More Than Teamwork


Earlier this year, F&L was fortunate to have five Co-Op students join us from Northeastern University as an education requirement of their physical therapy graduate program. Our relationship with the university is now going on nine years as we’ve hosted more than 20 students for their six-month stay at our clinics. Most of the students are placed at our Windward clinics, but since we had five of them this semester, one lucky Co-op was set to join our newest clinic in Honolulu, the Kuakini Physicians Tower in the Kuakini Medical Center.

When conducting interviews for the Co-Op Program, I look for candidates who will fit in well with our value-based organization. I knew that the student selected for our Honolulu clinic would have to be someone who could handle new and different challenges than previous co-ops. It didn’t take long for me to select Amelia, a fourth year student, to be the one to join our Honolulu team and be a part of the opening of our newest clinic. I was impressed by her maturity and work ethic and knew she would fit right in. It’s not surprising that the name Amelia is derived from the Latin words for “industrious” and “striving” as she fits the bill of what we look for in each of our employees.

Amelia is now back to her studies in Boston, but took the time to be a guest blogger for us and reflect on her experience working at the Honolulu clinic.

Guest Blogger: Amelia and the Meaning of “Team-work”

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When I initially heard a week before coming to Hawaii that I would be the Co-Op joining the Honolulu clinic, I’ll admit I had a few reservations.  My worries about being the only Co-Op at the clinic and the commute without a car were soon washed away and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been a part of the Kuakini family. As cheesy as it sounds, I never fathomed how inspiring and life-changing my experience at the Honolulu clinic would be. On my first day at Fukuji & Lum, a little silver Pontiac Vibe pulled into my driveway just after noon and drove me to see Lanikai beach. This would be the first of many car rides over the Pali Highway full of conversations with Art Lum, from which I have learned a great deal and truly cherish. During that first car ride Art explained to me the values based-culture of F&L, to which I could do little more than nod my head politely in reply.




[one_half_last]However, after reflecting on my experience it is something I more deeply understand and hope to take with me as a clinician for the rest of my life. I’ve heard many peers and friends talk about the great “team” attitude they share with their coworkers and I’ve experienced it myself at other jobs, but there is something really unique about the F & L culture that makes it so special. I’m not quite sure I can put that into words, but I do know that each person I had the pleasure of working with in Honolulu for has influenced who I will become as a clinician and as a person. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]Art, Shaw, Brittany, Mike, Michelle, Lynn, Julie, and Terrence all went out of their way to make me feel at home; from feeding me endless Hawaiian snacks to teaching me new exercises to giving me weekend tips. They were continuously patient, kind, and supportive of me, of one another, and most importantly of our patients. Each of them brought something special to the table and our bond extended beyond the doors of the clinic to weekend hikes, Filipino restaurants, and Karaoke sessions. They showed me just what the F&L culture is all about and I hope to carry that with me wherever I go. [/one_half]




Mauka a Makai

After cruising past Lanikai beach on that first day in Honolulu, Art and I headed over the mountains. He explained to me the first Hawaiian words I learned on the island, mauka and makai, to describe the mountains and the ocean. These words stuck with me and have come to mean a lot to me. Art marveled at how lovely the mountains looked that afternoon, and I can remember admiring that after many years in Hawaii he still found a new appreciation for the beauty of his surroundings every day. The beauty of the island was everywhere in Hawaii, filling my heart with joy day after day.

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In the 6 months I spent in having some of the most beautiful experiences of my life I came to an understanding that I have taken with me back to Boston. We often think tropical islands are the most beautiful places in the world, yearning for them in daydreams and ending up unsatisfied or unhappy by our own current surroundings. But the simple realization that it is much more about attitude than it is about surroundings has made me more gracious and appreciative, and ultimately more happy. Hawaii has taught me to find beauty and happiness wherever I stand, mauka a makai. Joy can be found under streetlights and in sunsets if I open my eyes to it.