By Deb Matsuura

Special Thanks to Fukuji & Lum

Entering the New Year, I look back at my 2017 accomplishments. As many others strive for when creating their list of resolutions, I had hoped for positive change and personal growth. With the bittersweet end to my time in Hawaii, I reflect on how it has helped me to reach my goals. Surrounded by clear blue waters, soaring mountain ranges, and a unique Ohana; I had the opportunity to take a step away from the hustle of Boston and learn more about myself and the therapist I want to be one day.

After receiving word of my position in Hawaii, I was both excited and nervous for this new adventure. Weeks leading up to my arrival I had many friends and family, some more jealous than others, sending me good wishes on this next chapter in my life.

[two_third] Previous co-ops spoke so highly of their coworkers and experiences, so I knew I would be greeted with open arms. This made leaving home and coming to an unfamiliar place a little less daunting.

Within hours of landing, I was receiving welcome hugs from people I had never met – I already felt a part of the Ohana. With any new job, the first few months are a transition period. Learning to embody the values of a company and collaborate closely with colleagues you know little about, can be difficult. Although it was overwhelming at times and my supervisors received many of my dumbfounded looks, I felt every coworker I encountered was willing and able to help me make this transition seamless.

I am grateful to have worked with so many accomplished and intelligent therapists. I learned that each therapist has something different to bring to the table, whether it be a skill or a thought process. I watched as they worked as a team of many backgrounds to provide the best care possible for our patients. Looking back at my experiences with each therapist, I have confirmed that I want to be a physical therapist. I learned something from each and every one of them that I will someday have the opportunity to apply in my practice.

I also had the chance to work closely with many determined, caring patients, who constantly embodied the aloha spirit. From my patients I learned the power of perseverance. Watching them maintain determination over the course of a few weeks, a few months, or even the entirety of my time at F&L to reach their goals, was an enlightening experience. I truly realized the importance of teamwork in this field, where healthcare providers should work closely with their patients. This unique team is what makes our jobs worth it each and every day.

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Having the opportunity to work in almost all of the clinics, it opened my eyes to how closely the company works in order to carry out F&L’s mission and values in every location. Rather than each being their own separate entity, the clinics worked together to be one, united team. During my 6 months, I also had the unique chance to experience the company go through big changes. One of which, was seeing lots of hard work go into creating a new logo that embodies all that the company is. With such a distinctive model and outlook on physical therapy, F&L stands out and makes me hopeful for further growth in the PT world.

[one_half] Aside from building many close relationships and a strong sense of work identity, I also had the opportunity to explore Oahu, and remind myself to take some time to enjoy the little moments in life. For an island that is only 40 miles long and 30 miles wide, I never thought there would be so much to do. As a co-op group we were able to explore the wonders of Hawaii together, truly making the most of our weekends. From sliding down steep, muddy mountains on my okole (yay Hawaiian words) to maneuvering the paddle out to the mokes, we made endless memories together that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.

A special thank you to Liz, Stevie, Matt and Kyle, my Hawaii family, for making the better half of my 2017, even better. I learned from you guys and our many adventures to take a step back and take in the moment. A little rest and relaxation never hurts.

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From my amazing patients to the special company of Fukuji&Lum, I thank you all for this incredible experience. I will miss each and every one of you very much, and I hope to see you someday soon.

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Grace Taylor

By Deb Matsuura

We Welcome Liz to the Fukuji and Lum Ohana!

Fukuji & Lum welcomes our fourth Co-op this semester, Liz, to our Ohana. She will be working with our aquatic therapists in the pool and at our outpatient physical therapy clinic in Kaneohe.

Liz is our guest blogger this week and shares a little introduction about why she got into physical therapy and her experience so far in Hawaii.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college? I went to Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Maine and I am now in the DPT program at Northeastern University in Boston.

What drew you to physical therapy? I grew up playing sports year-round so I was constantly focused on the way my body moved. I went to physical therapy for my own sports-related injuries in early high school and it opened my eyes to how amazing the human body is. I decided to do a job shadow with a couple of physical therapists in my area and that’s when I knew I wanted to be an expert on the way the body moved and pursue a career in physical therapy.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii? The ocean and mountains of Hawaii are what initially grabbed my attention when I began my coop search. After I heard previous coop’s descriptions of the Fukuji and Lum culture, and saw the mission and values highlighted on the F&L website I knew I wanted to be a part of the fun, happy, and compassionate family I had heard about.

What has your experience been like so far? I’ve had an amazing experience so far. Rather than dreading going to work in the morning and counting the hours until the end of each work day, as I have found myself doing with previous jobs that I’ve had, I look forward to going to work and I find that the days fly by. I have learned a lot from my co-workers and patients, and I have become more excited for my future as a physical therapist.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving? Spam.

What is on your to-do list while here? I want to take advantage of the mountains and the ocean by hiking and swimming regularly and hopefully learning how to surf. I also hope to create lasting relationships with people that I meet, and learn as much as I can about PT from my co-workers and my experience.

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What kind of therapist do you hope to be? I hope to be a therapist who can help my patients understand how amazing their bodies are and show them how to manipulate the way they move so that they are confident in taking control of their own recoveries.

Who is your greatest influence in your life? As the youngest of five kids in my family, I have always had a lot of people to look up to. My parents, sisters, and brothers have showed me how to think critically, how to study, how to be considerate of others, how to appreciate all the amazing people in my life, and much much more. I continue to learn from each of them every day.

I have also met some pretty great people in my past two years at Northeastern. I constantly find myself describing my classmates and friends as some of the smartest, kindest and most hardworking people I know. I have met so many people worthy of raving about, and being around them has made me want to push myself harder in all aspects of my life.

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By Deb Matsuura

New Semester, New Co-ops!

Fukuji & Lum’s receives a handful of Northeastern University physical therapy students every semester. For spring semester 2017, we just said mahalo and good-bye to five awesome, enthusiastic and hard-working students who we know will make a great impact in the physical therapy world. We wish them the best!!

This July we welcomed five new students who will be with us till December. We look forward to teaching and nurturing them as well as sharing our island spirit and company culture, which they will be able to take back with them to Boston.

You’ve just met Matt in our previous blog, now here’s Kyle and Grace with a few words about themselves and why chose to study physical therapy.

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 Kyle’s Blog

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Andover High School in Massachusetts. I now go to Northeastern University in Boston.

What drew you to physical therapy? 
There have been a few things that have drawn me into the field of physical therapy. In high school I was a rower and our coach focused hundreds of hours on moving correctly and power application. This was the start of my fascination with the body, how it moves, and the quest to perfect movement in sport. From there, I would research different body parts and how to exercise them. Fast forward a few years to 2015 when I injured my shoulder, I researched what I thought was wrong and how to rehab it. The process of troubleshooting the injury and trying to rehab it was really exciting for me. As exciting as it was, it didn’t work so well, so after a few weeks I went to a real PT. When going myself, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the role of a PT in a patient’s recovery. It was a relaxed environment where everyone would chat and joke and I could see myself working in something similar.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I used to work with a youth development program called Andover Youth Services and it was a huge influence in my life. One of the most significant values we lived and encouraged in the young people was to get out of your comfort zone. When looking for co-ops I wanted to stay consistent with my values so I wanted to go somewhere that would challenge me and give me a new experience. I’ve found that forcing myself uncomfortable situations is when I learn the most.

What has been your experience like so far?
After 3 weeks on this beautiful island I’m confident coming here was the right decision. Working in Honolulu, I’m exposed to a demographic I wouldn’t otherwise be if I was working in Boston. The clientele is typically on the older side and many are of Asian descent. Occasionally I’m tasked with working with someone who speaks no English. This has been hard for me so far, but it is challenging me to improve my visual cues and other nonverbal communication.

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What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?Being here for about a month I haven’t had a ton of time to really venture into strange cuisine. I’ve tried some local foods like poke and I’m a big fan of the Hawaiian marinade at Fresh Catch. Also our host family makes ahi and ono jerky which is a little unusual. Other than that I think I’ve eaten pretty similarly to back in Boston.

What is on your to do list while here?
I’m a little limited with having shoulder surgery a few months ago but I’d like to hike, surf, explore the islands, jump off some cliffs, and eat some more exotic food.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
Of course I want to be the best therapist there can be. I want to be a therapist who deeply understands each treatment and why it works. I want to be up to date with new technologies and methods of treatment to give my patients the most efficacious therapy they can get. I want to learn how to garner my patient’s imagination of who they can become and use it to motivate them to work towards their goals.

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Who is your greatest influence in your life?
I’d be lying to say anyone influenced me more than my parents. Simply living with them for the greater part of 20 years I’ve learned an incredible amount. From my dad I’ve learned how to be industrious and how to learn. From my mom I learned how to listen and be empathetic. These traits among others have been super beneficial in my journey through life.

Grace’s Blog

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Trinity College School in Toronto, Canada. I am now a student at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

What drew you to physical therapy? Ever since I was young I knew I was interested in a helping profession. I was interested in a variety of positions such as dentistry, chiropractic care, and Occupational Therapy. I had the opportunity to shadow a few physical therapists and fell in love with the profession. Each and every day I find myself loving it more and more.

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Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
There are many reasons why I was interested in doing my co-op in Hawaii. I have always enjoyed traveling and learning more about the world around me, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. During this last semester, we have also had many discussions on cultural differences and the impacts it can have on physical therapy and other forms of care. This co-op seemed unique in its ability to introduce me to this learning curve. Lastly, Fukuji & Lum has a focus on family culture. I am very close with my family back home, so I was naturally drawn to F&Ls values and overall mission and purpose.

What has been your experience like so far?
Traveling to a new place can sometimes be daunting and with it comes a lot of unknowns. From the get-go I felt nothing but kindness and support through the transition. It’s like a home away from home. I get along so well with the other co-op students and my new coworkers, and I am so excited to see what adventures this journey takes us all on.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
We haven’t really explored eating strange things yet. We have tried poke a few times now, and I have yet to be disappointed! Giovanni’s shrimp trunk was also delicious, highly recommend! I’m hoping to try lots of new foods, especially spam musubi, acai bowls, and poi. I’m also looking forward to finding the best shaved ice around!

What is on your to do list while here?
I mainly want to explore the island. I want to go on lots of different hikes and learn about the history of the island and Hawaii as a whole. I am also excited to get to know more about Hawaiian culture by exploring things like a Luau, hula dancing and listening to Hawaiian music. I have been working on Hawaiian Pidgin and I am trying to learn a new word every day. I’m hoping I’ll be able to take some of it back and confuse my friends back home!

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
Physical therapy can be a very rewarding job, because we have the opportunity to help patients reach their personal goals. I think the relationship between therapist and patient is what you choose to make it, and I hope to be a motivational and supporting factor in my patients’ lives. If I am able to positively impact a number of my patients during my time as a therapist I will feel rewarded.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My greatest influence in my life is my older brother Riley. He is my built in best friend and I look up to him in many ways. He pushed me to embrace this opportunity and for that I’m grateful. I can’t wait to continue to grow up and find our way in life together.

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By Deb Matsuura

Meeting Matt

Every six months, F&L gets a new crew of Co-Op students from Northeastern University. I get to interview each of the applicants three months ahead of time and typically do it through video conferencing. The application process is usually over a two-week period as we interview and consider at least ten to fifteen applicants.

I was fortunate to interview Matt as the first applicant. We immediately connected as we had several common interests and I knew before the end of the interview that he would be offered a position. One of the most important things we look for when choosing a Co-op, is someone who shares common values with our organization and whose personal purpose matches our Mission statement. I definitely saw these values in Matt and look forward to watching him grow and challenge himself in everything he does while here with us.

Get to know him as he guest blogs for us!

What high school did you attend and what’s your current college?
I went to Tabor Academy in Marion, MA for high school, and I am now at Northeastern University studying physical therapy.

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What drew you to physical therapy?
I pretty much stumbled upon it… As a high school basketball player, I had to go to PT for a few different injuries, but I never thought of pursuing it as a career. I ended up applying to nine schools for exercise science before I found Northeastern University and fell in love. The closest thing they had to exercise science was physical therapy, so I figured I would apply for that. It wasn’t until after I had applied that I started to reflect more on my experiences with physical therapy and realized the potential for an incredibly fun, impactful, and rewarding career. Since then, I’ve found more and more things that I love about it.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
A little over a year ago, I was sitting in my advisor’s office and asked if there were any coop sites in California. My personality was beginning to shift a bit from high school. I was becoming more laid back, and the west coast lifestyle was something I wanted to experience. My advisor replied, “Unfortunately, we don’t have any in California, but we do have one in Hawaii”. I immediately knew where my heart was. I love experiencing and living in new cultures very different from my own, and Hawaii has one of the most beautiful, diverse cultures in the world. I knew that I would be able to experience the laid-back vibe that I was looking for in the west coast, and be able to immerse myself in the food, music, dancing, surfing, hiking, and beautiful people of this island at the same time. It was a pretty simple decision for me… matt2

What has been your experience like so far?
I am in love 🙂 I’ve only been here for just over two weeks and have experienced very little, but it’s easy to see how special this place is. Kayaking to work was just a catchphrase a few weeks ago, but is a beautiful reality now. Playing pickup basketball with co-workers on Monday nights and walking outside in between games to one of the more beautiful views I’ve ever experienced is surreal. Probably the most special part so far has been the people I’ve met: patients, staff at Fukuji and Lum, locals… The Aloha spirit has been more welcoming than I ever could have imagined.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
I would have to say poi. I had it with some Spicy Ahi poke and loved it. I know that is a pretty disappointing ‘strangest food’, but I’ll keep working on it 🙂

What is on your to do list while here?
Soooo much. I want to surf a lot, do as many hikes on Oahu as possible, learn Ukulele and Guitar, learn Hula, get a tan (this one is more wishful thinking), kayak into work most days, absorb lots of knowledge at work, not cut my hair, eat an excessive amount of poke and other delicious Hawaiian foods, learn some Hawaiian and Pidgin, and hopefully have a positive impact on many of the people I come into contact with. I’m excited!

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I want to become a master of eliminating pain and helping people live the lives that they dream of. Of course, I want to be able to make people feel better (which is why I also want to become massage certified), but I also want to educate and empower them to take charge of their own recovery and wellness. I want to be the type of therapist that takes a genuine interest in patient’s lives and goals and does their best to empathize and really understand what the their patients are going through, both physically and emotionally. And finally, I would love to incorporate my love of traveling and experiencing new cultures in there too, however possible.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

I’ve had so many, but my greatest influence is hands down my family. I am blessed to have two parents from very different backgrounds and an incredible older sister that have loved and supported me through everything –even this ‘growing my hair out’ stage (although it is really tough for my dad!)… But on a serious note, they have taught me so much about accepting myself and the power of unconditional love, and anything I am able to accomplish in my life will stem off of the foundation that they’ve built for me.

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By Deb Matsuura

How was Hawaii?

Guest Blogger Leila K., former NU Co-op PT student writes about her time spent with our Ohana.

People are curious when you have been far away for a long time. “How was Hawaii?” they would ask me over and over again. I had a hard time answering them. How could I describe such an incredible experience without making them listen to me go on for hours? Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. My experience was positive in so many dimensions and I learned so much from it, if I was forced to distill my time in Hawaii at Fukuji and Lum into a considerately short series of phrases, I would say that I found a home there, a place that I hold in my heart, and that I dream of returning.

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One thing I tell people when they ask me about my experience is that I never once woke up dreading to go to work. Even though I had to wake up super early every morning (which is not easy for me I am not an early morning person at all), I looked forward to go to work. Everyone at Fukuji and Lum was so positive and fun to work with. There was never a dull moment! I learned something from every person I worked with.

Working at the clinic, pool, and pool front office allowed me to experience so many different aspects of the physical therapy profession. It was amazing to watch people make improvements in the pool and then to watch them continue to improve on land. It was very rewarding. Working at the front desk showed me how complicated patient care can be. I learned a lot about the importance of interdisciplinary communication from working at the front desk. 

When I wrote my first blog post, I wrote down all the things I wanted to do before I left the island. I am glad to say that I did get to hike Stairway to Heaven and the Pill Boxes at sunrise and I ate an enormous amount of acai and pitaya bowls that I miss so dearly. I even got to learn how to hula dance! Unfortunately I never got to swim with dolphins but I did get to see both dolphins and whales from shore so I can settle with that!

[one_half] If I hadn’t co-oped in Hawaii, I may not have the three new sibling-friends that I have now. Ashley, Justin and Colby became my family and I don’t know what I would do without each of them in my life. From sliding down muddy mountains in the dark with Ashley, watching Colby almost die in the ocean multiple times, and watching Justin cook 10 pounds of chicken at a time, I have so many special memories with each of them.

When I completed my co-op I knew that I had learned so much from working at Fukuji and Lum. I had no idea how much I had absorbed until I was sitting in my spring and summer lecture halls and actually making connections from what I saw on co-op in my classes. It was really amazing to realize exactly how much I learned. I feel so much more confident in my skills in school because of what I learned at Fukuji and Lum. 

One of the best parts about my co-op experience was the Fukuji and Lum family. You all accepted us right away and I felt so welcome. You all made being so far from home much easier and I cannot thank you all enough for that. I think about Hawaii every day and I can’t wait until I can go back again.

Love and Aloha,
Leila

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By Mark Yanai

Justin S: A Hui Hou

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In this week’s blog, Justin reflects on his new experiences at F&L while living and learning about the Hawaiian culture.

Reflections of a Co-Op

by Justin S.

To say I enjoyed my 6 months in Hawaii would be an understatement. I worked with amazing patients and coworkers, learned more than I could have ever expected, and thoroughly enjoyed living in the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
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I felt like a valuable part of a team while working at Fukuji & Lum. Even though it was my first time working in a physical therapy setting, I was trusted and given many responsibilities. It was an incredibly welcoming place to work. While searching for a co-op, the biggest thing I took from the Fukuji & Lum website was being part of their ohana. Family day, potlucks, and the Christmas party were great ways to get to know everybody. I think Art and I combined for about 10 plates of crab legs. Rachel happily invited the co-ops to her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was such a kind gesture and we had a very fun time! This is just one example, but everybody that I worked with went out of their way to make sure my experience was fun and educational.

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The patients I worked with were fantastic. They taught me a lot about life in Hawaii, looked to me for help with exercises, and were great to talk story with. I will always remember these relationships that helped make my experience so great. I was so fortunate to be presented with t-shirts, poke bowls, and homemade foods from these great people.
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There were many firsts for me in Hawaii. I completed my first triathlon in September. It was a lot of fun and I couldn’t have done it without the swimming help from my coworkers at the pool. I had my first poke bowl my first day on Oahu, and it became a staple in my diet ever since. When working in Kailua, I would always pop over to Foodland for lunch to grab a spicy ahi bowl. I still crave them every day. I surfed for the first time in Waikiki about a week into my stay. Thereafter, I practiced when I could and steadily improved over the 6 months. I’m no Kelly Slater, but I have a lot of fun trying.
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Everyone always asked if the four co-ops knew each other before arriving in Hawaii. We met up for dinner once, but honestly had no clue who the other three were. Within a week, we bought a car together and were hanging out at the beach and watching Hawaii Five-O every day. Every weekend was filled with fun trips to town, Hawaii Kai, or the North Shore. It made all of us happy to hear that we were the closest group of co-ops that has come through. Ashley, Colby, Leila and I will always have oodles of awesome memories together that we will never forget. Even with our busy schedules, we are still able to see each other occasionally, most recently with a trip to Pokeworks, Boston’s attempt at replicating the divine Hawaiian dish. It wasn’t as good as the ones made in Hawaii, and it was really cold outside, but we still had fun.
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I will always be grateful for this experience, which has undoubtedly been the best 6 months of my life. Mahalo nui loa to everyone who made this experience so awesome.

 

A hui hou,

Justin

By Mark Yanai

Appreciating the Past and Embracing the Future

Reflections of the Co-Op Program

It has been ten years since we began our relationship with Northeastern University‘s Physical Therapy Department and introduced the Cooperative Program at F&L. Looking back at our journey with this exceptional educational partnership has allowed me to recognize how much our relationship with NEU has grown in step with our company’s growth.

In 2007, we took in our first two NEU students, Brittany Giles and Renee Noel. It was a learning experience for all of us, as expectations of our roles were undefined. But as the years passed on, we grew in diligently and developed a program that has now has a history of 32 students over the past ten years.

Personally, I’ve gained so much appreciation for the program and our growing relationship with NEU. I’ve interviewed and hired all of the students that have come into the program and continue to remain in contact with each of them. My recent trip to Boston was a great way to reconnect with some of them and foster new relationships with the staff that sends them our way.

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The Co-Op program has provided the students a great way to experience the culture of our island and learn first hand what it’s like to work for a Values-Based Organization. Physical therapy is a profession that requires a high level of emotional intelligence and compassion and we hope that when the students leave, they’ve improved these qualities in themselves.

With that reflection, we look back at one of our students, Colby, who completed his stay with us last fall. Colby shares his experience working and living in Hawaii and compares it to his life back at school in Boston. We also look to the present and future with the introduction of Dan, one of the newest co-ops this current semester. Dan has been here for a couple of months now and tells us a little about himself and why he chose to do his Co-op in Hawaii.

Colby: The Best Six Months of my HI Life

[one_half] It’s been a little over a month since I’ve left the beautiful island of Oahu and I can one hundred percent say I miss it.  Without a doubt I spent the best and happiest six months of my life in Hawaii.  As I write this, my headphones are playing Island 93.1 Da Paina.  After being back in the cold, treacherous, concrete jungle of Boston I’ve been able to narrow down what it is about Hawaii that I especially miss.  And the answer is simple: everything.  Here’s a little look at my Monday-Friday Schedule… and the one that I can’t wait to get back to.

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Monday

  • Class from 8:00AM-5:30PM.  I have frequent breaks but am studying Gross Anatomy in the library during those breaks.  After 5:30PM I will usually do more homework in the library for Gross Anatomy until about 8PM then grab dinner.  Afterwards, I will finish my week’s assignments and go home.

What I would like to be doing:

  • Going to work, seeing all the awesome patients in the pool in the morning.  Going up to WORC or to LA in the afternoon and learn something new every single day.  After, I’d even have the option of grabbing dinner at Kim Chee 1!  Every lunch has to be a poke bowl of course, maybe spicy kine, maybe wasabi mayo kine, but definitely a poke bowl.

Tuesday

  • Tuesdays are my relaxation days; I only have one class: Healthcare Research.  But as usual, I have 3 other classes and have to continue studying for those classes too afterwards.

What I would like to be doing:

  • This is my half day, working 7:30-12:30.  After work I will usually take a drive to Sandy Beach and body surf, body board or take some Clark Little-esque pictures.  Some sort of injury, big or small, will occur at some point during the escapades.

Wednesday & Thursday

  • I have my Gross Anatomy lecture today and cadaver/palpation lab.  In cadaver lab I look at dead people and learn the internal anatomy including organs, muscles, arteries, bones, veins, nerves and everything else.  Palpation lab is learning how to identify all the muscles and bony landmarks of the body on a living person.

What I would like to be doing:

  • See Monday or Tuesday

Friday

  • I have my Tuesday class again with recitation after.  After I will probably head to the library and in the evening I will finally be able to unwind before the weekend when I have to learn everything I accomplished during the week.

What I would like to be doing:

  • Literally anything else, I miss you Hawai’i and all of the wonderful people!

Mahalo nui loa to my Fukuji & Lum Family.  A hui hou!
As many may know, I enjoy taking pictures… here are a few of my favorites!

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We are so appreciative of Colby for sharing his experience with us as well as some of his favorites photos of the islands. As Colby transitions back to Boston life, Dan is here to soak up the sun and gain some PT knowledge “Hawaiian Style”!

Let’s Meet Dan!

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What school did you attend and what’s your current college?
The University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. After receiving a bachelors degree in exercise science, I was accepted into the DPT program at Northeastern University where I am currently studying.

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What drew you to physical therapy?
In high school I played soccer and lacrosse where I accumulated numerous injuries which first allowed me to see the patient side of physical therapy. When I started at UNE, I was not set on physical therapy; however the classes, faculty, and internship experience I underwent quickly showed me this was the work field I desired. The feeling of helping patients achieve their goals and helping them return to a high quality of life drives me to become a PT.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
During my undergrad, I was fortunate enough to spend a semester internship at an out-patient orthopedic clinic. I immediately gravitated to this environment as it provides a laid-back, friendly atmosphere of rehabilitation.

What has been your experience like so far?
The atmosphere at Fukuji & Lum along with their therapist’s has been everything I expected and hoped. When arriving at either the W.O.R.C or the pool (the two clinics I work at) you are immediately greeted by the friendly staff, which creates a fun, engaging atmosphere allowing for a more successful treatment session.

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What is on your to do list while here?
I tried to limit the list of things to do before arriving at Hawaii as I wanted to talk to therapists and patients to discover the best activities to try from those who live on the island. I am a big hiker and avid scuba diver, but I also wanted to try new things such as surfing.

What is your favorite thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
POKE BOWLS!!!!!!

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I want to be a therapist that sees patients for the individuals that they are, one who engages and develops lasting relationships with patients that show I care about their recovery and is glad to see them.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
This is an impossible question for me as I have been greatly influenced by so many wonderful people. I expect by the end of these six months there will be several more people who I can add to this list. My family is one influence that has always pushed me to discover new experiences and continue along my dream of becoming a physical therapist.

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By Deb Matsuura

Performance Plus Program

At Fukuji and Lum Physical Therapy Associates, we challenge ourselves to deliver fun, happiness, and compassion in serving our patients and the community. In doing so, we strive to support those in need of a higher quality of life, as a family. For 20 years, we have served the community in need of physical therapy, but have also branched out to address another need: maintenance after physical therapy. Thus, the Performance Plus Program (PPP) was created to help patients maintain and improve upon their levels of fitness after physical therapy is completed, and no prescription is necessary. The program is also offered to community members that want to improve on their fitness levels and achieve goals they never thought possible. 

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Here is a testimonial from one of our regular PPP clients at our WORC clinic who asked to remain anonymous.

    “I was in a fitness quandary. I quit the fitness club after 5 years. I was tired of fighting for the treadmill and bikes and didn’t want to compete with the jocks for the other machines. Everyone there seemed to have his or her own fitness agenda. My hairdresser spoke of the Fukuji & Lum YWCA location. She raved about the physical therapy she received there, and had continued with an exercise program after being discharged.

    I was not in need of physical therapy, but Fukuji & Lum did offer a Performance Plus Program, primarily for PT clients interested in continuing their therapy with an exercise regimen. So, I signed up for my first 8 sessions. My goals were to improve my strength and improve my conditioning. I was told I was in poor to fair condition; so much for the fitness club routine.

    Today, 2 years later and starting my third year, I have completed 200 visits; my health profile has improved and I am able to do exercises I never thought possible. The staff teaches me the correct way to do the exercises; always offering helpful tips to improve my technique and correcting my mistakes. The staff pushes me to do more so I can continue to improve.

    My overall health has improved; my doctor is happy; I’ve lost weight; gained muscle and toned my body. I’d say that I fixed my fitness quandary.”

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That testimonial is typical of a lot of our PPP clientele. No more fighting over equipment, as everyone is scheduled at flexible times to accommodate for overcrowding. Our land-based Performance Plus Programs are offered at our Honolulu clinic located in the Kuakini Physician’s Tower and WORC location in Kaneohe, and is also open to high school students with parental consent. We have also expanded our program to include an Aquatic Therapy Performance Plus Program, located at the Kokokahi YWCA. For questions or more information about our programs, please call our Honolulu Clinic at (808)521-4922 or our WORC clinic at (808)234-5353.

By Mark Yanai

Introducing Justin

Our Northeastern Co-ops have been with our organization since July, working diligently in our clinics while supporting our therapists in treating our patients. Since being exposed to the “island-style” life, they have been going on different adventures every weekend and are really making the most of their stay here. Of the four Co-ops this fall semester, we have one more student to introduce. Let’s meet Justin and find out why he wants to become a physical therapist, because we know he’ll make a great one in the near future!

Meet Justin
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What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I went to The Morgan School in Clinton, CT. I currently go to Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

What drew you to PT?
I’ve always wanted to have a career that combined my love of sports with helping other people. PT is also a job where there is plenty of room for progression. Treatment techniques are always evolving, which gives us something to look forward to. [/two_third_last]

Why did you want to do your coop in Hawaii?
I want to travel to every part of the world and this is just the first step. I’ve been on one Caribbean cruise but that is the farthest I had been from home. Experiencing different ways of life is a great opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up. The aquatic program also drew my interest to Fukuji & Lum. I have already seen first hand the benefits of being in the pool compared to dry land.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten since arriving?
I wouldn’t call them strange, but I’ve had many poke bowls and musubis already. I’d eat a poke bowl every day if I could.

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What is on your to do list while here?
I want to learn a lot- about both physical therapy and Hawaiian culture. I also would like to spend as much time at the beach as possible and do all the best hikes the island has to offer.

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What are your outside interests?
I like to watch and play many different sports. I’m a huge Boston sports fan- Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox all the way! I enjoy playing basketball and ultimate frisbee and recently got into triathlons. [/one_half]

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What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be a successful and effective therapist. The dream job would be working for a professional sports team. I’m also interested in owning my own place someday. I want to provide all types of alternative treatments that may not be available at other physical therapy places. Incorporating physical therapists, athletic trainers, and nutritionists into one team-oriented area seems like the best environment for maximizing the body’s potential. 

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
Everyone we meet somehow becomes an influence in our lives, so it would be impossible to choose one. My parents have to be at the top of the list for how hard they work and how much they push me to be my best. I’ve had lots of great teachers and friends that keep me on the right track and I’m thankful for all of them.

By Mark Yanai

Introducing Leila

From Boston to Hawaii

5,027 miles. That’s how far our Northeastern University students travel from Boston to Hawaii to be a part of our ohana for the next six months. They put a pause on their school life and travel all this way, not knowing what is in store for them here in the islands. Four of them arrived for the fall semester, all with big smiles and feelings of excitement and adventure. We’ve already introduced two of them, Colby and Ashley, who work at our Kokokahi sites in Kaneohe. We have another student, Leila who works there as well and is enjoying working with patients at the pool and W.O.R.C. 

Let’s meet Leila!

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What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Middlebury Union High School in Middlebury, VT. I am currently a student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

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What drew you to physical therapy?
Both my parents are doctors, so I have always been drawn to the medical field. I became interested in physical therapy when I started seeing physical therapists in middle school and high school due to sports injuries. The therapists were always able to help me recover so that I could get back to doing what I loved to do. I want to be able to do the same for other people. [/one_half]

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Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I chose to come to Hawaii because I love to travel. I have always wanted to come to Hawaii and now seemed like the perfect time to go. I was also really interested in the aquatic physical therapy program at Fukuji and Lum, especially because I heard the pool was outside.

What has been your experience like so far? 

My experience here has been beyond amazing. The people of Hawaii have been so kind, welcoming and helpful. I love the island not only because it is so beautiful, but also because there are so many different things to do. I am never bored here! I love working at Fukuji and Lum because I am learning so much everyday in an extremely positive environment.

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What is on your to do list while here?
I have so many things I want to do while I am here. I want to hike Stairway to Heaven and the Pillboxes at sunrise, swim with dolphins and eat endless acai and pitaya bowls. It’s so hard to narrow it down because the opportunities here are endless.  I also really want to learn how to hula dance!

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
Spam musubi and spam in general. My favorite foods I have had since coming here are acai and pitaya bowls. I’m obsessed with them![/two_third_last]

What are your outside interests? 

I absolutely love to dance. It is my favorite thing to do. I also like to hike, swim, and do yoga. I love to spend time with my friends and family as well. I am happiest when I am outside.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be a caring, supportive therapist that helps patients meets their goals. I am keeping my mind open to what exactly I want to do later on in my physical therapy career, but I am currently leaning towards aquatic therapy for both adults and children.

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Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My family has been my greatest influence in my life. They have made me into the person I am today. My family is full of the most loving, supportive and kindest people I know and I aspire to be like them in everything I do.