I found the content in the Myokinematic Restoration challenged many of the traditional teachings of my profession, yet provided evidenced based results that supported it’s philosophy. I enjoyed James’ energy and passion for teaching and thought his style kept me engaged throughout the weekend course. I left excited to apply what I learned to my patients.

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I got mixed results, so I knew my skill and knowledge of PRI needed to improve. I signed up for another PRI primary class in Boston called Postural Respiration, hosted by Northeastern University. It was the perfect location for me to visit as we have a great relationship with NU’s Cooperative Program. The course was taught by Mike Cantrell, MPT, PRC, who also brought great passion to PRI’s teachings.

Both courses gave me a better understanding of PRI and its development of an innovative treatment approach that explains the primary contributors of postural kinetic and kinematic movement dysfunction.  PRI’s founder, Ron Hruska, MPA, PT, recognized patterns with polyarticular chains that create asymmetry and adaptations to function. It’s these chains that create tone or inhibition of muscles that are addressed with PRI techniques. Recognition of these patterns and how they create dysfunction are critical in a clinician’s ability to apply PRI’s unique approach.

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PRI concentrates on the respiration and gait patterns that we all use to function on a daily basis. The use of the diaphragm and the specific exercises designed for PRI are unique for traditional orthopedic approaches. I found myself blowing into a balloon to improve my ribcage mobility and pelvic symmetry, which seemed comical at first. But as I continued down the path of PRI exercises and respiration techniques, I found that its unorthodox methods produce some significant changes in not only my patients, but in my own body and function.

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As for the Myokinematic Restoration course at F&L, it was a huge success for both our organization and myself. Hearing James a second time and now being equipped with two primary courses, I felt confident in my ability to apply PRI techniques with greater effectiveness. Our therapists have gained a terrific introduction to PRI and valuable knowledge that kept inline with our current practice methods.

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It’s my hope that we continue down this path with PRI. It’s still early in our relationship with James and PRI but it has already produced great outcomes for our patients.

For more information regarding PRI, visit their website or contact our organization to schedule a visit.

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By Mark Yanai

Contribution and EMS Week

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Celebrating EMS Week

As an active member of the Nuuanu YMCA since 2006, I’ve been playing basketball or working out in the gym every week for the past ten years. I’ve come to know many of the other members during pickup games and have had some great memories while playing at the Y, but I’ll never forget one afternoon this past February when I met a few new friends.

Phil Tan, 52, a member of the Y much longer than I have been, played basketball together many times. But on February 20th after playing a pickup game, he collapsed from what turned out to be a heart attack. He was fortunate to fall on the shoulder of David Kim, a physical therapist from Queen’s Medical Center, who had just walked in to the gym to play basketball. It was a lucky coincidence that David and I just happened to be the only ones not playing and able to respond to Phil, who quickly became unresponsive. By the time I had returned from running down to the front desk to inform them to call 911, David and Eric Lalau, an off-duty police officer, had Phil on the ground and were assessing him.

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Within a span of ten minutes, Phil was given CPR and a shock by the Y’s AED unit. He was revived by a single shock. He was transported to Queen’s where he was treated and eventually released after a full recovery. In a recent interview, Phil was quoted as being “lucky” that there was someone there that knew what to do. He’s accurate that his recovery was a result of luck, preparedness, and the contribution of a team of first responders.

Last week in a ceremony to acknowledge first responders, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell recognized the Department of Emergency Services (EMS) for National EMS Week, May 15-21.

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It was an honor to be a part of the ceremony and it really brought to light the importance of EMS employees, CPR certification, and the contribution of a team. The training that I received from Aaron Hepps, Morgan Hawley and the AED Institute two weeks prior to the incident was essential to me being prepared. I really could hear the instructors’ voices in my head about compressions and setting up the AED. It gave me confidence that Eric, an experienced police officer, was there and constantly talking to Phil. And the timing of the EMS group that arrived was amazing in that as soon as we felt a strong pulse on Phil they walked into the gym and took over.

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The contribution by each team member was essential to the success of Phil’s recovery. No one was asked to assist; each person did so because the opportunity was presented and it was the values instilled in each that led them to jump in. It is the same type of action that represents one of our core values at F&L. Our team approach to therapy is unique in that we value the different skills each member of our organization brings to the table. The rehabilitation of one patient is the responsibility of all of us and we each take pride in what we do individually and collectively.

Initially, I did not feel that my participation in providing care needed recognition. I had a small part in what was a collective effort. But as I started to look into the success rate of CPR in response to heart attacks, I began to realize that the AED was essential in this effort. Without the AED, the success rate of CPR is less than 10% in Hawaii. Yet at the same time, the compressions were required to keep Phil in a state that a shockable heart was still there. So if this experience contributes to further training by others and allows someone to step in to a similar situation, then I can see the benefit of being recognized.

I look forward to keeping in touch with my new friends and renewing my CPR certification every two years with the AED Institute.

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By Mark Yanai

2016 Hawai’i Strength Clinic

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2016 UH Coaches Strength Clinic

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In January, I was fortunate to attend the 2016 UH Strength Clinic, an annual event organized by Tommy Heffernan, who heads the Strength and Conditioning Program at the University of Hawaii. I’ve attended the last three clinics and found it to be very useful in implementing training regiments and philosophies for our Work Hardening and Performance Plus Programs.

For the past seven years, Heffernan has organized the UH Coaches Strength Clinic. He always finds excellent speakers who bring great insight into various areas of strength and conditioning for athletes. Attendees are given hands-on instructions on improving mobility, speed and quickness, and of course, strength training.

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This year’s line up was filled with renowned strength coaches including:


Ivan Lewis, Head of Strength & Conditioning for University of Southern California.

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Mike Vorkapich, Associate Head of Strength & Conditioning for Michigan State University

Wolfgang Unsold Wolfgang Unsold, Training Coach for Your Personal Strength Institute

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Augusta Hathaway, Master Fitness Trainer for Special Operation Forces & Owner of Hathaway Fitness

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Mike Blasquez, Director of Strength & Conditioning for the University of California-Berkley

burge_tanna.jpg Tanna Burge, Director of Sports Performance for Texas A&M University

 Steve Watterson, Head of Strength & Conditioning for the Tennessee Titans

 Ed Coan, Powerlifting Coach

(click on their names and teams for more info)

All of the speakers’ experiences in the field of strength training, translated to their expert knowledge in their various sports. Most of the college coaches spoke about off season programs and the key components to making their athletes better. Those not associated with a college or team, spoke about specific training regiments and systems in dealing with sport specific training.

While each of the speakers were captivating in their own way, I was most intrigued by the way Wolfgang Unsold, the strength coach from Germany, laid out his training system and how he used stories and examples of his athletes and their success to keep the audience engaged. He spoke about his focus on pull-ups, squats, dead lifts and bench pressing and how those key movements translate to functional improvements. Maybe it was his accent or his blunt comments, but his presentation was both funny and informative. Since the clinic, his exercises for upper back weakness and elbow flexion were added to our training programs and have benefited our clients significantly.

Heffernan is a member of the International Sports Science Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and has been designated Master Strength and Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He resides in Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu and was a member of the UH football program from 1988 to 1991. Heffernan represents Hawai’i and the Polynesian culture well by always including a presenter during the clinic that speaks about this connection.

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This year, Heffernan invited Sam Kapoi from the Polynesian Voyaging Society to present “Malama Honua World Wide Voyage“. Kapoi served as the media specialist on the Hokulea and presented the journey of the ship’s ’14-’15 voyage around the world. The presentation offered breathtaking pictures of the voyage and stories about the challenges of a crewman. Kapoi spoke of both the physical and emotional transformation that occurs with being a part of such a challenge. It wasn’t lost on me the importance of the keeping in touch with our culture, restoring world-wide connections with each other, and how teaching is core to our survival. It was in a sense, a perfect example of what the weekend was about.

We were lucky to have several members of F&L attend the weekend and hope to attend every year. If you have interest in attending, please contact me at info@fukujilumpt.com or go to UH’s website.

By Mark Yanai

This Is How I Roll

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Book Review: The Roll Model by Jill Miller

As part of my series of blogs about my morning routine, this book review is an essential read to understand how I prep my body for the day. After reading this book earlier in the year, I’ve added the practice of mobilizing my soft tissues every morning. It’s been a huge benefit to my well being and feel that it’s an essential component to my day.

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Jill Miller is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide, creator of the corrective exercise format Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. Jill and her products have been featured on various top rated television shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America, and in popular publications such as O, Shape, and Fitness.

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Jill has created a system with tools and techniques that anyone can use. Her Roll Model® Method has become one of my favorite ways to release the myofascial tension in my body. In her book, The Roll Model, she describes the system of connective tissue that shapes and forms our soft tissue structures and the type of dysfunction that can arise with disruption to this system. The pictures and drawings in the book are excellent and the step by step description on how to address each body region are invaluable. The unique Yoga Tune Up balls are the focus of the technique and are essential in delivering the best results in her system.

She also includes short testimonials by those who have benefitted from using her system, including another of my favorite authors, Kelly Starett. These stories of life changing improvements in using these inexpensive balls are impressive and motivating to invest in her system.

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All of our clinics use the balls daily and instruct our patients on how to use them properly. We’ve found them to be more effective than foam rollers and lacrosse balls. The balls are soft and tacky which are key ingredients when addressing both pain and restriction for our patients.

The uses of these Yoga Tune Up balls are becoming more popular in other physical therapy clinics as well. They come in various sizes and some techniques require more than one ball.

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Physical therapists are experts in evaluating and improving movement patterns. I’ve had great success in using the Roll Model® Method in addressing limitations in the soft tissues. One example is that when I recognize a limitation in the cervical spine for someone who has difficulty looking down, I assess if there’s a restriction in the posterior muscle chain. If my assessment is accurate, I’ve been able to use a tune up ball on either the sole of the foot or in their hamstrings, which frees up the restriction and improves cervical flexion.

If you’re interested in how Jill Miller’s system works, contact us at info@fukujilumpt.com for a consultation or physical therapy appointment.

 

By Mark Yanai

Recertified and Upgraded CPR

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CPR RE-CERTIFICATION

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Every two years, F&L goes through the process of getting our staff re-certified in administering CPR. This year, we gathered at our WORC site to learn the latest CPR/AED techniques from the AED Institute.

Aaron Hepps, HM1/USN(Ret.), was our main instructor and did an outstanding job! Assisting him was Morgan Hawley. What has changed since our last class a couple of years ago? First off, a lot of the ratios that were important in previous versions were removed. We didn’t have to memorize the different compression to breath ratios because rescue breathing is no longer required. Also, no more finger swiping for choking babies!

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We also learned of a couple of apps that are useful when necessary. Pulse Point is a phone app that not only lets you know where the closest public AED is, but alerts other users that assistance is needed. Another useful app is ICE, which keeps emergency information about yourself that responders can look at if the user is unresponsive. The ICE app is being used by many first responders and can give useful information like blood type, medical conditions, medications and emergency contacts.

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When the class was done, we had a little birthday celebration for Joy and Deb, our Mobile team! Also, thanks to Janie, the clinic was decorated with balloons and streamers for the lucky ladies.

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We hope that we never have to use CPR, but thanks to the AED Institute, we’ll be ready for any emergency situation! Thanks Aaron & Morgan! If you need more information regarding getting certified in CPR or AED, please contact Aaron at 808.440.8988 or email him at info@aedinstitute.com. You can visit their websites at www.facebook.com/AED.Institute and www.aedinstitute.com.

 

By Deb Matsuura

Connor: My Co-Op Experience in Hawaii

 

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We are so fortunate in Hawaii to be blessed with such rich culture, beauty and love. Sometimes it takes others to remind us of how much we have as you listen to them reflect on their experiences in Hawaii.
It never seems to amaze me that the Co-op students, like Connor and Victoria, have such transformative experiences in Hawaii. I often forget how young these students are and how such an experience can set them up for not only a successful professional career, but a different perspective of life.

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For Connor, his stay in Hawaii was a life changing experience. He wrote to us about the opportunities he had to learn not only about physical therapy but the Hawaiian culture. It was a pleasure to get to know him during his brief stay and I wish him the best in his future endeavors as he continues on his path to become a PT.

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After moving back to Boston and settling into another semester of classes at Northeastern University, I look back at my six months in Hawaii, working at Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy, with nothing but fond memories. It hasn’t even been a month, but I already miss the people, the sights, the weather, and the aloha spirit. Although I am sad it had to come to an end, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work for such an inspiring company in such an incredible place. This experience taught me countless life lessons both in and out of the clinic.

My flight to Hawaii was my first flight alone and my first time traveling. I boarded the flight feeling equal parts excited and anxious. I was traveling to an island 5,000 miles away to live and work with people I had never met before. My worries quickly dissipated as I met Mark at the airport and was introduced to my host and the beauty of Kaneohe Bay. I still have vivid memories of my first morning in Hawaii; waking up to the sunrise and kayaking out into the bay.

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My first few days at W.O.R.C. were overwhelming, but I instantly knew I was surrounded by a team of positive, hardworking, knowledgeable, and caring staff. Mark, Woody, Jessie, Stacey, Ross, Lisa, Talon, and Ryan were all more than welcoming and helpful. My coworkers and patients did not take long to show me the true meaning of aloha. Working at F&L’s W.O.R.C. clinic was a unique experience.

From Graston to smashing, I was constantly learning new information and techniques that I wouldn’t have seen elsewhere. It was evident that I was not the only student in the room, as all of my coworkers were trying to become better therapists each and every day. This value on education and striving to be the best you can be, is what makes the F&L team so special.

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During my six months there, F&L went through some changes that opened up even more opportunities for me to grow as a future therapist. I saw Woody leave to start his own practice, which brought Jamie and Janie to W.O.R.C, exposing me to even more therapist styles and knowledge. F&L also hired Nicole, their first ever occupational therapist. I really enjoyed the inter-professional collaboration as patients transitioned from therapy to work hardening & conditioning.

Outside of W.O.R.C., F&L greatly expanded their aquatic therapy program. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work alongside Rachel, Joy, Jocelyn, Deb, Wes, Billy, and a fellow Northeastern student Victoria. Coming from the clinic, I once again had so much to learn. I was constantly impressed by the variety of patients benefiting from aquatic therapy, and the creativity of the therapists to accommodate each patient’s needs. The F&L team exposed me to so many different aspects of my future career and taught me that physical therapy and caring for patients is about more than just what you learn in a classroom.

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Of course, while in Hawaii, I did much more than just work for six months. The state of Hawaii is a one of the most unique and beautiful places. I was so lucky to spend my weekends at places like Lanikai, Waikiki, Mokapu’u, the North Shore, Volcanic Rock Gym in Kailua, and many more. Whether I was hiking mountains, kayaking around islands, learning to surf, climbing rock walls, or jumping off waterfalls, every day in Hawaii was a memorable adventure.

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I was also fortunate enough to take some time off from work to see the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. I saw some of the most breath-taking views at Kilauea, Haleakala, Lahaina, Hana, Waimea Canyon, and the Napali Coast and experienced the thrills of swimming through underground lava caves, flying in a helicopter, and snorkeling with honu and tako.

The people and experiences of Hawaii opened my mind to so much and became a part of who I am. I cannot thank everyone at F&L and everyone else I met along the way enough. Despite the distance from my home, I have countless life-long friends in Hawaii who made me a part of their ohana. It’s not a matter of if, but when I return, I look forward to seeing you all again.

Aloha and Mahalo!
Connor Pokorney

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By Mark Yanai

Mahalo & Aloha Victoria

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As we introduce our new Co-Ops, we also say goodbye to those who have completed the fall semester. Victoria guest blogs for me as she reflects back on the past six months and her experience with F&L.

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could be back in Hawaii (especially with Boston’s current 30 degree weather). I had wanted to apply to the Fukuji and Lum co-op ever since I first heard about it three years ago. As someone who loves to travel, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue my physical therapy education while living in and experiencing a new place.

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While the thought of moving halfway around the world for six months seemed intimidating, the Fukuji and Lum family welcomed us with open arms and showed us the true meaning of “Aloha” from day one. I feel truly lucky to have had the privilege of getting to know both the staff members and patients at F&L. From giving me my first spam musubi to inviting us to an Okinawan festival, everyone went out of their way to ensure we experienced all aspects of the Hawaiian culture. The always calm and friendly Hawaiian spirit was impossible not to catch and is something I hope to always keep with me.

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My weeks in Hawaii were filled with learning while I worked at the Kailua and Kaneohe Clinics as well as the Aquatic Therapy program in Kaneohe. The dedicated physical therapists and PTA’s were always there to encourage me and answer my many questions. Thanks to them, I have come back to Boston knowing more than I ever thought I could learn in six months and with a greater drive to continue learning and complete my final three years of physical therapy school.

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Growing up a swimmer, Kaneohe pool’s Aquatic Therapy program made me feel at home immediately. Working with physical therapists Rachel, Jocelyn, and Joy, as well as the rest of the aquatic therapy staff, Deb, Billy, Wes and my fellow co-op Connor, there was always somebody ready to show me new techniques or answer a question. During my six months, I was able to watch the program grow and have gained a greater understanding of Aquatic Therapy and the many benefits it provides.

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In the Kailua clinic I worked closely with Randall Fukuji and Clarise who introduced me to PRI (Postural Restoration Institute), an approach to physical therapy that I had never heard of before coming to Hawaii. In the clinic, I instructed patients in their exercises and assisted with some manual techniques. I’ve learned the importance of keeping an open mind and always continuing my education as a physical therapist.

In Kaneohe’s Lower Atherton Clinic I was able to assist and observe physical therapists Jamie, Brad and Nate, and gained an appreciation for the many different ways each of them treated patients. Also, PTAs Colleen and Janie were always there to teach me new exercises and answer any of my questions. From observing evaluations, manual therapy, and attending different in-services, the Kaneohe clinic kept me constantly learning.

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Outside the clinic, my weekends were always exciting and filled with different adventures. My favorite memories include many muddy hikes and beautiful beaches, as well as kayaking to the Mokulua island, spending days on the North Shore, and swimming with wild spinner dolphins. I don’t think thank you is enough to describe how grateful I am to each one of my coworkers, patients, and new friends for making   Windward Oahu feels like home.

Aloha,

Victoria

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By Mark Yanai

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog! With the holiday season and a busy clinical schedule, I put the blog on the back burner for November and December. Now that it’s the beginning of a new year, I can reflect on what happened in 2015 and look forward to setting new goals for 2016.

Looking back at 2015, it was so rewarding to see how much our company accomplished this past year. Growth of our clinics has been abundant, as several of our programs have increased in size.

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The Aquatic Therapy Program has expanded to five days a week with over 40 hours of pool time available to treat patients. Under the direction of Rachel Hyland, P.T., it has become one of the largest providers in the state for aquatic physical therapy.

Our newest therapy service that we offer is Mobile Therapy, which just started servicing the Windward community in 2015. Joy Yanai, D.P.T., director of this unique program, provides clinical services to patients in their own home. We expect 2016 to be a busy year for this valuable program, as physicians are becoming more aware of the benefits that their patients with special requirements can have from mobile therapy.

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This past year, the Performance Plus Program (PPP) had the highest enrollment in its short history. Many former patients are finding the need for continued care under the direction of a skilled therapist to meet personal goals for their health and well-being.

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The PPP program is currently available at our W.O.R.C. and Honolulu Clinic, but we are looking to expand this special program to all of our locations in 2016.

The W.O.R.C. clinic continues to grow with the addition of Nicole Sato, M.O.T., the first Occupational Therapist that F&L has hired. Nicole primarily works with patients in our Work Hardening Program, which is an integral component of the Worker’s Compensation Program offered at W.O.R.C.

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For the past two years,The Honolulu Clinic has been located at the Kuakini Medical Plaza under the leadership of Art Lum, PT. We will soon be moving to the Kuakini Physician Tower later this month. As the only private outpatient physical therapy clinic at the Tower, we look forward to this tremendous opportunity and hope the new location will be a boon to our organization.

Every year F&L brings young PT students to grow in their profession by participating in the Northeastern University (NEU) Cooperative Program. In 2015, we brought in a total of five students, Teagan FergusonSarah AgustinCody GillissVictoria Ruvolo, and Connor Pokorney. They each spent six months working in our clinics and pool, assisting our clinical staff in treating patients. For 2016, we look to expand the program with more students throughout the year, starting with five new co-ops headed our way this month. Check back in my blog as we introduce each one and follow their journey.

As we continued to grow in size and maturity throughout 2015, our values-based culture remained the focal point of the company and determined every aspect and decision made by the organization.

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We always found time to celebrate our culture with many annual events and special activities, including a company retreatFree Car WashFamily Fun DaySpring Break Fun, Arthritis Walk, PT Month and Halloween Party.

2015 culminated with our annual Holiday Gathering which was held at Dave & Buster’s. Lots of food, fun and gratitude were shared by all. We not only gathered to share Christmas cheer but also to commemorate our 20th anniversary. And then to top it all off, the staff surprised me with a special presentation honoring my ten-year anniversary with the organization.

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I’m hopeful that 2015 was a big stepping-stone to a great 2016. There are many things on the agenda for next year and I’m excited about the challenges that this year will bring. Look for more in my upcoming blog.