By Mark Yanai

Introducing Kaitlin

I can’t believe our Co-ops have been with us for two months already and all five of them have been wonderful additions to the F&L Ohana! We would like to introduce our final Co-Op student, Kaitlin, who works primarily at our clinics located at the Kokokahi YWCA in Kaneohe. She has been doing a great job of bouncing back and forth between the Aquatic center, WORC and Kaneohe clinic. She celebrated her birthday last week, so it’s only appropriate that we get to know her a little better and wish her a Hau’oli La Hanau!(HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I went to South Carroll High School in Maryland. I currently attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

What drew you to PT?
When I was younger I wanted to be a teacher, but as I got older I felt a draw to be more involved in the medical field. Physical therapy is a career that involves both teaching and medicine! Once I started looking at physical therapy schools, I knew that it was the right choice for me.

Why did you want to do your coop in Hawaii?
I love to travel and I wanted a change of pace from Boston.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten since arriving?
Natto! I tried it at a Japanese market in town with Mila.
What is on your to do list while here?
I really want to do a bicycle trip around the entire island! I also would love to learn how to surf.

What are your outside interests?
I really enjoy hiking, biking, and being outdoors! I love finding new places and meeting new faces, and any activities that can involve both : )

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I really hope that I can incorporate injury prevention programs into my career as a physical therapist. I am very interested in pediatric and geriatric orthopedics and hope to be able to work with both patient demographics.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My dad has been a huge influence in my life. He is the reason I hold so much value in being active and healthy. Growing up he always encouraged me to try new things, go new places, and find active ways to have fun. I wouldn’t be on the road to becoming a physical therapist if it weren’t for the experiences I had growing up with him.

 

By Mark Yanai

Introducing Mila

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Introducing Mila!

As we continuing with our introductions of our five new co-ops, we welcome Mila to the F&L family. She and her classmate, Kaitlin, are currently working at our Kokokahi clinics, both at the pool and Kaneohe clinic. Throughout the next six months, we hope that some of our patients get the opportunity to be a part of her experience in Hawaii.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Ashland High School and my current college in Northeastern University in Boston.

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What drew you to physical therapy?
During my freshman year of college I became very active and started running and working out with a grassroots workout group called November Project. As a retired dancer and a pharmacy major I quickly realized that my passion lay in the preventative side of medicine that focused on patient care and had an impact on patients’ lives. After going to physical therapy myself, I realized that a career as a physical therapist would allow me to explore my interest in the human body and make a huge impact on the quality of life of my patients. It is an extremely rewarding, challenging, and fun career that completely matches my active lifestyle.

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Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
F&L offers aquatic therapy, which is something I have always been interested in. They also seem to have a family environment within their company, which is something I have always wanted to experience. And… it’s Hawaii; the real question is why would I ever not want to do my coop in paradise! It is so amazing to have a full day at work and then be able to drive 5 minutes to do a sunset hike overlooking the beach.

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What has been your experience like so far?
My experience so far has been absolutely incredible! I can’t believe it has only been a month. I have been hiking, surfing, swimming, eating lots of delicious food, meeting wonderful friends, and getting my tan on.

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

What is on your to do list while here?
Hike stairway to heaven, sky dive, check out Big Island and Kauai, paraglide, learn more songs on guitar, eat everything, get very tan, and of course learn how to surf!

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What are your outside interests?
I love to dance, cook, write, sing, read, watch movies, hike, and snowboard.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I would like to be an outpatient orthopedic therapist. I hope to obtain the experience and knowledge to confidently provide each individual patient with the best care and attention to their unique injuries.

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Who is your greatest influence in your life?
I don’t have a single influence in my life. I am blessed to have been surrounded by loving friends and family who have shaped me into the person I am today. I have had the same best friends since the 6th grade and I am very close to my family. I believe the close relationships I have made so far have been my biggest motivator and have showed me how fun life can be when you’re surrounded by those you love!

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By Mark Yanai

Introducing Kara

Meet Kara!

Continuing with our introductions of our Co-ops, we are happy to have Kara Dwyer as one of our PT students at our WORC and Aquatic sites. Like most Co-ops, Kara is well traveled and is not new to being immersed in a new culture. Read about her travels and what led her to our organization.
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What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I hail from Woodstock, Illinois, where I walked the halls of Woodstock High School (go Blue Streaks!) and now attend Northeastern University. 

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What drew you to physical therapy?
I’ve always been interested in the human body, I’ve always been active, and find it incredibly fulfilling to help people. Put all of that in a blender and you get an aspiring PT. Also my mother is a PT so I’ve always been around it. Fun fact- my grandmother was as well, so I’ll be a third generation PT!

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Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I have a bit of a travel bug, passed on from parents who met while traveling the world, so at every opportunity I get to experience new people and places, I leap! It helps that Northeastern impresses experiential learning on all its students, and what better way to get experience and learn more about yourself and others than leaving your comfort zone. Fukuji & Lum also seemed like the kind of loving and open environment I would like to learn in.

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What has been your experience like so far?
So far I’ve learned an incredible amount, as I haven’t been in a physical therapy environment like Fukuji & Lum before. My clinical experience up to now mostly consists of working with children in a vastly different setting. I’ve had a wonderful time exploring Kailua and a little of Kaneohe and Honolulu, and everyone I have met are the most genuinely open and welcoming people. So far I’ve been getting around by bike, albeit a bike that is just a tad too small, but it is quite enjoyable. I’ve started adventuring into the island and ocean, and anticipate a lot more of that!

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What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
We’ve been trying a lot of interesting fruit, like lilikoi, guava, longan. I would say the strangest thing i have been introduced to would be spam musubi, which was quite an experience and pretty good honestly!

What are your outside interests?
Well let’s see now, I have a plethora of interests. At school I’m involved in a few theatre groups, I ref and play intramural sports: mostly volleyball and soccer, I’ve taken a few ASL courses, I’m involved in choir, I like exploring/adventuring, goofing off, and being a kid, although the last year I’ve spent a lot of time with my best friend- the library.

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What is on your to do list while here?
We’ve already started a “Hawaii bucket list” that seems to get longer every day- to experience and learn about the melting pot of Hawaiian cultures; explore mountains, waterfalls, and coastal hikes; scuba dive once or twice; skydive possibly; and do something to be more connected and involved in the community, maybe some sort of rec league, music class, or volunteering opportunities to give back. Also it is a goal of mine to start eating fish. I’ve always thought I didn’t like any kind of fish, but I’ve been trying to expand my horizons in terms of food and it’s going well!
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What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I have yet to experience many of the environments and types of physical therapy there are, so I’m not sure yet how I see myself as a therapist. I do, however, hope to be able to instill confidence and joy in my patients as they work towards their goals.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
I have so many very interesting, amazing, positive, eclectic, joyful, intelligent, open, serious, curious, loyal, driven, caring, and wonderful individuals in my life, from whom I try to emulate these certain characteristics. So I couldn’t really pick out one person who has been influential to me in a large way, but give each of them credit for part of who I am today.

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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

Introducing Natalia

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We continue with the introductions of our most recent Co-ops. Meet Natalia, our newest addition to the Kailua clinic. Read about how her detour from the mainland to Hawaii for her next Co-op experience came about in our Q&A session below.
IMG_9242– What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I went to Jesuit High School in Portland, OR and moved to Boston for Northeastern University‘s six year DPT program.

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– What drew you to physical therapy?
I’ve always known I wanted to be in the health profession, so in high school I did a lot of research and talked to a bunch of people from different careers. What struck me the most was how much physical therapists enjoyed their jobs and felt that their work was deeply rewarding and meaningful. I shadowed at an outpatient clinic and it was very inspirational to see the strong rapport PTs have with their patients and how hard they work to help their patients improve.

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

I really enjoyed my last outpatient Co-op because I appreciated the depth of a relationship that can be built over a longer timeframe with patients seen in an outpatient clinic as opposed to a hospital setting. I decided the Hawaii Co-op would give me a new take on an environment that I’ve already had some experience with and plan to go in the future, as well as provide me the opportunity to learn fresh techniques, perspectives, and cultural values which will shape my practice down the line.
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– What has been your experience like so far?
It’s been incredible! Honestly, everyone is so friendly and chill. I thought it would be hard to transition to a completely different culture and surroundings than what I’m used to, but I already never want to leave! I have never felt so stress-free and so physically and mentally healthy! I can tell these six months are going to fly by.

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– What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
I would probably say the strawberry guava that we picked off the side of a trail during a hike in Temple Valley. It was delicious and not as strange of a texture as lilikoi, but just the fact that I could pick tasty, edible fruit to munch in the middle of our hike totally blew my mind! I also couldn’t figure out if I should eat the small seeds or spit them out!
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– What is on your to do list while here?
My to do list mainly revolves around being fully immersed in the culture and experiences while I’m here and to take advantage of every moment. I am going to try and be outside as much as possible by swimming, biking, running and hiking O’ahu’s beautiful landscapes. My other main goal is to learn as much as I can from the unique culture and clinic opportunities, making sure I come away with an unforgettable educational experience.

– What are your outside interests?
I’m very into tea and I love to cook healthy and try new recipes. I bike everywhere back in Boston and enjoy reading outdoors whenever I get a chance. I really like petting people’s dogs and taking advantage of community volunteer opportunities.

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– What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be the kind of therapist who is constantly learning and bettering herself in order to best help other people, putting the well-being of my patients above all else. I really value education and continual learning which I believe is crucial for providing the best possible health care.

– Who is your greatest influence in your life?
That’s hard to say, because everyone I’m close to has influenced me in some way — my family, friends, teachers, peers, and coworkers alike. If I had to choose one person, I would say my sister. She’s the one who’s given me my love of outdoor adventure, shaped my taste in music and literature, and honed my skills in vegetarian cooking. She has showed me what it means to be a compassionate and altruistic individual. She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and has been there whenever I’ve had to make tough decisions. She definitely is likely the reason why I chose a career in physical therapy.

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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

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

Finding Teagan: A New Home

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Teagan Ferguson’s Co-Op Experience

When I think about Teagan, I get a little misty eyed. I first interviewed her for a co-op position a year before she arrived on Oahu. She was very quiet and reserved. Honestly, I was concerned that she wasn’t ready for the experience of being so far from home so I recommended that she apply again the following year. She ended up traveling to Hawaii with her family and visited our facilities. She contacted me and again expressed her desire to join us. Her determination to join us was evident and I offered her the position gladly.

Throughout Teagan’s six-month employment with us, her skills, along with her confidence, grew immensely as she worked closely with our patients and staff therapists. What amazed me the most about Teagan, was her ability to adapt. Due to multiple unexpected changes, she was asked to deal with changes to her schedule, including moving locations, and working with different programs. She definitely displayed a level of maturity that impressed us all and became one of our most versatile, multi-skilled clinicians that patients embraced as their own.

Here’s what she wrote about that experience.

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I’ve traveled my whole life and never lived anywhere very long. I’m honestly not one to jump at a chance to travel more, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to revisit the place where I was born. After my co-op with Fukuji and Lum I was really glad I had taken the trip to work with them. F &L is truly a family, one that includes the patients that we cared for. I was able to work at Lower Atherton’s Outpatient Clinic and in Aquatic Therapy at the pool.

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With the F&L family I was able to solidify my skills in the outpatient clinic and learn a lot about clinical decisions from Jamie, whom I worked closely with. It was great to see things from her perspective as a newer PT and learn some tips along the way.

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Down at the pool I had the ever-amazing Rachael Hyland to guide my learning. She helped me grow from a nervous student to someone who was ready to take on clinical education with confidence.

It was amazing to see how much could be done in an aquatic setting, from ROM to conditioning and balance, and how creative the field could be. I was grateful that I could have such a positive experience in the field I’d like to specialize into. 
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The things I’ve learned as a co-op student aren’t the only things I’m thankful for either. Everyone shared their part of Hawaii, whether it was food from our lovely patients, Colleen opening her doors to house us or Ryan and Talon showing us the social life. The staff went out of their way to really make this a wonderful experience for all of us. 
Being back in classes definitely isn’t the same as being on an island but after this experience I’m much more motivated and have valuable insight. I look forward to a chance to return to Oahu and hopefully make it a more permanent accommodation. 
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Teagan Ferguson

By Mark Yanai

The NEU Experience @ WORC by: Cody Gilliss

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Cody Gilliss arrived in Hawaii early in January 2015 and began his 6 month Co-operative experience at F&L’s Windward Occupational Rehab Center (WORC). I had interviewed Cody four months prior and knew that he would be a great fit for the unique setting that WORC has to offer. After returning to Boston a month ago, Cody took some time to reflect on his experience and share it with us.

Having the opportunity to work at Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy was a once in a lifetime experience for me, and I can’t thank everyone at F&L enough for my 6 months in paradise. It’s sad to believe my short time with F&L is already over and I’m back in Boston, but Hawai’i, the memories, and the friends I made along the way will be with me for years to come.

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Being my first real move from home, I was worried how I would fit in with the culture, the people, and everyone I was working with. Fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to work with some of the best people I’ve ever met – and had the opportunity to work with so many amazing patients. Thank you all for making my move to Hawai’i truly a breeze.

Prior to this work experience, I knew I wanted to experience something different than what I would get at home in Boston. I was greeted by a crew of talented and passionate forward-thinkers that really revolutionize and break the mold of the physical therapy practice. The WORC clinic uses a lot of cutting-edge and exciting new methods to rehabilitate their patients, and it was a pleasure to be a student learning from everyone there.

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Every day I knew that I would learn something new, or have a new book sitting at my desk. The amount of knowledge and insight I have gained through everyone at F&L is amazing and I am very grateful. Mark emphasized to me that it’s important to forever be a student, and now I realize how true that really is. I learned you should always strive to be better, to learn more, and to be responsible for your own education.

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Working at F&L under Mark, David, Stacy, Jessie, Lisa and Ross taught me so much about how to be a great physical therapist and a great healthcare provider. They work so hard to put the patient’s health and wellbeing first, and it’s something I look forward to providing for my patients in my professional future down the road.

Every patient that walked through the door seemed to be a part of the F&L family, and it was a blessing to be a part of that family, or Ohana, while I was there. I now definitely understand what it means to practice physical therapy “with aloha”, and it’s something I will bring back here to the mainland!

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Sports Day at WORC

Speaking of things I want to bring back to the mainland, there are so many things I want to bring back here. First and most important – my favorite Hawaiian snack… Foodland’s very own, Spicy Ahi Poke. I’m currently looking around the local fish markets to recreate it on my own. Thank you again to Jessie and Lisa for the extra furikake and poke-mix! It will be put to good use, I promise!!!

Cody's Poke

Cody’s Homemade Spicy Ahi Bowl

There isn’t a day I spend without thinking about my experience in Hawai’i and how it has made me a better person. The people, the ocean, the weather, the culture, and the Aloha spirit – It’s a time in my life I’ll never forget and it’s something I’ll take forward with me every day. Thank you all again for making it so special. I can’t wait for the day I can come back to Kaneohe, hopefully this time for much longer.

Aloha,
Cody

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By Mark Yanai

Sarah: My Co-op Experience At F&L

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Sarah Agustin is a student of Northeastern University and recently returned to Boston after spending the last six months working at our Aquatic and Honolulu locations. She is the first Co-op student originally from Hawaii. Sarah wrote about her Co-op experience at F&L:

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Being born and raised on the Island of Oahu, I had an amazing opportunity to return to the islands and work as a co-op student at Fukuji and Lum Physical Therapy. Fukuji and Lum is unique in many ways as they stand by their mission statement “ to deliver fun, happiness and compassion in serving our patients and community”.  While being apart of the F & L Ohana for the past 6 months I was exposed to various settings such as: Outpatient Clinic, Aquatic Therapy, and Work Hardening Plus Program.

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I had the opportunity to work at the Kuakini Clinics in Honolulu and Aquatic Therapy Program in Kaneohe, each with an amazing staff.  As a student and employee I was challenged daily to work closely with patients and to better my clinical decision making skills. From observing many initial evaluations with our staff members, to assisting patients with therapeutic exercises, I can say that I have learned a tremendous amount that I know will help me become a great future physical therapist. Working closely with Art Lum, I was introduced to NAIOMT (North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy) where I was able to see first-hand some of the manual techniques and how to apply it to therapy. F & L offered many in-services to their employees to learn about new and developing fields such as Graston and Gameready. F & L also valued and stressed a personal physical fitness program. Early morning work outs challenged the staff but at the same time, it kept the staff in top physical condition.  The entire staff at F & L was open and willing to share all of their specialized knowledge with me. They answered the many questions that I had and in returned challenged me with connecting the classroom knowledge with our daily work routine. F & L Staff went above and beyond during this Co-op experience to make this entire process an amazing learning experience.

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Even though I was born and raised in the islands, I took advantage of being home with family and friends and exploring more of what the island has to offer. I went on many new hikes though out the islands over the past 6 months such as Kalalau on Kauai, Halawa Valley on Molokai and Waipio Valley on the Big Island.  Each of the hikes was an experience that I will never forget. Being away from home for the past year in Boston, I definitely missed my local grindz, so of course I dived right into all of the local foods that the islands had to offer and made sure I ate enough to last me the next 2 years in Boston.

Working at F&L has made a tremendous impact on my career. It was hard to leave such an amazing staff and company and I look forward to see what the company has for the future.

Aloha,

Sarah Agustin