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

Introducing Amelia

Here we go again! The new Northeastern University Co-ops are here and we have FIVE of them this semester! This is most that we’ve ever employed for a semester, but with the growth of our organization, we’ve taken the plunge into staffing a student at each of our four clinics. See some of my previous blogs and our website for information about our relationship with Northeastern University.

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Fukuji & Lum welcomes Amelia, one of the five Co-ops staying with us for the next six months. She is currently working at our NEW Honolulu clinic at the Kuakini Medical Center. Amelia is braving the morning traffic from Kailua to town, working as a medical receptionist and assisting our therapists, Shaw Okawara and Art Lum.

Amelia shared some thoughts about coming to Hawaii and her experiences so far.

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– What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?

I graduated Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and I’m currently in my fourth year at Northeastern University.

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– Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

I love traveling in general but I wanted to come to Hawaii to immerse myself in an entirely different place for a Co-op. I wanted to experience what practicing PT was like here as well as explore the culture. I’m hoping I’ll be able to take back a new perspective on my PT practice as well as life in general when I return to Boston. I’m also grateful to have escaped the wicked New England winter.

– What has been your experience like so far?

I love it so far! There are beautiful things everywhere you look. I’ve been really enjoying weekend adventures and all the outdoor activities. It’s hard to do a lot of those things in the city back home, so I’ve really been trying to soak it all in while I’m here!

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

My roommates and I have been eating any weird fruit we can get our hands on. So far I’d probably have to say it’s lilikoi. We’ve also eaten quite a few things we don’t know the names for…

– What is on your to do list while here?

I’m really hoping to do cage diving with sharks off the North Shore. It’s been #1 on my bucket list since I was about 13. Also, surfing lessons.

– What are your outside interests?

I’m a voracious reader, I’ll read pretty much anything. I like art museums, cooking, hiking, yoga, and horse back riding. I also thoroughly enjoy long walks to the fridge.

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– What drew you to physical therapy and what kind of therapist do you hope to be?

My mom is an occupational hand therapist so I’ve always grown up around rehabilitation. I took an anatomy class in high school and she’d always tell me cool things I didn’t learn in class, which sparked my interest in PT. She’s also incredibly caring towards her patients, often working late hours just to fit them all in and coming up with custom contraptions so her patients could get back to their daily lives. I’ve never seen a therapist as hardworking and humble, and I hope one day I can be even half the therapist she is.

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By Mark Yanai

Saying Goodbye

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On Friday, March 20th, F&L said goodbye to two team members, Jenni and Jeralyn. These gals made a big impact on our staff, patients and community and truly embraced the F&L culture during their time with us. We are grateful to have had them as part of our ohana.

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Jeralyn was Kaneohe’s medical receptionist for the past year and a half and always greeted everyone with her big smile and warm personality.  But I discovered that beyond that grin, Strength was what carried her day to day and it reflected in her attitude when helping others. Her ability to be strong for herself and her co-workers during all the changes that Kaneohe went through the past year, especially the clinic move to Kokokahi, was tremendous.

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A new opportunity and challenge came about in Jeralyn’s career. She decided to join the Navy. The decision to serve her country is typical of what I’ve become to expect out of her.  I know that her strength will serve her well in this new venture.

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This past weekend we gathered at the Kaneohe clinic to have a going away party for Jeralyn. Her wish before leaving the F&L ohana was to do one last activity as a family, and she chose painting. An art teacher from Moanalua instructed all of us on how to paint a “whimsical tree” portrait. For most of us, it was our first painting experience since grade school. We had a great time painting together and enjoyed each other’s company.

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Jenni has been one of our main physical therapist assistants at our Kailua clinic since 2012. She came to us as a graduate of Kapiolani Community College’s PTA program. Jenni is a fun-loving, carefree spirit and was the queen of F&L dress-up days. She always got the most compliments during our Halloween and Spring Break activities.

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As a physical therapist, I enjoyed working with Jenni because she was always willing to learn and was able to adapt to others well. Like her many crazy and amusing characters she portrayed, we will miss her funny faces and infectious laugh.

Earlier this month, we gathered together for a wild and exciting night with Jenni to celebrate the joy she has brought to our company. She will soon be heading to the mainland to explore the Great Northwest and I’m sure she will share her happiness with others wherever she settles.

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Jeralyn and Jenni are perfect examples of the type of employees who sincerely exudes all of our organization’s core values, but especially, the value of  “Embracing Change and Encourage Growth”. I hope they will continue to succeed in their future endeavors with this value as their guide. We thank them for their years of service, helping us to deliver happiness and compassion daily. Our F&L family will miss them dearly and wish them well.

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By Mark Yanai

Happy Spring Break!

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Spring Break Fun

This week, thousands of college students will flock down to Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Lake Havasu and Acapulco Beach for an annual gathering of fun, sun, alcohol, and shenanigans. Where did this craziness originate?

According to a TIME Magazine article in 2009, it started with the Greeks and Romans, when they celebrated the arrival of spring as a time of fertility and awakening (read the article here). More recently, the tradition of going south to Florida started when college coaches held an annual gathering at the Casino Pool in Fort Lauderdale.

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The first Olympic-sized pool in Florida held the annual competition which began in 1938 and brought in over 300 competitors yearly. This continued to gain in popularity and in 1959 inspired the making of the movie, Where the Boys Are, which starred Connie Francis and George Hamilton.

By the 70s and 80s, the tradition of college students flocking to Florida became commercialized and MTV launched its first televised special from Daytona Beach, which still continues today. Spring break has spread beyond the Florida beaches and is celebrated in just about anywhere a beach can be found.

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At F&L, we celebrate Spring Break in our own, unique way. The past week we have themed dress up days, where employees AND patients are encouraged to celebrate this “break” from the status quo. Pajama, whacky sock, sports and favorite musician day allowed us to enjoy a little buzz in our clinics this week. The anticipation of seeing what each of us would wear and watching the reaction of our patients are priceless.

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This craziness will continue this week as we celebrate grandparents, rainbows, St. Patrick, bacon, and retro days. These activities are a part of our culture and our mission to “deliver fun and happiness”. At F&L, we practice creating an environment that generates joy, happiness, gratitude and fun. We want our patients to feel as if they are among family, albeit a whack one.

Feel free to join us in dressing up, we love it when patients participate. Keep track of our daily activities via Facebook and Instagram and let us know what you think.

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References

A Brief History of Spring Break. (2009, March 30). In TIME Magazine. Retrieved 19:02, March 15, 2015, from http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1888317,00.html

Where the Boys Are. (2015, March 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:02, March 15, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Where_the_Boys_Are&oldid=650967306

Connie Francis. (2015, March 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:08, March 15, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Connie_Francis&oldid=651385004

George Hamilton (actor). (2015, March 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:08, March 15, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_Hamilton_(actor)&oldid=650221082

MTV. (2015, March 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:31, March 15, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MTV&oldid=651391806

By Mark Yanai

The New Co Ops Are Here! Meet Sarah! (Part 3)

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MEET SARAH!

Sarah Agustin is our third Co-op from NEU who joined F&L this January.  She is a graduate student in the physical therapy program and will soon graduate later this year. Sarah is also our very first student who is “homegrown” right here in the islands from the Nuuanu area.

Here’s a little bit about Sarah and her perspective of what it feels like to be from Hawaii and going away to the mainland for school.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?

I was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from Iolani School in 2008. I completed my undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Irvine, CA majoring in Athletic Training. I am currently a Post-Baccalaureate of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?

Being in the athletic training program I had the opportunity to shadow several physical therapists and see the impact they made on athletes’ lives. Seeing the process from acute care to post op, I knew this was my niche. 

Why did you want to do your Northeastern Co-op in Hawaii?

Being from Hawaii I wanted to find a way to return to the islands to give back to the community. F&L offered a wide variety of therapy services that i could learn from which will allow me to build a better foundation.

What has your experience been like so far?

I was excited to return home after being away for a year to enjoy warm weather, ono grinds, and family and friends. I am excited to show the Co-op students what Hawaii has to offer.

What have you missed about Hawaii that you realized being away for college?

Being away for college I realized how lucky I was to live in Hawaii. I really missed the variety of foods and the Aloha spirit. I missed being able to wear my “rubbah slippahs” daily and not worry about the weather today, tomorrow or the next day.

What was the first thing that you were looking forward to eating when you came home?

Right off the plane my first stop was Nimitz BBQ for meat jun packed with a variety of Korean vegetables.  Over the next several weeks I enjoyed Grandma’s Filipino food, Poke bowls, and Helena’s Hawaiian food.

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Being the first Co-op from NEU to return to Hawaii at F&L, what are you hoping to find out about the experience?

During the first month at F&L I have witnessed a variety of skills and extensive knowledge throughout the staff.  I am hoping to gain a better understanding of each of their specialties and how I can apply it to my future career. Such as: Graston techniques, manual therapy, and aquatics.

What’s been unique about F&L from your other experience in physical therapy clinics?

F&L is unique in that they focus on creating relationships not only between their employees but also with their patients. I really value that F&L embraces change, encourages growth, and challenges me to grow in my profession.

What is on your to do list while here in the Islands?

On my bucket list is to do many different hikes but most of all tackling Kalalau on Kauai.  I also want to leave this Co-op experience with a better understanding of our profession.

What are your interests outside of school and work?

I love hiking, going to the beach, and spending quality time with my Ohana. I also love staying active and seeking new adventures.
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What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I hope to be a therapist that has a vast understanding of various modes of physical therapy techniques. I have an interest in specializing in hand therapy and prosthetics.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

My greatest influence is my parents who have instilled the importance of a good work ethic. They have encouraged me to set high goals and to never give up.

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By Mark Yanai

Happy New Year!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE F&L OHANA!

As we ring in the New Year and recover from the holiday festivities, I look back at what was accomplished in 2014 in gratitude. This past year was a banner year for F&L with many blessings bestowed on our organization.

THE BIG MOVES:

– Our Nuuanu Clinic closed after 13 years of operation at the Pali Medical Arts Building and moved to two locations at Kuakini Plaza and Tower.

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– Our Kaneohe clinic closed after 15 years of operation on the corner of Kam Highway and Pua Inia St. and moved to join our Aquatic and WORC sites at the Kokokahi YWCA.

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NEW BEGINNINGS:

– In celebration of WORC’s first anniversary, we held an Open House at the Kokokahi site for the medical community in Worker’s Compensation to show them our facility and the services we offer.

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– A weekly WOD (work out of the day) at our WORC site for anyone who wants to learn new exercises, break a sweat, challenge themselves and have some fun!

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– A Caregiver Workshop at our Kailua clinic gave tips and instructions to teach families how to provide safe and careful ways to assist loved ones.

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– Our Mobile Therapy Program started in October to address a needed area of physical therapy for those who have difficulty with an outpatient clinical setting. More on this on my next blog!

VOLUNTEERS, PT STUDENTS, CO-OPS AND MORE:

– We continued our relationship with Northeastern University in Boston with our Co-Op Program with three outstanding students in Jessica, Ariel and Melissa. See our previous blogs for their experiences.

– This year we hosted more than 20 students from around the nation including Pacific University, Washington University, AT Still University, Loma Linda University, Montana University, and Northeastern University. We continue to have a strong commitment to Kapiolani Community College and their PT Assistant program as we provide clinical instruction for their students.

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– F&L hosted two NAIOMT courses this year and continued our intention to become a training site for mentorship of NAIOMT professionals.

– We are now certified providers in Graston Technique and FMS Assessments.

F&L’S HIGHER PURPOSE!

– As a Value-Based Organization, we continue to be involved in community activities such as the Arthritis Walk, School Supply and Food Drives, and Susan G. Komen Race.

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– Hope you were able to get your car cleaned at our annual FREE car wash! We appreciate the community’s support of our organization throughout the years!

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– Keep up with our monthly craziness at F&L! Check out and like our Disney-themed Physical Therapy Month on our FACEBOOK page. Click here.

– INSTAGRAM! Follow us on our new site to keep up with what’s new at F&L. Username: @fukujiandlum

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We look forward to the new year and continuing to love and serve our community in 2015!

By Deb Matsuura

HAPPY DISNEY HALLOWEEN!

Throughout the month of October, Fukuji and Lum staff members showed off their Physical Therapy Month spirit by dressing up “Disney” style each week. From Lion King Day (animal print), Monster U (college spirit), Mad Hatter Day (crazy hats) and  Tweedle Dee and Dum Day (twins), Disney Adventure Day (Disney characters). Check out our FB or IG @fukujiandlum page for more Disney Halloween photos.

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By Deb Matsuura

Caregiver Workshop #1 – Caregiver Safety Tips

Many family members in Hawaii are now assuming the role of caregiver for their loved one. They are often burdened by the overwhelming responsibilities of care giving and many times forget about taking care of themselves.

Here at F&L, our therapists have seen an increasing number of patients being treated for injuries they obtained when caring for a loved one. We saw a need to equip our patients and their families with the tools needed to safely carry out the tasks involved in caregiving and decided to host a series of workshops.

In February, our Kailua therapists hosted their first workshop for caregivers and families on Caregiver Safety Tips on Feb. 15th and included training on the following:

1. Safe Mobility – ambulation (and with assistive devices)
2. Proper Techniques for Transfers (bed, bath, car, chair)
3. Fall prevention
Our workshop attendees were pleased with the knowledge gained, and were eager to begin utilizing their newly learned skills.  We plan to continue our workshops on a quarterly basis, please stay tuned for more details.
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The role of the caregiver has recently been in the media, with the recent Star Advertiser article regarding caregiver support legislation.  Senate Bill 2264 serves to support and recognize the role of the caregiver.

Link to article:http://www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=login&f=y&id=248011491